Signs Say Street Sweeping Starts March 1st!

“Dear PoP,

I’ve never lived in an area with street sweeping before…and it starts just before I leave the country for two weeks. It’s one side of the street on Tuesdays, and the other side Wednesdays; the blocks around me all seem to have street sweeping as well, so I’m not having much luck finding a safe parking spot. What do people typically do when they’ll be out of town and can’t move their cars once a week?”

We spoke about unzoned parking options back in Jan. ’11. So don’t forget that street sweeping starts up soon! The signs say March 1st but DPW hasn’t officially issued a press release for the exact date. I’ll update when they do.

33 Comment

  • I used to ask a friend to move my car — let them drive it as needed for the time I was away as a “thank you” (as well as a treat from wherever I was). This works best if your friend lives in the same zone you do or has a temporary permit.

    Otherwise there aren’t a lot of options. I called 311 to ask about it right after I moved here and they told me to buy a spot in a long term parking garage. Sigh.

  • houseintherear

    If you live anywhere near 2nd and U NW, I can offer a spot in my gated driveway for a small fee.

  • I usually just ask a friend to move and keep an eye on my car while I am away and take them out for beers when I get back. Even if you find unzoned parking (there are a few areas), I wouldn’t park my car on the street for longer than 5 days with no one checking on it. Otherwise, you could garage it.

  • there are some zoned parking spots that dont have street cleaning – you just have to find them.

  • Got any friends who live in the ‘burbs? We will sometimes leave our car parked at our friends’ house in Takoma Park. They don’t have any street cleaning restrictions, so they don’t have the burden of having to move the car weekly, but they can still keep an eye on it for us.

  • ah

    March 1 is start date. Expect it to be formally announced through ticket and towing operations tomorrow.

  • On another note, the actual date DPW actually starts street cleaning is now, of course, irrelevant. The sign says March 1, so best be out of there, as posted, starting tomorrow. I doubt there will even be a press release anymore. Otherwise, that would highlight any discrepancy between the posted date (aka the date after which you can get a ticket) and the functional date (the date when moving cars is actually needed). Can’t have that.

    • ah

      In a live chat last week DPW said march 1 means March 1.

      • I wouldn’t expect them to say anything else, but come tomorrow, we’ll certainly see if what they say and what they do are, in fact, the same thing. Either way, as noted, we have to move our cars. They’ll be out in force writing tickets tomorrow whether the street sweepers are on the roads or not.

    • They put up new signs so people don;t need to rely on a press release they may or may not hear about. The signs say March 1. It can’t be much more cut and dried than that.

      • That is merely what the sign says. It doesn’t mean that DC will actually get it together and start cleaning the streets on that day. It merely means that they will give you a ticket for preventing them from clean streets that they won’t be cleaning. Welcome to DC!

        • i guess that makes up for all the times people park illegally and DON’T get cited for it.


          • Wow. How commenting on the city’s inefficiencies can be declared “whining” I do not know. Mighty neighborly of you, neighbor.

  • Last year I was towed to the Bladensburg lot instead of the courtesy tow around the corner that they traditionally did. So in addition to the parking ticket, I got additional tow charge to get my car back from the impound lot. 311 said they no longer do courtesy tows for street sweeping. Way to stick it to the residents DC! They towed my car and didn’t even street sweep that day! &@#$ers!

    You’ve been warned — They no longer do courtesy tows for street sweeping!!???

  • I pulled over to check which day street cleaning was at one point last year, and in the 2 minutes it took to get out, inspect the sign, get back in my car and drive away (after realizing I could not park on that side), I had received a parking ticket… arriving two weeks later in the mail (you can see me sitting in the driver’s seat in the photo!). I didn’t even see the cop car.

    I hate the automated license plate photographing setup…

  • The “courtesy” tow does still exist but it’s now $100 on top of the parking ticket to “make it fare” that you are charged the same whether towed to Blue Plains or just around the block.

  • Be sure to notice that the new signs are for 2 hour periods – so if you live on a street like Irving or Columbia – where there is only parking on one side of the street anyway because of rush-hour restrictions – and you work all day, you are pretty much screwed. (The old regulations switched the parking for the whole day – 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

    • I just realized this – now the entire neighborhood has one side of 13th/11th street to fight over on Monday afternoon.

    • Wait, they aren’t switching sides anymore? The entire street is no parking during street sweeping?

      • From what I can tell, it’s still Wednesday only parking on the south side of Irving (or North side, I’m really bad with directions).

        • The old signs are still up on the south side of Irving – (allowing Wed. parking all day,) but the new ones are up on the north side with 12:30-2:30 p.m. restrictions on Wed. so basically no one is going to know what to do.

          • Same deal on Columbia, except on my stretch it’s Monday and Friday. Nice new Monday street sweeping signs on the left, old and now-nonsensical “Except Friday” sign on the right. Nothing’s ever easy.

    • This is true and very stupid IMO. I live on Kenyon and now must park around the corner somewhere every Tuesday. The first Tuesday I parked on the opposite side out of habit. $200 dollars later I guess I learned my lesson. Owning a car in DC is ridiculously expensive!

  • Noooooo! $100 for a courtesy tow even if they aren’t going to actually clean that block that day. Ugh. Sometimes things just happen. Emergencies. Cancelled flights extending trips. Life sucking. Now $100 on top of the regular ticket to make things worse.

    Just the ticket was enough to get 99% compliance on a given week in my neigborhood. I guess this is revenue to the city, but it is degrading my quality of life.

    Seriously, the amount of my life that is devoted to dealing with street sweeping is preposterous. I wish I could get rid of my car, travel less, live in a house with parking, convince my employer to pay for parking, or afford several several hundred a year to park during my work-related travel. But none of these things are reasonably within my reach. I assume that that is true for many district residents, especially those who have jobs that require frequent travel.

  • I do one of three things when I need to leave my car for a week or more:
    1) Let my neighbor use my car as long as they promise to move it for street sweeping.
    2) Leave it at work (and piss off those people who want my space for that week)
    3) Park it at the airport. Long term isn’t that bad, and might even be cheapter than a ticket+tow. I figure I own a car in a city, this is just the price one pays for ownership.

  • does street sweeping include alleys? No one has a trash can in my alley and its coated in trash from christmas shopping and chicken bones (thanks 7-11).

  • Parking tickets tomorrow! Be advised that according to the newly posted and old existing street sweeping signs, it looks like you can get a parking ticket tomorrow, Tues. March 1 between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. for parking on EITHER side of Irving St.

    I just searched the dc gov. & dpw websites for maps or actual list of the new regulations but couldn’t find anything and didn’t feel like searching more than 10 min.

  • When I moved to DC I thought the courtesy tow was a great service to RESIDENTS as compared to other cities. What happened? Did costs suddenly triple?? And what is up with the towing/ticketing without actually cleaning the street! That is crazy and just plain wrong! If the city doesn’t sweep, then don’t ticket!

    • It’s like bank overdraft fees. We give you the COURTESY of not having your card declined for 3 purchases of less than $10, but we charge you $35 dollars each time for a total of $105. YOU ARE WELCOME.

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