Dear PoPville – “DC Parking Enforcement Needs a Ticket”


“Dear PoPville,

The attached picture is of a DC Parking Enforcement vehicle parked in one of the 4 parking spots zoned for 15 minute drop off in front of the Department of Energy Daycare facility. No officer in the car, no officer anywhere to be seen- 8:55 am, the height of the drop-off rush. Now, I wouldn’t be quite so incensed by this if the DC Parking staff did anything to make the parents’ drop-off easier in general.

However, in the two years that I have been taking my kid to this facility, I have never seen a Parking Officer anywhere in the vicinity of this zone during the peak drop-off and pick up times for daycare. This results in, on average, 4 mornings a week having at least one and sometime as many as three of the spots occupied by various jackasses who can’t read signs and are doing anything but dropping off kids. I’ve seen people taking naps, a 2 seater Ferrari, and more of those damn car-share cars than I can count. This results in harried parents lining up 5 cars deep waiting for a spot to open up-often as long as 20 minutes. I have never once seen a ticket on any of these cars.

However, Parking Enforcement manages to somehow nail parents who forget to pay the meter. Why we need to pay the meter when we have parking permits for those spaces is another mystery. It’s gotten so bad that I have taken to simply double parking beside whatever moron is illegally parked with my hazards on and blocking them in while I run my kid inside. This hasn’t given me a whole lot of satisfaction as usually whoever is parked there is off doing whatever idiots do and I am out of there in 3 minutes flat.

If this hadn’t been a particularly unusual morning with multiple open spots, I would have most certainly blocked that Parking Enforcement car in. They could do such a service at this location by simply being around the area during peak hours and moving folks along. It would work out great for them- they could patrol the entire L’Enfant area and hand out dozens of tickets in all the spaces around that area while swinging by the reserved spots every 10 minutes or so to keep the area clear for parents. I have long given up expecting logic and public service from the DC government.”

24 Comment

  • I hope you feel better after writing. Telling a parking enforcement car that they can’t park anywhere they want is pretty much a non-starter.

    In the grand pantheon of things to get cheesed about, this seems pretty tiny.

  • I’ve seen one cause an accident when double parked.


  • Emmaleigh504

    Is it possible to ask parking enforcement to patrol the area? I don’t think ratting on this employee will get you anywhere but maybe they can get the other folks abusing the spots.

  • Why do you think you don’t have to pay the meter?

  • See Click Fix. Report illegal parking here:

    Also, it’s not really productive to call everyone “idiots” and “morons” – just makes you seem really bitter and confrontational.

  • Have you contacted 311 and requested parking enforcement? Usually they are very responsive.

  • Does the signage specifically say that the 15-minute dropoff/pickup is for the daycare?
    If not, it seems like it could legitimately be used by anyone doing a dropoff/pickup (of spouse, friend, etc.) at L’Enfant Plaza.

  • “Why we need to pay the meter when we have parking permits for those spaces is another mystery.”
    I don’t understand this — how can you have a parking permit for a space that’s metered? I didn’t think such a thing existed.

  • So OP is upset because some people get ticketed and others don’t? Life is unfair, move on…..or pursue a career in parking enforcement to right the great wrongs of the world.

  • What pisses me off is when the parking enforcement guy rides his segway through the crosswalk, against the don’t walk sign. And usually while smoking a cigarette. Do other city employees get to smoke on the job?

    • Yes… any city job that gives you a motor vehicle (segway, car, etc.) gives you ample time to smoke on the job. It’s amazing to me how this country has gone so full circle in the last 25 years on smokers. It went from a social norm to a demonized activity. Demonized though they may be, smokers are and have always been great multitaskers. There’s a reason there was never a “no smoking and driving campaign” the way there is with texting and talking on cell phones.

  • ah

    When I saw the picture I thought this was the almost unheard of instance of a parking enforcement car parked in a *legal* spot. Kudos to the enforcer for not parking at a corner, blocking a wheelchair ramp and an intersection. Points off for spending too much time in an otherwise legal space. But not many.

  • mtpgal

    After reading these comments I see that you really have to have experienced it to get it. For the OP, I am also a parent with a kid at this daycare and I completely understand and have also almost lost it on people for parking in these spots. Don’t get me started about the Car2Go. After Tara’s email to us yesterday I contacted the city and I plan to continue to do so. This is an incredibly narrow and busy street (constant tour buses) where very young children are constantly moving in and out and these spots are really a safety issue during the peak hours.

  • have you considered taking the metro? kids under 4 ride free. you’d probably be a lot less stressed.

    bad parkers make me angry. so do people who want special treatment because they managed to pop out a kid or three.

    • mtpgal

      Have you tried to get around Metro using only elevators? Having a stroller or being in a wheelchair is extremely difficult on Metro because the elevators are constantly broken. Sometimes you can’t physically get to or out of stations.

      • I agree that sometimes metro elevators are broken. But the OP didn’t make any indication that she is disabled. The fact that she can be in and out of the day care in 3 minutes flat probably means she is pretty mobile. This day care is right near l’Enfant Plaza, which has multiple elevators and might not even require her to take her kid outside. If she wants to use a stroller, she certainly can…and on the rare occasions that the elevator is broken fold it up and use the escalator. Or put the kid in a front or back pack. Or let the kid walk. It can’t take that much longer than parking seems to.

        • Seriously? And what if OP’s office is no where near the daycare – like say Georgetown where Metro is not an option. While Metro is convenient for some, it doesn’t work for all at all times in their life. And making a kid walk when you’re rushing to work, etc. is not a fun way to start the day.

        • mtpgal

          The L’Enfant elevators were out of service all Spring. having an infant (needing head support) and a folded stroller and a bag for work and a cooler for the baby’s milk is not feasible on an escalator.

  • Here is spot and you can see the signs:

  • saf

    Take their tag number and the time and report them to 311. Take a photo and submit it if you want.

  • Let’s hope your kid learns the lesson of how miserable a life is, when “You’re livin’ for your car.”

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