New Parking Signs around U Street

Dear PoPville,

I was happy to see that DC started putting up signs on 11th Street (between W and U, at least) that restrict parking to certain times — which in theory should make it easier for residents to park during peak times. But I was confused/surprised by the times that are covered by the restrictions (see attached pic):

Monday thru Friday, 7am-8:30pm.

Having lived at 11/V for 4 years, the hardest times to find parking is weekday and Saturday evenings from 7p-midnight (nightlife), and Sunday from 11a-5p (church). These times are barely covered by the new regulations, per the signs. (Also, side-note: the church-goers tend to double park, park in bike lanes, park at bus stops, etc — and I’ve NEVER seen DC parking enforcement come around on a Sunday.)

Do you know what is up with this?

DDOT issued a press release that says:

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to complete the implementation of the Enhanced Residential Permit Parking (ERPP) program in Ward 1 over the next few weeks. The ERPP program protects parking for neighborhood residents by designating one side of the street resident only parking from 7 am to 8:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

New signage for the ERPP program will be posted on blocks with traditional Residential Permit Parking (RPP) restrictions in ANCs 1A, 1B and 1C (ANC 1D opted out of the ERPP program). One side of the street will have RPP restrictions, and the other side will have enhanced restrictions.

RPP provides residents, with a residential parking permit, the ability to park on streets in their permitted area. Non permit holders may park in these areas for a maximum of two hours. By contrast, only residents may park on a curb with ERPP restrictions during the posted hours of enforcement, and an ERPP violation is a towable offence.

DDOT is implementing legislation sponsored by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and passed by the DC Council earlier this year. Crews will be working on an accelerated schedule to install about 2,500 new signs on approximately 550 neighborhood blocks included in the program. The installation will begin on or about November 17.

Anyone else think the program should be extended through the weekends?

88 Comment

  • I don’t work for dc.gov but I think in neighborhoods/streets where parking is always tough, the enhanced parking is to help those who actually live find places to park. Though odd that it’s M-F, primarily during normal business hours, people who drive into the city often park in these spots. Parking enforcement doesn’t happen on Sunday anywhere in this city, unless someone is able to correct me on this point. As for Saturday when people might need the enhanced parking most, well that is probably a decision of money greasing the pockets, by which I mean that that’s when revellers come in to enjoy the city’s offering/nightlife, so it would be hard to make it more difficult for them on prime nights.

    • This is said below, but really should be up top:

      The hours are set by resident request. My block in the same neighbor has selected 7:30 am – midnight, Mon-Sat.

      (I believe the hours of the old two-hour restriction were also resident-selected, back in the day, and those hours are probably the default for the new signs if nothing else was done.)

  • Probably a stupid question, but if you give someone your visitor permit to use, does that mean they can park on the “residents only” side of the street? Or just the visitors side, but not limited to 2 hours?

    • If they have a visitors parking permit, it is supposed to allow that car to be able to park on the enhanced parking side. I got this information from the police department when I got a visitors parking permit and I asked this question. You might want to double check, though, to be sure.

  • The ERPP program is better than nothing, but I agree that for people in nighttime/weekend “destination” neighborhoods, it doesn’t address the hours when parking is most at issue.

    I’d recommend that the OP lobby his/her ANC representative and Jim Graham to get the ERPP hours extended within the ANC single-member district.

  • Yeah I agree this is a nice start, but not enough. I live in ANC 1C and we need the restrictions just like the people in Cap Hill have around Eastern market – at night too, because that’s when it’s the worst.

  • I just noticed one of these on 11th and Park for the first time yesterday. It’s a tough call – I want the businesses in my neighborhood to do well, but it can be a freaking pain, especially on Friday and Saturday night, to find a spot.

  • We “enhanced” the hours of the restrictions on our block. Simply takes a majority vote of your block.

  • My sister is staying with me for a few months from out of town and registered her car as a long term guest (it’s a $200 fee and you’re supposed to be exempted from ROSA violations for 6 months).

    Unfortunately, she’s received two $125 ROSA violation tickets since registering over the last few weeks. The traffic cops are supposed to run her license plate through the computerized system before giving the ticket – and they would see that she is exempted from ROSA – however they don’t seem to be doing that.

    My sister is about to start the process of fighting these tickets, but we are worried that she will continue to get more. Dealing with tickets is a pain in the butt and time consuming.

    Does anyone know how many temporary two week passes I can get her from the local precinct station? I live at 11th & W, so these new signs are going to significantly affect her parking circumstances and I’m assuming MPD is going to step up enforcement in the area in order to profit off the confusion that occurs when new signs go up.

    • Did residents of your ANC district not get those little visitors’ passes (shiny, on card stock-like paper) in the mail? I’m not sure whether they were distributed ward by ward or ANC district by ANC district. I think they’re supposed to work the same as the ones with an expiration date, except there’s no expiration date (or it’s a year away or something).

      But if the parking enforcement people see the same car with the same visitor’s pass for a long time, they’ll probably still assume it’s a ROSA violation, so (unfortunately) I’m not sure whether the pass would make a difference in your sister’s case.

    • I don’t understand, if your sister registered for long-term parking and paid $200, didn’t she also get some sort of sticker or something to put in the windshield, so when ticketing officers come and look for parking violations, they would see this and not ticket her? I’ve never done the long-term parking thing so don’t know if they give a sticker or what, but it would make obvious sense.

      • No, they don’t give you a sticker. My sister specifically asked for one and the DMV person told her that parking enforcement will run her license plate through the database and see that she’s exempted. Unfortunately, that does seem to be true.

        For anyone who doesn’t have a guest parking pass, one can get more info here. I just called them and they will be sending mine out in the next batch mailing out on December 10th. The call took only 3 minutes! :)
        http://www.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/About+DDOT/News+Room/Public+Notices/Visitor+Parking+Pass+Program+Update

        • Hm, right, that would be too obvious – put sticker in windshield. Is it laziness not to run license plate through system or is it that the workers are not all on the same page regarding process?

        • Things may have changed. When I registered for ROSA 7 years ago I got a registration sticker for my windshield.

        • Go to your district police station and get a regular 2 week visitor pass. A sympathetic officer might even write you one for a longer time. The police don’t actually know the rules on how many times you can get the pass – neither does Jim Graham’s office, or apparently DDOT! I’ve been told everything. But haven’t had to get one for a while since we finally got the sensible permanent cards.

    • You can get her as many two-week passes from the local precinct as you want—meaning one at a time every two weeks. Or that’s what I did when I had contractors but no ERPP. They’re pretty easy. Just get a copy of her registration and take it to the police station.

  • My poor Maryland boyfriend. I love him so, but he hates coming to see me in Columbia Heights.

  • I too live at 11th & V, and have always thought the hours of parking restrictions were funny, even before the Enhanced version. Finding a spot around here at noon on a weekday has never been a problem, so why the additional restrictions?

    Maybe I’m being overly cynical, but my take has always been that they’re not about keeping visitors out, but about making it difficult for residents to live here without registering. If you move here with an automobile registered in a state or commonwealth, then these parking restrictions mean you absolutely have to get a permit (=fees), which means you have to register your auto (=fees), which I believe means you have to get a DC driver’s license (=fees).

    • +1000.

      The only way to get around it is by having a private parking space off the street. But yeah, these restrictions are all about getting local residents to register their out-of-state cars. The incidents with my visiting sister’s out-of-state car have proven this.

    • Oh no! DC is so evil, they want you to comply with the laws they have on the books that are so similar to the laws of every other jurisdiction in the country.

      • Are you the same Anon X who immediately below this comment says that residential parking restrictions should mostly be done away with?

        Anyway, the parking restrictions would be easier to understand if DDOT put out a statement explaining that it is a means to nudge residents toward complying with residential auto registration rules. Instead, the press release promises that it is doing us, the residents, a favor: “The ERPP program protects parking for neighborhood residents”.

        • Yes, I am. Certainly you’re not drawing some asinine parallel between reasonable requirements of residency and jurisdictions’ tendencies to enact bad public policy when it comes to parking…?

    • It’s a reasonable requirement that people who live here also register their cars here. Your insurance company also expects you to honestly report to them where your car is located, so they can charge you the proper rates. (And they will find out, or at least mine did. Funny enough, my DC rates were lower than they had been in Seattle, so the laugh was on me for trying avoid a change.)

  • Am I the only one that believes everyone has the same right to parking as anyone else and that being a resident of that specific area doesnt give you any special rights? The people trying to park are going to spend money or visit friends? They’re also probably going to leave a lot sooner than residents. What makes them have an inferior claim to find parking closer to their destination than residents do?

    Anyone who finds parking to be so important that it absolutely needs to be close to their destination should shell out the money that it costs to park in a garage, buy a house/condo/apartment with parking, or some other arrangement.

    • They have similar but more strict parking regulations in Northern Virginia, too. It’s not just DC.

      • I know. Its common many places. I just dont like the public outcry that leads to these decisions. I dont like not being able to find parking near my house or near my destination. I dont think these parking restrictions are really the answer.

        One time that parking restrictions do make sense is when people are using residential areas as a commuter parking lot near metro stops… that really should be discouraged because people are essentially squatting on a public asset. Maybe it also makes sense for stadium events around Nats ball park, but they’ve taken it to an extreme since there are restrictions as far away as eastern market if I recall correctly.

        Personally, I like 2 hour parking max (anywhere between 1-4), but I dont think all streets in a zone should permit RPP holders to park there indefinitely (or 2 days or whatever the limit is) nor do I believe some parts of some streets should be RPP only at some or all times. I believe this for 2 reasons, it makes an RPP more valuable to people who are living on RPP only blocks and they pay the same as everyone else and also because it decreases the parking available to potential customers and short term visitors of residents.

        • ALL these residents knew that parking was limited when they purchased/moved into those areas. So basically the city is subsidizing their parking expenses by making it residential only.

          • Yes but what about for the people that have lived in x neighborhood and over time have watched not 1 but several huge apartment buildings/condos being built all within a few block radius of their home. Just sayin’ is not only always about people should knowing what they are getting into. Times do change.

          • So are you saying that all those residents in those new huge condos and apartments are exempt from getting zoning stickers? How does restricting parking fix this if its only restricting outisders?

          • You said ALL residents, which would also include people who have lived in x neighborhood (not in a new condo building) should have known that when they bought/moved into their home that parking is restricted/difficult/whatever. Now you are asking about the residents moving into the new condos. Now I don’t know if this is being done with each and every new condo/apartment building, but I have understood that there is supposed to be some agreement where developer includes some parking for residents (I would assume built underground in the buildings basement/sub-ground level.) Does this always happen? Probably not, though maybe depends on density of neighborhood when building is being developed.

          • Also, why would you think I think any new resident moving into new condo building should be exempt for getting a zoning stickers?

          • Just because a building is required to build X amount of spaces per units, doesn’t mean the residents will use them as those spaces comes wtih a 30K price tag on most of these new developments. I didn’t say you think they should be exempt, I’m asking if they would be becuase if not it then all parking is prettty much reserved for the “long term” residents plus all the new comers that you mentioned.

            But I think we ALL know that basis of this was to prevent visitors/partrons and from taking up parking and NOT so much renters.

          • Agreed, if it were really to discourage patrons from an area, then the restrictions would also include times outside of M-F during business hours. The city knows that the craziest times to find on-street parking are F/Sa evening/night.

          • On some of the streets the include Saturday and Sundays. I tried to park on S between 14th and 15th and the entire side of the street were for residents ONLY parking. So there are some areas where ONLY residents are allowed to park on one side of the block.

          • And what really sucks is that I have DC plates, yet I am still restricted to park anywhere. I didn’t mind paying being that I’m in different zones, but to not be able to park at all is crazinessss.

          • Agreed, I didn’t know that. I thought all the enhanced parking signs were uniform, meaning that they restricted parking to residents M-F/business hours only. I guess not all of the signs are stating the same restrictions. I get your point now. That would be frustrating. I can see worthwhile arguments on both sides. The problem is that there are too many cars in DC and the city doesn’t have an effective way to deal with this but instead uses it as an opportunity to bring more money to the city. I think it should discourage people from driving more and encourage the use of public transportation. While I know that you sometimes really do need a car and some places are not really accessible by public transporation, in a city that has good public transportation, people should be encouraged to use it more.

    • I don’t have super strong feelings about parking, but do think that residents have different parking needs in their own neighborhoods than non-residents. I can’t be moving my car every two hours every single day on the street where I live. But it’s reasonable to have a 2-hour limit when I am shopping/visiting someone/sightseeing/doing whatever (or I can pay for parking if I need longer than that).

      I do think the ward-level parking zones are absurd. Residential parking should be on the level of ANCs to make it a truly residential program.

      • Agreed and if you don’t have parking restrictions you have a HUGE problem around metro stations with people driving cars to park near metro.

    • Yes, you are the only person who believes that. Under your proposal, people living in VA but working in DC could take up every space on residential streets and pay nothing for parking.

    • Yes, “being a resident of that specific area” DOES give me (what you call) “special rights,” at least compared to the U Street nightlife crowd.

      I try to avoid using my car on weekend nights, but sometimes that is not possible. Last Saturday I had to and I came home (near 12th & W) at 11pm. I had to park 7-8 blocks away in Columbia Heights while VA- and MD-plated cars were parked all over my street. I pay taxes here. They don’t.

      My block petitioned for and will receive extended hours for these new restrictions. One side of the street will be for residents only til midnight. That won’t guarantee me a spot, but it will improve my chances.

  • As a non-DC resident who would like to support city businesses. The thing that is just nuts… is the wide range of parking restrictions that vary by neighborhood and by block. Your no longer have any idea of what the restrictions may be.
    Yes metro used to be my preferred way to travel into and out of the city.. but no longer…given that they are always doing track work on weekends and evenings.
    And yes I would be willing to pay upto $10 for parking if planning to be in an area for 2 or more hours… but much of the city does not have pay lots.
    Having lived at 16th and U St NW, I know the hazzles of limted parking but as more and more homes are converted to multi -unit dwellings without off the street parking it will just get crazier and crazier.

    • +1 agree fully with billm. I am a DC resident, but metro is not really an option for me and the city does not have enough paid parking lots in many of these new restaurant destinations. I fully support residents being able to park close to their home and I don’t feel like I am entitled to a spot wherever I want to park. I have expectations to pay for parking when I am traveling to a busy restaurant area for dinner, but there are not enough paid parking options in this area. My answer will be to look for other destinations for dining if it becomes any more difficult to park.

  • clevelanddave

    This raises a bigger issue: the fact that developers and the city work out deals where they build big new buildings but won’t allow residents of that building to get residential parking permits. This is creating a situation that not only reduces the number of cars in the city (a good thing) but results in far, far too little parking for density. These additional restrictions compound an already difficult situation by reducing even further the number of legal parking spaces. The ones who benefit most from this is DC government and parking lot owners.

  • They definitely got the hours wrong – should be the exact opposite! 7pm to 8:30am. Living in Adams Morgan I can tell you that those are the times when it is impossible to find parking.

  • I totally agree with all the comments about the times that are restricted not making sense. I live in Columbia Heights in a residential area (and have a residential parking permit), and by far the hardest time to find parking is late at night, both weeknights and weekends. I see tons of cars with MD and VA license plates parked on the street.

    It is something I have to factor in when I make evening plans to go out to dinner and whatnot. The later I return the harder it will be to find parking and the longer I’ll potentially have to walk in a dark neighborhood that can be kind of scary.

    Who can I contact to make a request that they change the hours of the parking restrictions?

  • But I live in a group house nearby, and keep my car registered in Virginia, because I think it’s cheaper for me.

    What should I do?

  • This 7 AM to 8:30 PM is completely wrong. It should be 4 PM to midnight. Asking residents to fill out petitions is really bad policy. It took me weeks of stalking my neighbors to get the last petition filled out and then they said I did it wrong and had to start over.

  • I live a couple of blocks from DCUSA and the Giant. There are large parking garages for both those facilities, but still our streets are full of cars from MD/VA and it’s often hard to find a parking space. I’d like more blocks around here to be resident only (they’ve started with one side of a couple of blocks recently). There *are* parking options for people who drive to these stores, as they will validate your ticket for 2 hours or something at the stores/restaurants. It doesn’t make any sense to have 2 hour visitor parking on the streets right around those stores, since people can get free parking for 2 hours in the garages, where residents aren’t trying to park. If you have someone coming to visit and you live around there, just give them the sparkly visitor parking tag we got in the mail.

    • I thought the DCUSA parking garage charged $1/hour and did NOT offer validation (unlike the parking garage under the Best Buy/Container Store in Tenleytown). I’ve never understood this; validation seems like it would be the way to go.

      Not sure about other parking garages in the area.

  • Ok, I live in Bloomingdale and I don’t have the hassles of everyone else–but I like to shop, eat and drink in my city–and I get the restrictions–but first of all the times are nuts per all the other comments–and sigh–it just makes it harder to do what I like to do–particularly in the early hours of the day. Yeah, I already take a cab, walk or Metro at night–I’m an urban girl, and I get it. But the long hours posted during the daytime just make me not want to do my errands locally–it just seems like another crazy and poorly executed layer of bureaucracy from our DC government.

  • I have a Zone 1 sticker but frequently park(ed) in Zone 2 near my office before the new signs went in. I could pay the meter for a little while and move the car once and still be within a stone’s throw of my office and ticket-free at the end of the day. Nice, especially when the lot at my building is full, which is often. Now with the new restrictions the remaining sides of the street are totally full all the time and I basically can’t drive to work anymore. I guess I am one of the neighborhood parking hogs the new signs are targeting. It’s working!

  • In general it is a nice concept, and I support the idea in theory. It appears that “d.” has gone overboard on the number of spaces they allocate to residents. I’d like to hear them say they will monitor, evaluate, and reallocate spaces to reach the closest match they can between supply and demand. Already you drive into the neighborhoods with these signs to conduct business and cannot find a space. Meanwhile there are plenty of empty parking spaces set aside for residents that are not being used. This is a mis-allocation of public parking spaces that will discourage the very activity that makes the city so lively.

  • Why do residents need spaces from 7am to 8:30pm? Many leave their parking spaces to go to work in the morning then need them again when they come back after work – exactly the opposite of the folks who drive into the city and need to park in the neighborhoods during the weekday. Why doesn’t the city actually charge people who drive into the city to work and need to park in the neighborhoods for a “daytime only” sticker? That would be a really smart use of the public parking spaces. And a revenue generator.

    • You raise some good points/question here. As to why residents might need on-street parking during M-F/business hours. It’s possible that people work from home, who have cars, or are home for x day/s. It’s possible that a family has more than 1 car and only 1 of the cars is a commuter car. My personal favorite is why would you drive if you live in the city AND work in the city? It’s almost (with a few notable exceptions) ridiculous to not walk, not bike or not use public transportation.

      • It’s nice for residents to have spaces near their homes when they return from work (for most this happens prior to 8:30).

      • Yes, I have a car and I have a free parking lot at work but I prefer the walk. So my car stays on my block all day, but then again I’m not trying to park there during the day either so the parking restrictions don’t help me in particular.

    • Not everyone works a standard 9-5 job

  • The residential parking restricted hours, like most things, are ass-backward here. In Chicago and other cities I’ve visited with zoned residential permits, the restrictions are in effect from evening dinner hours through the night. Anyone who’s ever parked in a city knows that this is peak street parking demand. Parking regulation and enforcement is, perhaps more than anything else, a window into how corrupt and incompetent the goons who run this city are.

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