Wait, Was Resident Only Parking (outside of stadium/special zones) a Mistake?


“Dear PoPville,

Have you heard anything about the status of the Resident Only parking program, where residents on their block can designate one side of the block as “residents only” (i.e., no free 2-hour parking like the normal zoned parking). The link for the petition on the DDOT website appears to be dead (See link at the bottom of the page labeled “Resident Only Form”.) I just called DDOT and they said that the resident only program has been suspended until they can go through the rulemaking process. As I understood it the program was apparently incorrectly implemented, and was supposed to be for special zones like around the ballpark. But it somehow became a citywide thing where any neighborhood could petition the city for resident only parking. So it sounds like for now there won’t be any more of those red and white signs going up. They did say that this does not affect the other programs where neighbors can petition to have zoned parking hours extended.”

33 Comment

  • Interesting. I haven’t seen this in too many places. The 1300 block of Park Rd (near DC USA, Giant, etc) was one of the first blocks to get this, which made sense given the proximity such a large commercial hub. I think it’s fair as long as there is at least some parking (the other half of the street?) available for guests, contractors, etc., as well as metered/garage parking for guests of the ballpark/stores/what have you.
    Somewhat-related: I live on a block near the metro with a sub-zone designation according to the signage (a letter following the number). However, after nearly three years the DMV has yet to actually issue a sticker to anyone that has the corresponding letter. I assume they put this in place so people from all around the ward wouldn’t drive down and park next to the Metro (which they do as it is now).

  • Whoever told you that was incorrect. The Resident Only parking program was a pilot program to be tested in Ward 1 and wasn’t meant to be applied throughout the city (yet). It has nothing to do with the stadium or any other “special” area. From D.C. Code § 50-2551:
    “(a) There is established a Ward 1 Enhanced Residential Parking Program (“Program”). Any Ward 1 Advisory Neighborhood Commission (“ANC”) may, by resolution of that ANC, vote to include blocks within the ANC in the Program. The Program will consist of the following requirements:
    (1) Any block that participates in the residential permit parking in Ward 1 shall have at least 50% of the legal residential parking spaces on that block designated as Zone 1 Permitted Parking Only;
    (2) A visitor parking pass program shall be available to residents similar to the program in Mount Pleasant required by § 50-2537; and
    (3) Any resident owning a vehicle registered at an address on a Ward 1 residential block may be granted a Zone 1 residential parking sticker, in accordance with the process developed by the Mayor pursuant to § 50-2552.
    (b) Blocks within a streetscape construction project impact zone, as designated by the Mayor, shall be excluded from the Program until the Mayor declares that all major construction associated with the streetscape has been completed.
    (c) The Program shall not apply within one block of a ward boundary. Streets within one block of a ward boundary shall instead be designated so that vehicles displaying a valid residential permit for either adjacent ward may park on any such block that was a residential permit parking street before the institution of the Program.”
    DDOT did mess up in a few places, though. My block is near the border of zones 1 and 2, yet the new signs only allow zone 1 parking. Technically, they should allow zones 1 & 2. But that’s someone else’s problem to remedy.

  • How odd.
    I think in general having one side of the block as resident-only parking is a good thing. It can get a little complicated when it’s street-sweeping day for the other side, but overall, a good thing.

    • my block is like this. it makes it twice as hard to get repair people, contractors, etc. in and it does nothing for the overnight parking situation.

      • I use the guest parking pass when I have visitors/contractors. The only time it’s really been a problem is on street-sweeping days.
        Agreed that it does nothing for neighborhoods where after-hours nonresident parking is an issue, like U Street, Adams Morgan, etc. I think some of those areas have successfully petitioned for the restricted hours to be extended — talk to your ANC rep if that’s something that would benefit your neighborhood.

  • I’d say this program is necessary, because areas which get a high amount of out of town traffic (U St, H St, Col. Hts) would be nearly impossible for residents to park in otherwise. The city needs to prioritize street parking for people who live in the neighborhood.

    • I’m not so sure that one should have priority over the other. While restricting visitor parking will drive some to use public transit, others will take their business elsewhere.

  • I hope not, this is great program. I love that I can actually park on my street when I get home from work.

  • saf

    I hate this program. And yes, I live in a place where it is not always easy to park. But public space is public space and should not be restricted in this way.

    • +1. The city should not prioritize/subsidize local residents. Why should the owner of a million dollar rowhouse get free priority parking. If they want to keep a car in the city make them pay. The cost of street parking should be raised dramatically in areas with retail. Ideally, the market should determine what the cost of a street spot is worth.

      • saf

        Well, I don’t own a million dollar row house, and neither do my neighbors.

        • Neither do I, and I realize that you only have to be a resident to get a permit. But many of the houses in DC cost that much, and I was merely attempting to point out the absurdity of a situation where we subsidize car ownership by the wealthy.

          Public space should not be restricted to locals. This is particularly appalling in high priced neighborhoods where housing prices have risen in part because streets have become safer and retail has returned.

          • sorry don’t get how restricted parking translates into : “where we subsidize car ownership by the wealthy.” Last I checked I paid for my parking permit meaning I paid and someone from MD did not. The fee is $35 for 2 years. If you can afford the car you can afford the permit with it. (and I am far from a millionaire, just a lowly renter at that!)

          • You are paying $35 for two years of street parking. On the open market this privilege would likely cost much more (private monthly parking in DC is often 100-200 per month). The current permit is therefore a subsidy. DC is one of the wealthiest cities in America. Therefore DC is subsidizing car parking for many wealthy people.

          • Last time I renewed I paid $35 for one year. Did I miss something — did D.C. make the RPP the same cost for one year and for two years, so as to encourage people to renew their registrations for two years?

          • “I was merely attempting to point out the absurdity of a situation where we subsidize car ownership by the wealthy”
            –> What do you define as wealthy? My neighbors and I make the average DC income, live in small condos, and some of us need cars to get to our jobs because they’re in Metro-inaccessible areas. We pay taxes (income taxes and property taxes) in DC, and we pay to street park our cars near our homes. Why should a car with a MD or VA plate (visiting a restaurant), in a Metro-accessible city location, have priority parking over me and my neighbors? I’m sure MD/VA folks would be incensed if they had to circle around their neighborhoods looking for parking every night at 7pm, before dinner, trying to come home from work.

          • I get that the price should be raised, but your claim about subsidizing the wealthy is faulty reasoning. The result could potentially be the opposite. If the rates were raised to $200, for example, it would price out many residents from driving… which may be your intended result, but it would burden the people who actually need their cars. $35 is affordable for most. $200 is chump change for a rich person, but a heap for a poor person. It just makes the rates of street parking match those of garage parking, so any kind of car ownership or parking is for the richer and not the poor. And who makes the distinction about who should or shouldn’t own a car? Those with handiman jobs? Having children? Faraway job? Physical handicap or limitation? Late night or early morning commute?

          • If street parking was market rate, then prices would adjust accordingly. If you need a car then you would have to spend $200/mnth on parking–meaning you would have to spend that much less on rent, etc. Currently street parking is priced into the rent. But it shouldn’t be. This problem could also be solved if DC allowed non car owning residents to sell their permits. As it stands now–people who don’t own a car are not able to take advantage of this subsidy. My point about wealthy people receiving subsidies, was only to show that if we are going to give out subsidies they should be tailored to people who need them most.

      • Maybe the owners of all those million dollar row houses should get a bone thrown to them every so often since they are paying $$$$ in property taxes that pay for the sidewalks and roads that non-residents get a free ride on.

      • “The city should not prioritize/subsidize local residents.” Do you mean prioritizing certain ward residents over those of other wards? If so, I can see your point. I’m unsure on that issue myself. If you mean that DC shouldn’t allow its own residents to have priority over nonresidents, then I couldn’t disagree more.

  • I never understood weekday working hour restrictions… why would I care if someone parks on my block while my car is at work?? I would rather the restriction be during after hours/weekends when I am more likely to be home and need somewhere to park

    • it’s so commuters can’t drive into the city partway, park on residential streets, and metro to downtown. That’s how the RPP system got started.

    • That’s why our block petitioned for and got an extension. Now we’re residents only from 7am-midnight every day. Now if only they’d enforce it on the weekends…

  • I have them on my street….Biltmore in Adams Morgan. I love them!

  • clevelanddave

    This is an indirect subsidy to builders who are allowed to increase density of their property without having to have the requisite and appropriate number of parking spaces. It allows them to build more on less land. For example a townhouse that would have previously been allowed to be X sq feet of saleable space is now X + however many square feet would have been devoted to parking – whatever they could charge for the parking spaces. Instead of doing something sensible, like requiring builders to include parking spaces in new developments or building parking garages in high density areas, there is this half assed solution that simply takes away street parking for visitors, shoppers, workers and others who need them and give it to residents, owners and renters who have nowhere to park.

  • Honestly, all of us DC residents that have street parking permits should be able to park in any ‘zoned parking’ area. By limiting parking to Zone ‘X’ only, you are alienating other paying residents and forcing them to fight for parking with those from out of state. I live in Zone 5 so usually there isn’t a fight for parking, but when I want to drive to meet friends in Dupont, U Street, Columbia Heights, it becomes a huge pain.

    • That would be nice! But I wouldn’t go that far. I think it’s fair that residents have “preferential” parking (so to speak) near where they live, but that’s it. It’s hard enough for the residents of those neighborhoods to find parking already, it would be worse if the whole city had equal dibs. Besides, if you live in the city you’ve got plenty of other options – bus, rail, bike, walk, cab/uber.

    • I argue for the opposite, that we make the zones smaller (more on the order of ANC zones). Residents can park near their homes with no limitations, but non-residents (of the neighborhood, even if they are District residents) should pay meters or garages or find alternatives. The areas with tightest parking (like all of the areas you mention) are also those best served by public transit, and parking policies should reflect that and encourage people to more seriously consider those alternatives. People who absolutely must drive, still can but should pay to park their vehicle.

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