Is it Time for Council Members to Park Legally Like Everyone Else?


A reader sends in the photos from Sunday afternoon:

“I thought this was kinda interesting – DC councilwoman Yvette Alexander parked illegally in front of Eatonville at 14th and V Sts.”

Readers often send in photos of Council Members parking in non legal spaces. At the moment – Council Members are not obligated to following parking regulations. I’m thinking this is a ridiculous entitlement. It’s not like they aren’t compensated in other ways – 6 figure salaries. Or do you think it’s still a useful entitlement as they have to attend multiple meetings all over town? Def. makes driving to brunch easier…


59 Comment

  • It makes sense for CMs to have more flexibility when parking throughout the city, e.g. not having to pay for a metered spot. But by leaving her car in a non-spot (as shown above), Ms. Alexander is making it difficult for people turning right from V to 14th. Let CMs park wherever they please, so long as it’s a real parking spot, and not just a void where a car can fit.

  • word on the street is the DC has cabs… if you need to get to meetings and don’t want to bother with parking. I’m filing this under ridiculous.

  • I’d be all for letting them exceed the 2-hour limit in residential areas.

    But I can’t think of any spots where parking is restricted where it is not a safety issue (sight lines at intersections, ability of buses or fire trucks to turn onto streets, hydrants, etc.). So no, they should not be able to park in those places, either.

  • It is absurd. It’s really annoying when DC cars are illegally parked like this, close to an intersection, so that when trying to turn a driver has to inch way out into an intersection to get a line of sight. It’s a public hazard.

    • Welcome to Bloomingdale on a Sunday morning.

      • And it’s not just Sunday in Bloomingdale. At almost every intersection of a cross street with North Capitol – R, Randolph, S, Seaton, T, etc – cars are illegally parked too close to the intersection and make it unsafe for pedestrians and drivers because they can’t see. I’ve contacted DPW and the police, but they rarely do anything. The same BMW X6 was illegally parked on R Street for a month before the police would do something. And after the owner was ticketed and told not to part there, the vehicle was back in the same spot this weekend. Maybe once a pedestrian is killed they will take action.

  • The CM are allowed to park illegaly when on official business. I highly doubt Alexander was on ANY official business while eating brunch.

    So Alexander abuses her privilege yet again. Not shocked at all from this CM.

    Yes, as the CM’s cannot follow the letter of the law that allows them privileges, this should be removed from them permanently.

    • Do we actually know that she was having brunch, or even in a restaurant for that matter?

      • Nope. And if we ask her, what are the odds she’s answer?

        What official business is she doing in Ward 1 on a Sunday afternoon?

        • I don’t know, and I don’t care to speculate. But it sounds like you do.

          • Awwwwwww…. is Yvette your friend?

            What “reason” would you like to give for a CM parking in a crosswalk? Please… I’m all ears.

          • Come on, grow up. If you were reading carefully you’d know that I didn’t defend her. I just think it’s stupid for you to add assumptions to your argument when you have more than enough facts already.

          • Cmon, lighten up.

            Yvette wouldn’t care one whit what anyone but her backers have to say about her.

            I think it’s stupid that you want to bitch about what I wrote rather than discuss the blog post itself. So I then assume you are most certainly a person who backs this CM. Say something on the post itself. My comments are my own. And it’s early on a Monday, so i don’t give a hoot about making a valid argument on a neighborhood blog.

          • Don’t fret, I am light. I wish I had known you weren’t trying to make a valid point in the first place, I would have spared us the repartee.

    • I’ll compare my point to the valid point you made about the subject of this post… oh wait,… you haven’t made any.

      I must be too old to understand. 🙂 Happy Monday to you.

  • devoe

    This is a public safety issue – different only in degree from parking in front of a fire hydrant. Alexander should be ashamed.

  • There’s a difference between parking in a legal space and not being required to pay, and parking in a tow-away zone (as seen above) and not having to face any consequences. The former is a fine perk, the latter is not.

  • If they choose to drive they should have to park legally just like the rest of us do. They need to come down off their high horse and use public transportation like the rest of us common folks do.

  • on Sundays… there is no parking enforcement. Last sunday, there was a car parked in front of the fire hydrant at Trio’s… and when I say they were “parked”, I mean they were about 5 feet from the curb… and half way into the street. The car had VA tags, and it had the keys in the car…. it was there for about two hours.

  • Ha, Alexander once nearly hit me when she ran a red light in the same general area. She had her window down so I asked (rhetorically of course) whether it might be a good idea to try to avoid plowing down pedestrians while driving a car with council plates.

    That was only eclipsed by E. Gail Holness (during her campaign for council) getting so overexcited about stopping to talk to a potential constituent that she suddenly reversed her car which was double parked in a bicycle lane and nearly took out two cyclists; and then stopped and yelled to them “I love cyclists! I am a cyclist!”

  • For business purposes, yet. It wouldn’t be cost effective to have to make the city pay for parking when a council person is on official business. When they eat at restaurants or other social occassions they should pay from their own pocket like everyone else.

  • We should have a special tank that takes out cars illegally and dangerously parked on a corner.

  • If we demand they follow the big laws (campaign finance, ethics…) then they have to follow the little laws. They should have sufficient travel funds to take advantage of taxis when business demands they don’t have time to park. This kind of entitlement breeds corruption.
    In the quest to clean up the council/DC government this seems like the lowest of low hanging fruit!

    • I’m sure it’s not cheap to be tooling around the city all day in cabs. Seems to me that having them go around in cabs everywhere all day on the taxpayer dime would not be so popular either.

    • I don’t think taxis is the solution (expense, time waiting around for them to show up, etc.). So during the day during the week, let them park IN LEGAL SPACES without necessarily having to fill the meter. But parking illegally is a safety hazard, and parking illegally when not on official business if a safety hazard and an abuse of privilege.

    • They should follow all laws and on their six figure salary for a part-time job, pay for their own damned transportation.

  • They are also exempt from Red-Light and Speeding Tickets .. They don’t follow the laws they create .. Just like the Metro Board of Directors ..never using metro ..

  • I’ll file this under things that enrage me the least….

  • It’s funny I remember that same car cutting me off on 95-S while she was chatting on her cell phone on her way to Pentagon City Mall two months back. It seems her sense of entitlement extends beyond my run in with her.

  • They should have to get around the city like everyone else, whether that’s Metro, bus, cab, walking or paying for parking on the street or in a garage. They shouldn’t get free parking for as long as they like wherever they want. It shouldn’t even be a discussion.

    • +1

      I mean, no parking zones are that way for a reason, right? If they are parking in those areas they are jeopardizing public safety. Why should that be permitted just because they sit on the Council. It’s shameful.

  • gotryit

    Ridiculous. There are plenty of reasonable perks that can be extended to them (i.e., all zone unlimited parking pass) that don’t present safety issues (no parking zone, hydrant, middle lane of I-395).

    Can you please forward this thread to the offended councilmembers? Perhaps we need legislation to limit stupidity. Sad.

  • In my opinion, DC Council Members should be embarrassed about driving a foreign-built car around town. It does not send the message that they support domestic jobs.

    • Most foreign cars are assembled here and are as American as the American cars. And none of them are made anywhere near DC, that seems like a high and unnecessary bar to hold anyone to.

      • Land Rovers are not made in the USA but I still agree with your point.

      • Foreign cars like this Land Rover are not built in the US. And there are plenty of American-built SUVs that stack up well to this one, though I suppose it would be a terrible hardship for a DC Council Member to be seen in a Jeep or a Chevy.

        • Doesn’t look brand new, maybe it’s from when Ford owned Land Rover.

          And what about Mazdas? Are they foreign or Fords? If we were in Detroit or Flint maybe this would make some sense. But in DC, requiring that the 10 cars owned by council members be “American” (whatever that even means anymore) is dumb.

          • It doesn’t really matter who owns who in this context. The point is, these politicians all like to talk about jobs, jobs and more jobs, but when they purchase a vehicle that in all likelihood did very little to support the employment of American workers, when they could’ve done otherwise, is a bit contradictory. And there are automotive manufacturing facilities that most likely employ some District residents, even if the plants aren’t within our boundaries.

          • First, she may have bought it used.
            Second, who cares?
            Third, its a Land Rover, she’s supporting at least 1 full time job: her mechanic.

    • I don’t see why they should be any more embarrassed about it than the rest of us.

    • I know its hard to read sarcasm on a blog, but I’m pretty sure Anonymous was being sarcastic.

  • The real question is:
    Is it time to try and change the law that allows the Council members to park anywhere?
    And the answer is:
    Good luck with that.

  • We all have meetings all over town. We live and work here just like them. They have jobs just like us and should have to obey the rules that they themselves put on the books. This is a ridiculous entitlement and should be ended, of course.

    • In their defense, I’d imagine there might be days when councilmembers have to leapfrog around the city more than the average worker (for instance, if they have 5 or 6 meetings and events in different locations on a single day), so I don’t mind some limited perks that help minimize the inconvenience. But I agree that those perks shouldn’t extend to driving and parking habits that create an undue burden for the rest of the neighborhood and/or pose a safety issue.

      • Not everyone in DC has a desk job. Plenty of people drive around all day long for work — just as much as any city council member. And none of this justifies a policy that allows them to flaunt basic public safety laws.

  • Parking illegally in a space that’s been designated as a no parking zone for safety purposes should remain illegal regardless of what parking perks you’ve been given. Nobody, not even police officers (talking to you police officers that are always park illegally where Florida and V intersect near Adams Morgan) should be entitled to park in a place that restricts the line of sight so much so that turning vehicles are required to inch their hoods into traffic just to see if anybody is coming.

  • PoPville community, please continue to post these photos. The previous comment is spot on referring to entitlement as leading to corruption. Publicly shaming people like this is an appropriate response.

  • That is a nice $80k Land Rover she is driving. What are their salaries again?

  • Fully Loaded…..

  • They should have the same parking permit that car2go uses. That seems like a reasonable balance between access to parking and safety.

  • That does not look like an 80k car, it looks like a Discovery w/ older body type. Aren’t they actively lobbying Busboys & Poet owner to open a location in SE?

  • send her an email and complain. abuse of the policy.

  • If the City Council actually did something to crack down on the under-18 thugs in this town I wouldn’t care if they parked on my front lawn. As it is they have no balls and won’t step up to do what’s right for the city so f them. They should have to obey parking signs like the rest of us.

  • Of course. I can’t even begin to send in the photos as it would turn into a full-time job. My favorite is Jack Evans parking his car in a No Parking zoned space outside 2 Amy’s in Ward 3. Look inside the front window of the joint…there he is, chowing down on a pie.

    A real man of the people.

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