Dear PoP – Long Term Parking Options?

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

“Dear PoP,

I’m heading on a five week long vacation to Asia and trying to deal with a million details that come along with international extended travel. My latest annoyance is trying to find a place for my car during the month.

I currently park on the street and have to move it twice weekly to avoid street cleaning tickets. I’ve done some research and parking at a metro stop with long term parking is not supposed to go past 12 days while Union station is a whopping $19 a day. So short of getting numerous tickets and possibly towed by leaving my car on the street, I haven’t found any affordable options.”

You may be in luck as street sweeping is suspended this Friday. But if that it doesn’t work – what/where do you guys recommend for long term parking options?

44 Comment

  • The issues with not having offstreet parking…

    Parking in DC is such a pain, I made offstreet parking one of the top items on my list of “requirements” on the few houses I’ve bought over the decades here in town.

    If you don’t have any neighbors etc, I would recommend long term parking at National Airport. I’ve known a couple people to do that and last I heard it was $8 bucks a day.

    • Actually…scratch that. I just checked and its $12 bucks a day. Must’ve raised it quite a bit in the past couple years.

  • park on the east side of porter street in cleveland park, near the bottom of the hill by 2501 Archstone Apartments. i’ve seen cars parked there for months.

  • Had the same problem when I was in Europe for 3 weeks. I used Google Street view to scan street signs in Ward 2 for a sweeper free area. For Ward/Zone 2, R Street near Sheridan Circle.

  • I’d frankly be surprised if you parked at a regular Metro garage and got a ticket after 5 weeks. I’ve seen plenty of cars that don’t seem to move ever. Maybe for a lesser used garage lot on the eastern ends of the green or blue lines?

  • A friend with a spare parking space. Offer to pay them $5-10 per day.

    Dulles is $10 per day in the satellite lot.

    There are residential streets without neighborhood permit parking. I believe Belt Road in Tenley/Friendship area, between Wisconsin and Fessenden used to be non-zoned. That was years ago, so I’m not sure now. But if someone decides that your car needs to go, it will end up in Brentwood.

  • You should be OK with street sweeping ending for the Winter. I’ve always given my key to a friend and asked them to walk by every week and make sure all is well. It’s always a good idea in case someone puts up restricted parking signs on your street while you’re gone. You can also have them move it once or twice so no one reports it abandoned or anything stupid like that.

  • Also, I believe North side of Park Rd btwn 16th and MtP St is zone-free.

  • Go park it up in Crestwood. I see cars on the street up there with dust covers over them.

  • Why not just rent a spot in a garage somewhere in the city for a month? There are scores, if not hundreds..

  • 1750 Tysons Blvd., McLean VA..

    Parking Garage that charges $5 a day, long term parking is ok there. And the great thing is that there is no charge to park there on weekends, so if you are coming back over the weekend, just pick up your car and out you go. In case you are coming back on a weekday. Just say youy lost your ticket and pay the daily max of $5.

    I have done that several times, especially because a cab ride from there to Dulles is about 35$ instead of a cab ride from DC that might be twice as much.

    Other option Porter St. as someone already suggested, but I always see shattered glass on the road/sidewalk, probably from people breaking into cars there, so that might be a risk.

    • You are really proud of yourself for ripping off a business establishment?! (not the weekend thing, that’s their stupidity, the lost ticket lie). Great job stealing. Keep up the good work.

  • pablo .raw

    Funny that Pop chose this photo to go with the article; I asked a woman that was staring at me while I was taking the photos if the car was hers, and she said “no, that car has been there forever!”

  • Some of the hotels near BWI offer parking packages for people heading off on cruises for several weeks at a time. Usually, a one-night stay will get you free parking in their lot for a specified period of time (I’ve seen up to a month at a time, but you may be able to negotiate however long you need). May be able to find similar deals around Dulles.

  • You don’t have one friend in the suburbs? Seriously?

  • If all you need is outdoor parking just ask some people in your neighborhood. Someone has got to have space available for a couple hundred bucks. Heck, if i wasnt up to my ears in an frame off rebuild you could use my garage for some cash.

  • Friend in the suburbs or park on the stretch where Tunlaw turns into New Mexico. There are no zone signs there. Cars are parked for months at a time. Also where cabbies go to take naps.

  • Street sweeping is suspended, but does this mean alternate side is while leaf collection is going on?

  • I know about 2 people in my building so no help there, most of my friends don’t have cars/row homes with parking spots and my neighborhood (2 blocks west of convention center) has no cheap parking for a month. I went through the craigslist parking and most people want a six month commitment. As for friends in the suburbs, my Nova friends are mostly in condos with limited parking

    As f

  • I’ve got off-street parking in Petworth. I’ll charge you $5 per day.

  • can’t you get a neighbor to watch your car, and move it every three days?
    even if they dont live in you zone, everyone should have those visitor parking tags now, right?

  • if you can get a friend to drive you to bwi, i’ve parked in their long term lot for $8/day, that’s the cheapest i’ve found.

  • There are also unzoned parking spaces on tilden between reno and connecticut, I’ve had my car parked there for weeks at a time

  • In a lot of cities, you can work a deal with a hotel near the airport. There are a couple of motels/hotels in VA by National. Give the GM’s a call and let them know what your situation is.

  • Not one of my proudest moments, but I was once in a rush to catch the last Megabus en route to New York. I drove to 10th and H NW and got there in good time. Ended up parking in the City Center lot right there where you catch the bus.

    When I got back the next week, I had legitimately lost the ticket. I went up to the guy and explained exactly what happened and he only charged my $20. Said that’s the max they can charge when you lose your ticket there. Not sure if that’s a normal process or what.

    I’ve also kept my car for a four day weekend at the garage by downtown Silver Spring. It is free on weekends and holidays, so you can just drive right out. Don’t know if it would be a problem to leave a car there for that long, but it stays generally busy so I don’t know that anyone would notice.

    Is that stupid? Maybe so….

  • Nova has street parking in tysons corner that is unzoned and not outside houses or anything. There is some near the Harris teeter in McLean. It’s free parking and you are ok o leave it long term unless there is a snow storm and a plough needs to get to where your car is

  • I have parked my car for a week or so on streets that have no street cleaning. in the columbia heights area, meridian place between 14th and 16th is one such are and I think there are some over in Mt Pleasant. Generally, it is narrower, 1 way streets that the sweepers dont get to.

    OR, you could do what someone in my neighborhood did and write a sign in your windshield that says something like “please do not ticket, out of town for 3 weeks, dont know what to do with my car other than ask forgiveness”. unfortunately I dont think that will work.


    A lot of great private options with only a monthly contract.

  • I have gated parking in my backyard– I could do $4 a day! At 1st & Rhode Island NW. Contact– artteacherlinds at yahoo . com.

  • I try to find a friend to move it for me. As a thanks, I take them out to dinner or drinks depending on how long they moved it for me. Also, if they don’t own a car, I tell them they are free to use it. Or I leave it at a friends house in Northern Virginia. You do not want to park on the street in DC, even those blocks without cleaning, without someone watching it for you. DC could, for example, decide to repave the road, put up no parking signs and tow your car. Or, I mean it is the city, it could be broken into.

  • Anywhere but on the street. That’s a horrible idea for so many reasons. 1) you don’t want anyone stealing your car, 2) it will be an “attractive nuisance” when someone breaks your windows, and no one is around to clean it up or take care of it for 5 weeks, 3) when DC Water or another agency needs to dig up the street, you won’t be there to move the car.

    Anyway, enough said, the right to park on the street comes with the responsibility to check in on it once every three days so that other users of the public streets can do what they need to do (remember, below the blacktop is a mess of pipes, conduit, drains, basins, etc), and so it doesn’t become derelict.

  • You don’t have to worry just about street cleaning.

    A few years back, I went out of town for Thanksgiving, leaving my vehicle parked on the street. Since I don’t check on my vehicle every single day, it was a few days after I came back only to see the vehicle gone.

    Apparently, there was some sort of ’emergency’ no parking in effect. They posted signs 24 hours in advance, but I obviously wasn’t there to see them. So I got a bunch of tickets and then my vehicle was towed. Let me tell you, between tickets, towing, and daily storage fees, things add up VERY quick. My bill was approaching 1 grand. Imagine the exposure you are facing on a 5 week trip.

    I did take it to ‘court’, and the fake judge did have some pity and dismissed the tickets, but the major cost is towing and storage fees and he said he can’t dismiss that. He said that DC street is not your own personal storage space for your car. You are not entitled to leave your car anywhere for extended periods of time.

    My point is, I wouldn’t risk parking on a street that doesn’t have any restrictions. During your trip, there may be some temporary restriction, you will get towed, and you will get reamed for it.

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