Dear PoPville – Photo Enforcement Vehicle Blocking View of Traffic

Dear PoPville,

I cross Georgia in my car every day and there are several intersections there where parking is allowed so close to the corner that it is hard to see oncoming traffic. Based on the need for parking I’ve just rolled with it. But when a car parks beyond the signs it gets near impossible to look for oncoming traffic without inching into the nearest lane on Georgia. The other day at, I think, Decatur and Georgia I spotted this car illegally parked and severely limiting the view of traffic on Georgia as I tried to cross. Turns out it was a photo enforcement vehicle. So, supposedly in an effort to make streets safer by nabbing speeders, they actually create a dangerous situation where drivers have difficulty crossing at intersections.

In the attached picture you can see how far past the crosswalk I am and I still have a tough time seeing if any cars are coming.

This can’t be something the city allows, right?

16 Comment

  • It’s really hard to tell depth from this picture. Just how far past is that car from the sign? It almost looks like it’s right before that sign despite what the OP says.

  • I’m not sure this is Decatur & Georgia – according to Google Maps there should be a stoplight at this intersection and I’m not seeing it.

    • It’s actually GA Ave & Delafield Place – conincidentally, there’s also an illegally parked vehicle in the street view photo.

      • ah

        It appears that they’ve created the enforcement space in what is a no parking spot.

        The city has plenty of speed camera locations in no parking spots, so it’s probably not technically illegal.. But, yeah, apparently revenue is more important than safety by placing the camera car in a sensible location. Why not just eliminate that parking space and move the camera back 15 feet?

    • That vehicle was at Manor Pl. and Park Pl. over the winter. Same thing happened with me–I nearly had an accident each morning turning onto Park from Manor.

  • Not that this answers the question, but it’s relevant… I’m “studying” to take the motorcycle knowledge test, which also has some questions on it about regular traffic rules. One of the tidbits that stood out to me was about intersections like the one pictured: once you’ve stopped at the stop line/cross walk, you can legally inch out into the intersection in order to see when there’s an appropriate opening. Maybe most people knew this- I didn’t, and was always nervous to get ticketed.

  • I hope the OP had a passenger take that photo while he/she was sitting with his/her nose out in traffic.

    Serious question: how can you tell it’s a photo enforcement vehicle? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one (or if I have I didn’t know).

    • ah

      Usually one can tell from up close. Also, notice the yellow line in front and around the driver side, which is the enforcement line that’s set up in advance. That’s a tip off to the locations around the city.

    • Noone actually drives a Ford Edge. If you see one parked in DC, its probably a cop. They have them in this shade of red, black and white. Also, tags with D over C on the left side are gov’t vehicles. Finally, most of them have a camera rig on the front bumper, but I can’t make one out in this picture.

  • There’s a cop car that is often hanging out near my mother in-law’s house in Burke. The street is dangerous enough as it is (very highly trafficked, and on a hill so it’s hard to see who’s coming) and it doesn’t help that you have to pull halfway into the street to see around the cop. Drives me crazy! Couldn’t they find a spot to catch speeders that doesn’t involve putting other drivers in danger?

  • The bigger question is who, other than possibly Kwame “Fully-Loaded” Brown, approved buying a car that STARTS at $28k and tops out at $46k to MOUNT A SPEED CAMERA IN? Didn’t they know you can buy a USED car that’s just as big for $5k?

  • The police looking for illegal turns at the intersection of GA & New Hampshire do the same, they also do nothing when big utility trucks park near to the convenience stores there illegally, blocking the view on both sides… I hope they all get speed camera tickets.

  • They sit in a drive-lane on M Street in SE also. One day a car is going to hit it as it is not even in a parking space but right in the drive lane. STUPID!!!!

  • Dear pop: I am very concerned with traffic safety, so I got my camera out and started taking pictures while I was driving.

  • I live just off Georgia Avenue and have noticed the same thing as the OP as far as intersections on Georgia where it’s difficult to see past parked cars to determine if there’s any oncoming traffic.

    Not good for MPD to make things even worse by parking a photo enforcement vehicle in a no-parking zone.

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