Your Afternoon (illegal) Parking Problems Post

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This was about 8:45 this morning.

“Dear PoPville,

How does one get MPD or DPW to enforce rush hour parking restrictions – in this case along the Mall? Sure, we’ve all been in the position of parking a few minutes before the restrictions end and waiting until 6:30 (or whatever time) to be safe. But some food and ice cream trucks have taken this to a new extreme, parking in the rush hour lanes on 7th street and elsewhere early in the morning (8am) and just waiting in their vehicles (or waiting in a car, saving the space) until parking becomes legal at 9:30. Cops seem uninterested in chasing them off. Meanwhile, traffic backs up because the lane isn’t available for use.”

30 Comment

  • This is an uphill battle you will never win or see anyone care enough to address. There are far fewer safety related parking restrictions in DC than revenue-generating scam restrictions. The District makes a lot more money taxing citizens who live here than Maryland-based vendors who never pay their tickets or buy off the meter-maids.

  • nightborn

    You really can’t. I would say call 311 and report, but 311 won’t do a thing. I recently tried reserving spots for a moving truck, paid the fees, put up the signs as directed, and when the cars didn’t move, nothing happened even though I called 311 like I was told. They don’t care.

    • I also recently paid the fees to reserve space for a moving truck, put up the signs, and they were totally ignored. So I called 911 and an officer arrived within 15 minutes and ticketed the cars. She wasn’t able to get a tow truck to show up, but at least the owners of those cars got tickets.

      • I bet if you called the towing companies directly they would be happy to take the cars away. They don’t seem to have too many checks and balances, either.

        • I had a similar problem a few months ago. If it is a weekday, Parking Enforcement will ticket and tow, but on a weekend, you need to get a cop to ticket, then call parking enforcement to get towing approval and then you can call the tow company. I tried getting the ticket and then calling tow companies directly but they would not do it without approval from Parking Enforcement. At that point, I gave up.

  • justinbc

    Find a lamp. Rub it. Hope for a magic wish granting genie. This is basically the only way.

  • Perhaps contact the Park Police (or another Federal agency)? Seems like a safety concern (read: terror threat) if large idling trucks are along the length of the Mall and blocking lanes.

    • What???

      How are food truck parked along the mall – serving the millions of tourist who visit our city and spend their money here, a terror threat?

      • They aren’t, obviously. But if the OP wants to see action, that might be a good way of phrasing his argument (e.g. highlighting security concerns of trucks illegally blocking traffic during rush hour in an area close to the White House and memorials).

      • So they should be allowed to park there, illegally, with impunity, simply because they serve up hot dogs to tourists?

  • I complained to Jim Graham’s office several years ago about the sidewalk vendors that park in front of the Safeway and CVS in Adams Morgan… and remain there all day, despite the 2-hour (or was it 4-hour?) parking restriction.
    Absolutely nothing happened. Hoping I’ll get more responsiveness from Brianne Nadeau (if she wins the general election).

  • I’d call 911. It’s not an emergency per se, but 311 definitely isn’t going to do anything within the necessary timeframe.

    • Yeah..probably don’t do this. 911 is reserved for emergencies.
      Just like with much of the senseless crap that goes on in this city there’s nothing you can do about it. Just put your head down, suck it up, and think of England. Or if you’re smart, move.

      • Incorrect. 911 is the number for police (or fire or ambulance) response, emergency or non-. If you call 311 and ask for police for a non-emergency, they will tell you to call 911. Go ahead. Try it.

        Anon, go ahead and call 911, but they’re not going to prioritize the call any differently than 311 would. It still goes at the bottom of the list of things the police have to do.

      • I feel like this must come up at least twice a month on PoPville.
        In D.C., 911 is for NON-EMERGENCY calls as well as emergency ones. Several years ago, D.C. decided to use 311 (which had previously been for non-emergency police calls) for city services, and to direct both emergency calls AND non-emergency calls to 911.

      • That hasn’t been strictly true in years. In DC 911 is for anything that requires police intervention. Here’s the rundown: And from that site, one of the reasons to call 911: “Illegally parked cars that are blocking traffic.”

      • 911 in DC is for all police needs, emergency and non-emergency. If you called 311 and ask for non-emergency police, they just transfer you to 911.

  • The Mall area is ticketed by Park Police since it’s federal grounds, not MPD or DPW. Call them.

    • 7th Street is a DC Street, not an NPS St. So Park Police do not have jurisdiction there.

      • Not entirely sure that this is true. There’s concurrent jurisdiction in many parts of the city.

  • If I remember correctly, AnonMPD said that parking infractions and minor driving infractions were not a high priority of MPD.

  • But they’re out there ticketing my car at 2:30 in the morning for parking a few feet too close to a stop sign on a street 5 blocks away from Georgia Avenue…

  • If you add up the total amount of human time wasted by illegal actions like disrupting rush hour, it probably makes sense to make it a priority. Also it is a clear case of the needs of the many outweighing the desires of the few.

  • Walking? Take the Metro? Ride a bike? Helicopter?

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