Dear PoPville – Does Your Neighborhood Have Visitor Parking Passes?

Dear PoPville,

Last evening I was astonished, and quite frankly, pissed off to find an envelope from DC-DOT containing a letter and visitor parking pass (VPP) for ANC-1C (Adams Morgan).

Having been a resident of Adams Morgan for coming on 10 years, this has got to be the worst action to effect our Ward 1 specifically those who resided in Adams Morgan. As if parking for us wasn’t already a problem!!!! Now we have to compete for parking spaces from everyone’s “visitors” for an unspecified amount of time?!?!?! I was excited by the potential to have a side of the street saved for residents but it looks like this potential future option (if ANC-1C votes approvingly), still allows for these VPP users to park there.

This system is going to be uncontrollable, unenforceable, and allow a fraudulent underground business to occur (selling passes, renting passes), etc.

I wanted to see what other PoPville readers have thought of these programs throughout the city? Has your community, Ward, or ANC suffered due to this? Does your community have a huge bar/social scene that draws an exorbitant number of “visitors”?

From DDOT:

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is continuing the annual Visitor Parking Pass (VPP) program in Wards 1, 3, 4, 5 and portions of 6. The goal of the VPP program is to make it easier for residents to host their guests. A Visitor Parking Pass is mailed to each residence in the proscribed Wards which eliminates the inconvenience of having to obtain a new temporary visitor parking permit each time a visitor is expected.

During the month of July DDOT will provide 2012/2013 visitor passes to residents in the following areas:

Ward 1: Residents in ANCs 1A, 1B and 1C and residents on RPP blocks in ANC 1D
Ward 3: Residents on RPP blocks
Ward 4: Residents on RPP blocks
Ward 5: Residents on RPP blocks
Ward 6: Residents on RPP blocks in the Ballpark Area bounded by
North: Pennsylvania Avenue SE
East: 11th Street SE
South: Potomac Avenue SW
West: 9th Street SW

If you live in any of these areas you will receive an annual visitor’s pass that will allow your guests to park on RPP blocks in your community; this includes sides of streets with Resident Only RPP protection. These passes are only valid during the hours of RPP enforcement and they do preclude a resident from Registration of Out of State Automobiles (ROSA) tickets if they live in the District of Columbia and do not register their vehicle with the District DMV within 30 days of moving to the city.


To provide District residents with parking passes for their guests.

80 Comment

  • Buy a garage, pal.

  • I got mine in the mail last week. It certainly is more convenient than having to run up to the police station each time I needed a visitor’s pass (though I never minded.) I hadn’t considered the impact in high density areas like Adams Morgan. Parking is a nightmare over there.

    • I live in ANC 6D and like them–they allow my guests to park for longer than the 2 hrs usually allowed on our neighborhood’s streets without me having to go to the police station for a one-time-only pass. They also keep people from outside the neighborhood from using our streets as a parking lot when they come for a Nats game or Arena Stage show, which take longer than 2 hours.

      • em

        I’d never thought of running an underground business for people to use our visitor parking pass. We’ve missed out on so much cash!

        Seriously, though…It’s really nice to have the pass on hand, especially if a friend or family member drops in unexpectedly (or just at a time when running to the police station to get a paper pass would be inconvenient).

        I haven’t noticed cars with the visitor parking passes being an issue – most cars parked in the neighborhood are still resident cars, with only a sprinkling of visitor passes visible.

    • Agreed. I love this new system – way more user friendly than having to go up to the police station.

  • You live in Adams Morgan. Get rid of your car, reduce your carbon footprint, avoid the headaches, and stop complaining.

  • Dude, I’m totally Craigslisting that shit today!

  • great idea on selling those actually…thanks dude!

    • I’d be very very careful about craigslisting your pass. It says right on there that selling the pass comes with a $300 fine, and I guarantee you, in years past in the other neighborhoods that have had these for a long long time, most of the “high bidders” on craigslist were actually DDOT employees setting you up to get caught (and of course, fined, and your permit taken away).

  • Calm down. Extra question marks and exclamation points just make you sound hysterical about something that is not worth hysterics. This just replaces the old visitor parking pass process with something more modern. If it’s abused as you fear it will be, get on the city to address the abuse.

  • Zone 6 has had these for quite a while and I haven’t noticed abuse or anything like that. If it’s happening, it’s minor. Every conversation I’ve heard about the passes has been positive.

    • yeah i’ve had one in ward 5 for a few years and never had a problem. i often drive to work in capitol hill however, and it protects me from tickets there too which is great…not sure it’s supposed to work like that though.

  • let’s just share all the cars! most of them sit idle all damn day. how nice would it be to just grab one when you need it?

  • We have had them for quite some time, and abuse has been very limited. FYI, I believe the number on the pass is traceable to the address to which it was mailed. We’ve used that a few times.

    • ah

      Check on that – got our new one this week and it has the exact same serial number (or whatever) as last year’s.

  • Should “they do preclude a resident from Registration of Out of State Automobiles (ROSA) tickets if they live in the District of Columbia and do not register their vehicle with the District DMV within 30 days of moving to the city.” really read “they do NOT preclude a resident from Registration of Out of State Automobiles (ROSA) tickets if they live in the District of Columbia and do not register their vehicle with the District DMV within 30 days of moving to the city.”? That would seem to make more sense.

    Or is it just Friday and I am losing my grasp of the English language?

  • I’m not seeing how a Visitor’s Parking Program would be any different from how Adams Morgan is now. Many visitor’s come in during the nights and weekend and can park without enforcement.

    My parents come visit for a weekend once every three months and I’m looking forward to this. No waiting at the Police Station with a license, their license, insurance, etc, etc.

    • I live in Adams Morgan and tend to agree with you. Seems unlikely anyone would pay to rent this pass as long as they can park with impunity after 8pm. That’s when parking is at its worst, especially on weekends. The visitor card simply helps residents’ weekday visitors avoid tickets. I’ve rarely had trouble finding convenient parking on weekdays before 5pm.

      If DC were serious about the public safety in Adams Morgan, there would be more focus on night-time parking enforcement on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as more sobriety testing in the neighborhoods those nights. But the business interests on 18th Street will never let that happen.

      • ah

        Yeah, it only matters when there are time limits on parking. At night there aren’t so it’s not going to affect the availability of parking then–only during the day (if then).

  • We have this in ward 3 but parking is not an issue where I am. I wonder if they unwittingly screwed themselves out of some cash here. Surely folks that had not appliced for a residential permit will just use the visitor pass>

  • I don’t see any problem with it. I’ve had one in my neighborhood near the Petworth metro for about a year. It makes it a lot easier when family and friends come during the day, and I’ve also let contractors use it to avoid getting tickets.

    And parking enforcement does issue warnings and tickets if they see a car repeatedly using the pass in the same spot.

  • I love this. I live in Adams Morgan and there always are plenty of spots available on my street during the day. I have a cleaning woman who comes every other week so now she can park on the street for the couple of hours that she’s here without getting a ticket (and in fact, she was able to use it the day after it arrived in the mail). Great for contractors too. I don’t get the opposition to this.

  • “This system is going to be uncontrollable, unenforceable, and allow a fraudulent underground business to occur”
    I darn well hope so! This is DC after all.

  • Chill dude. First of all most people don’t even use them. MTP has done this for ages but most of the houses have parking and most of the Apartment dwellers get by (GASP) without cars.
    Other than that I’ll echo what others have said. It’s not your parking because you live in the neighborhood. you have no more right to it than anyone else in dc. Your options are: try out life without a car, move to a neighborhood with ample street parking, or rent a space. Im sure there are plenty on craigslist for you to chose from.

  • Why aren’t there passes like this for Ward 2?

  • Weird, I just got one but I’m in Ward 6 outside of the Ballpark Area (just north of Pennsylvania).

  • orderedchaos

    These passes are great — as others have said — for guests, for contractors, etc. Places like Adams Morgan aren’t car-friendly anyway unless you have off-street parking, so I don’t see the big deal that a few spots might be taken during the day… nothing prevents people from parking all night and on weekends (the really crowded times) even without a pass.

    To sum up: chill, the passes do more good than harm.

  • I’ve lived in Glover Park for 3 years, and while parking probably isn’t quite as bad as AdMo, it’s still a nightmare. What’s more, parking enforcement is seemingly ALWAYS circling the neighborhood, so the pass has been awesome for out of town guests…considering I don’t have a driveway or garage to offer them, the least I can do is ensure they don’t get parking tickets.

    If you want a guaranteed parking spot, pay for one.

  • How did you not hear about this? I’ve known about this for probably a year. This is part of a larger parking initiative.

  • As a Foxhall Village resident, I’m a huge supporter. Granted, we have more open spaces than Adams Morgan. This is great for quality of life — friends can visit for a weekend without a parking shuffle taking up valuable time and energy.

  • From somebody who has had experience “Abusing” the parking passes… if a cop sees you parked with out of state plates or out of zone registration they will give you a warning if you use the pass over a long period of time. If that persists then you will get a full blown ticket.

  • Yes, I just received mine in the mail 2 days ago.

  • I live on Calvert Street in ANC 1C–parking is a HUGE issue here, since it seems to be where people park to go walk to 18th, but I haven’t received a visitor’s pass in the mail yet. Has anyone else on Calvert Street received theirs?

    I personally am very pro-visitor’s pass, since my boyfriend and I always have to do a big car-shuffle when visitors are coming, and we can never gurantee parking for more than one car of visitors, since we only have one off-street parking space. Not that a parking pass will guarantee a spot on the street….but it might help, and I certainly can’t imagine why it would make things any worse than they already are.

  • For those living within a few blocks of metro in Columbia Heights you could easily sell these passes for $100.00 a month. I’ve actually been pressuring Jim Graham for guest parking passes for years, but my suggestion was to do like in Arlington where residents get booklets of hang-tags and give them to guests as needed. I even suggested charging something like $20.00 for a book of 20 passes. But too sensible for DC govt.

  • Haven’t received mine yet – but if I were an enterprising thief I would so be stealing these out of mailboxes to sell!

  • Jeez, fella, take a tablet. All the visitor pass does is make sure that if someone is visiting you (babysitters, parents, friends, girl/boyfriends) they can park (if they find a space) for longer than 2 hours and not get a ticket. It doesn’t insure they have a space and there is a time limit – not sure what it is, but I think there is. Either way, its not the visitor passes that are causing problems, its MD/VA commuters, people afraid of Public transportation (eeek a bus!) and tourists who INSIST on driving badly around town.

  • Why do we need a Residential Parking Permit programs anywhere? Is this anything more than a fees & fines revenue source for local governments? Is there really a DAYTIME parking problem in our neighborhoods……beyond the people who live here & are entitled to park?

    Who are the “evil” daytime people we want to keep out of our neighborhoods? Our local school teachers? Our local small retail staff? Service workers that we asked to come to our homes? Do we really have hoards of commuters who try to park all day while working blocks away in city center?

    Even in blocks adjacent to major shopping areas, anyone can usually park for two hours while they patronize our local businesses. Is that bad?

    The problem is at night, after RPP expires, and all our neighbors come home. The problem is residential density and not enough off-street parking for those of us who live here and allowed to own a vehicle.

    I’m a bus or bike commuter who also owns a car & lucky enough to have off-street parking….and I am a public transportation advocate whenever possible, especially for commuting. But I’m not going to hate on my neighbors who want to own a car for whatever reasons, and need street parking.

    Maybe we need to governments to stand up to parking garage barons and provide publicly-owned parking garages, and require more off-street parking for new construction.

    I, for one, would rather see teachers, store staff, & service workers parking in my neighborhood during the day than parking enforcers trolling for more money.

    • “Do we really have hoards of commuters who try to park all day while working blocks away in city center?”

      Not everyone works Downtown. Most of us are close enough to business districts that our streets are appealing parking spots for commuters. A 15 or 20 minute walk might be worth it if you don’t want to spend a fortune on garage parking. There are also the folks who drive in, park in a residential area, and take the Metro from there.

    • “Do we really have hoards of commuters who try to park all day while working blocks away in city center?”

      Until the last 3 or so years my neighborhood has and I am a 10 min walk from a Metro. Mostly VA and MD tags (were some from other states) that would drive to my hood and park all day because there weren’t even any residential zone signs on certain blocks. They they would walk to the Metro and go wherever (downtown I presume). They were doing it so they didn’t have to pay to park or pay as much to commute on Metro. This went one for years until the zone signs went up they went away. I assume they just figured out a new neighborhood to park in for free.

      • I never really understood this. The drive into the city from the suburbs is the WORST PART! Once you’re in the traffic isn’t bad. Why not take the Metro the whole way?

    • em

      I can’t speak for the parking regs in AdMo, but in SW DC there are a number of places where the two hour parking limit extends until 10 pm, 12 am, or is in 24-hour effect – necessitating the visitor parking pass.

    • I think the RPP program is essential for some areas – such as those within a certain radius of a metro station. You don’t want people treating the streets around metro stations as daily parking for their commutes.

  • By the way they have been giving these to residents for years.

  • This system is going to be uncontrollable, unenforceable, and allow a fraudulent underground business to occur (selling passes, renting passes), etc.



  • I live by the Takoma metro and I was happy to receive one. Now my guests can leave their car in the street and not worry about a ticket. I think that difficulty parking in the most congested areas is a fact of life and probably a good thing because it encourages transit use.

  • austindc

    Is this the first time on PoP where everyone agreed? It’s kind of blowing my mind.

    Anyway, I like this idea a lot, and I am glad the city is sending us nice passes we can lend out to our visitors. Besides the fact that DC has been piloting this for awhile, other cities have done the exact same thing too, and none of them have collapsed into anarchy.

    Thanks DDOT! I’m looking forward to getting mine!

  • Shhhhhh. Shhhhh. Calm down. It’s all going to be ok

  • Anybody know why only parts of Ward 6 receive the passes? I live on a street that require a residential parking permit, but my area (NE, closer to Union Station) doesn’t get visitor permits! I’d like to be saved the trouble of heading to the Police Station every time guests come to visit…

    • em

      Ward 6 residents “in the ballpark area” (defined as “bounded by North: Pennsylvania Avenue SE, East: 11th Street SE, South: Potomac Avenue SW, West: 9th Street SW) get passes because many of the spots may otherwise be taken up by people parking for ballgames (or Arena Stage, if you are closer to Waterfront Metro) well into the night-time hours.

  • The visitor passes are great, we got ours last year for ward 5. I would like to see DC getting rid of parking restrictions for vehicles with DC tags, unless the spot is metered. I don’t see the point of the current system, in regards to DC tags.

    • Perhaps to prevent someone in a non-metro accessible part of DC from drving to a metro-accessible area and using the surrounding streets as a de facto metro parking lot – parking their car for the day and taking the metro to work.

    • One purpose of the system is to allow residents to park somewhere near their houses in neighborhoods where that wouldn’t be possible without restrictions.

      Another, more controversial, but IMO legitimate purpose is to discourage street parking because the resource is scarce in some parts of the city.

  • I have my car registered in Zone 1 where I co-own a house, but live in Ward 4, where I co-own another house. Thus, my Zone 4 pass allows me to leave my car in front of where I actually live without any problem, but my Zone 1 sticker allows me to drive and park at CH metro if I need to.

  • Yeah, because that’s the obvious solution for everyone.

  • These passes have been discussed, along with several other parking chages, quite a lot on our neighborhood list serves. The program is adapted from one that has been running, apparently successfully, in other neighborhoods. The intention is certainly to make life easier for residents, not harder. In my neighborhood, it is coupled with making one side of the street “resident only.” Can’t say about for the original poster. Everone I’ve heard talk about this in my very parking-challenged U Street neighborhood is enthusiastic. Obviously, enforcement will play a piece in seeing it isn’t abused (as an RPP or ROSA substitute). But the City isn’t shy about parking enforcement, at least along U Street, as far as I can tell.

    To the original poster, before you become “astonished, and quite frankly, pissed off” to the tune of seven exclamation points and three question marks, why not take a minute to look up the information about the program on or email your ANC rep? Better yet, join a neighborhood listserv so you know what’s afoot in your neighborhood.

    • ANC-1 discussed the potential of limiting a side of the street to “resident only” but decided to not move forward with the pilot project at this time. As an Adams Morgan resident that now received the visitor parking pass, lets hope the ANC-1 moves forward with the “resident only” side of the streets.

      Many posters here must consider the difference between Wards and communities. Some communities simply don’t see the parking demand that others do. U St, Adams Morgan, Dupont, see an disproportionately higher volume of visitors and demand on residential parking spots.

  • I’ve lived on an RPP block in 1D for several years and have never received one of these passes. I checked the DDOT website and there doesn’t appear to be a ready mechanism to verify that a pass was sent or received. Maybe some people are already appropriating passes to put them on the market.

  • I think may of those commenting here miss an important point: these passes are giving random people who do not pay taxes in the area a subsidized spot to park. These passes DO get sold (walk around Eastern Market South of Penn during a work day and check out all the “guests”). In my opinion on street parking passes should cost a fixed, LARGE amount which should go directly to subsidizing public transit.

    Parking in a city should be a luxury, but for many it is a necessity: no more local markets, poor bus routes, to name just two examples. Expecting everyone to afford to “buy a garage” or “rent a spot” is irrational when for the history of the city that has not been the case.

  • The passes are a life savers for those of us who rely on the daily services of visiting nurses or home health care workers.

  • I’m new to DC and don’t own a car, so hadn’t realized how restricted parking is here. How do I know which Ward I live in, and what the specific parking restrictions are for my neighborhood? I have friends who live in MD and VA who may drive up and visit for a few hours, and don’t want them to get tickets. (Thanks for helping out a DC newbie!)

  • I live on the Hill in an area that Nats fans like to park to avoid paying for parking. I keep seeing VA tags rolling up with passes which stings a bit. They dont pay our taxes and are taking advantages somehow. Other than that they are great. I have a nanny and its an ideal situation.

  • I actually got two in the mail. Mine and my neighbor’s. I thought about keeping both and letting my neighbor either go without or call and get a replacement, but in the end did the nice thing and give him his permit.

Comments are closed.