You can now Comment on DDOT’s Proposed Rules to Revamp the Visitor Parking Pass Program


From DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced the publication of proposed rules that will modify the annual Visitor Parking Pass (VPP) program, and clarify the process for eligible households to receive, and use a 2015 visitor parking pass. The rules are open for a 30-day comment period, and DDOT welcomes comments on the proposed regulations.

The VPP program allows guests of District residents to park for more than two hours on residential blocks. The current 2014 passes, which would have expired on September 30, 2014, have been extended, and are valid until the end of the year. Starting January 1, 2015, DDOT proposes that the annual VPP be effective for a calendar year.

These proposed rules will require eligible households (within Wards 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F) to register either online at, or by phone at (202) 671-2700 to receive an annual VPP. The revision to the program will help DDOT better manage the demands, and evaluate program needs going forward. Depending on the outcome of the comment period, DDOT anticipates opening up registration in late October 2014.

Additionally, the proposed rules clarify the privileges and restrictions of a VPP, that it provides temporary residential permit parking privileges to a vehicle, as long as that vehicle displays a valid pass on the driver’s side of the vehicle’s dashboard, and is used only within the ANC boundaries indicated on the pass.

“We appreciate that this has been a popular program in areas that use the passes,” said DDOT Acting Director Matthew Brown. “These regulations will enable us to streamline the program, expand the eligible recipients and improve the management of the program. We encourage the public to weigh in on the rules.”

To view or to comment on the proposed rules, please visit the following website:

Written comments may be sent to  Samuel D. Zimbabwe, Associate Director, District Department of Transportation, 55 M Street, S.E., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20003. However, comments sent to DDOT’s Public Space Policy Office, are encouraged.”

62 Comment

  • What about revamping the grossly outdated Resident parking pass? At $35 a year, that comes out to 9 CENTS a day to store a car on the public streets of DC. For that price, you are better off buying a beat-up Astro van and storing your crap inside it than renting a storage unit for $100/month. The current parking giveaway does nothing to deter people on the fence about bringing their cars when they move to DC. It defies the laws of economics. The Resident passes should be at least $100/year.

    • Increasing the cost for an RPP (Residental Parking Permit) would probably be a good idea, but I don’t think an increase of that size would go over well with D.C.’s lower-income residents. For that reason I don’t see it happening.

    • Rather than a blanket price increase, I really think the zones need to be (1) much much smaller maybe at the ANC level and (2) have different prices than other zones.

      You live in ANC 2F? Something like $35/month is probably necessary. You live in ANC 4A? $35/year is probably about right.

      • I’m supportive of ANC-level zones for parking with according enforcement. For example, I live in ANC4C and 2 blocks from the Petworth metro stop. People from all over Ward 4 drive to our street, park for the day and walk to metro. I’d love to see a system similar to other parts of the country where there are meters on the streets surrounding metro, but they’re exempt for residents of that street (eg: ANC4C in my case, but similarly for the folks in Ward 1 near U street and Columbia Heights metro stations). I’d be willing to pay more for my RPP as I know it’s a higher demand area.

        • While I agree that areas with less parking should charge more because of the premium associated with obtaining a coveted spot, I am wary of driving an even bigger wedge between the desirable parts of DC and the less desirable parts. Wards 5, 7, and 8 would ostensibly have cheaper parking rates, but would still get to share the revenue from Wards 1, 2, and 3. Parking is such a hot button topic in DC that I can see people like Barry saying, “keep voting for me and I’ll ensure that you don’t have to pay for parking.”

        • The signs on Quincy say that parking is restricted except for 4C permits. However, the DMV does not issue 4C permits, only plain ‘ol 4. This perplexes me.

          • I think there was some kind of plan afoot to update the parking signage to specify ANCs in this manner. I’m not sure if there was also a plan to make RPPs specify the ANC (which they currently don’t). However, since VPPs _do_ specify the ANC, at least it means people can’t use VPPs from elsewhere in Ward 4 to park in 4C.

          • saf

            That’s for visitor passes, which are subzone specific.

          • But, as Quincy Dude notes, people are using _RPPs_ from all over Ward 4 to park near the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro.
            I see a bit of what I think is commuter-style parking on the Ward 1 side of the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro, but I suspect it’s worse on the Ward 4 side, as the Metro is on the southern edge of Ward 4 and thus doesn’t require any “backtracking” for Ward 4 drivers to get to.

        • I am a block from the Columbia Heights Metero and I wholeheartedly endorse this suggestion. $35/month for a RPP would still be a steal.

          • Well, I’ve lived a block from the Columbia Height Metro for 10 years before the Metro was even there, so no way should I have to pay $35 a month. That’s crazy. I do actually have an off-street space, but I frequently park on the street to let visitors/workmen etc. use my space.

            Meters that residents with resident stickers don’t have to pay might make sense. Better signs for parking at DCUSA & Giant would make a huge difference, as would better traffic flow to get in and out of the DCUSA garage.

          • @victoria – I don’t understand your reasoning. Why does it matter how long you’ve lived there? (BTW, I’ve lived there for 10 years myself.) There is simply no reason that RPP in DC should be less than $3 per month. None. It’s even less defensible in high-demand areas, like our block, which has additional Zone 1 only protections on top of the regular time-limited residential zone restrictions.

        • saf

          I live around the corner from you. Please, not meters on the residential streets!
          But I agree that I am sick of being a metro parking lot. I don’t have a great idea on how to deal with it.

      • PDleftMtP

        This is a good idea. You could also then get rid of the rule that you can’t have a permit if the space in front of your house (which of course isn’t reserved for you) isn’t zoned. The genesis of that was Quincy Dude’s issue, with people in wards that were mostly unzoned driving to the small zoned areas near the Metro.

      • Plus really should go up in price per car. Even if it stays low for a first car.

  • Gee, I’m glad they didn’t wait until the minute, like they did last year. Once again, they’re thinking about how to handle the permits which expire in a month. What have these jokers been doing for the last 11 months?

    • “The current 2014 passes, which would have expired on September 30, 2014, have been extended, and are valid until the end of the year.”

      • Yes, I read that, thanks. They did the exact same thing last year, so I’ll make the exact same comment I made last year:
        “This is just ridiculous. Why don’t the just extend the existing program another year while they’re figuring things out? Now I’m going to have to convince my guests the expired pass will work, and then if they get a ticket I’ll have to help them fight it? DDOT really needs to get it together. They are an extremely disorganized agency.”
        Posted by me, here, September 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm.

    • I think DDOT might have one or two other responsibilities to keep them busy in addition to the VPP program.

      • Exactly. They have studies to do. And 311 requests to ignore. And potholes to fill with loose gravel. Come on, you can’t expect DDOT to do everything on $576 million dollars per year.

  • If you own a house and are held responsible for the area from your door to the curb (or easement to the curb) that spot is reserved for your address. End of story. If I have to put down salt, keep the tree box clear of high weeds, shovel snow etc I should be able to park there all the time. Don’t like it? Try buying a house and being responsible for more than your rent.

    • It’d be more equitable if private ownership of cars was banned within DC city limits. Don’t like it? Move outside of the urban core.

      • PDleftMtP

        And that’s not how it works here. Don’t like it? Move to a different city.

        • I don’t see how it’s any more ridiculous than asserting that because you own private property, you also get exclusive access to public property adjacent to your property.

      • ….says the non-car owner. Everyone’s situation is different. What about people who live in DC but work in VA or MD in a non-Metro accessible area? Just because you don’t need a car does not mean no one else should either.

        • He’s baiting renters into a fight. The only way to fight absurdity is with absurdity. Not that I wouldn’t love DC to be a car-free utopia…

          • More like dystopia. For some people its just unreasonable to not have a private automobile. Deal with it.

          • Solution: golf carts , ATVs, and motorcycles only within city limits.

            Put a few 10 story parking garages at various places on the District line. You need to go somewhere? Take your golf cart, go get your car, and go.

            Driving and parking full-sized cars in a city where there’s a stop sign every block and the max speed is 25mph is a ridiculous waste of public space.

    • I own a house in a densely populated part of the city and have a 2 car household.

      I think its ridiculous that people think that public property should be reserved for private use. I think the “zone only” signs are silly. In this city, you can get quasi private parking for $2.xx a month. If you live on a block with zone only parking, you should be paying 100 bucks a month. Suddenly demand for this privatized public commodity would go way down. You’re not entitled to parking outside of your door. Everyone, yes even people from out of state, are as entitled to the spot in front of your house as you are.

      It sucks to park far away. It sucks to dig your car out of the snow and then lose your spot. But, thats what happens when you have to SHARE. If you want your own spot, buy a house with one, rent one fro ma neighbor or a garage.

      Think about all the people who DONT have cars who have to pay more in taxes to subsidize the unbelievably low cost of residential parking for you and me.

      • Just wondering, what are we subsidizing? I live in DC, pay income taxes and property taxes. DC residents who own cars pay income taxes and property taxes, as well as the car registration fee, inspection fee, zone sticker, and fuel tax. What part of my taxes can be cut since I’m carless?

        • Any amount they increase the cost of parking can be offset with a decrease somewhere else OR they could spend more and increase city services… its hard to say if this would actually happen since we have a big surplus (at least last time I heard, we did)… but under normal circumstances, they collect x amount in RPP fees and y amount in everything else. So, if they add 1 to x they can subtract 1 from y.

          Basically, if they attached a cost to parking that was a higher fraction of the actual value it would be a better system. Right now, we have essentially free parking for something that isnt a value-less or cost-less asset. (obviously, part of living in a society is spreading out the cost of everything so no one is paying 100% of what they use, otherwise metro AND roads would be more expensive if they had to be revenue neutral)

        • The subsidy depends on block by block demand. In many high demand areas parking costs over $200/mnth while RPP is $35/yr throughout the city. By this estimate, residents of high-demand areas (i.e. logan) who purchase RPP receive a subsidy of $2,365 a year. Currently, the only way to claim this subsidy is to own a car. It would be wonderful if DC gave this to me as cash for not choosing to own a car. Since that will never happen, they could at least increase revenues by raising RPP to the market rate.

          • Why not just eliminate all subsidies? I’m paying for schools that my non-existent kids are not using. I’m paying for parks that I don’t use. I don’t own a bike and don’t appreciate having to pay for the installation of bike lanes. I could go on and on. It would be wonderful if DC gave this to me as cash for choosing not to do any of those things.

          • Until that happens–it is best to be smart and take advantage of all possible subsidies. Own several cars, send your kids to public schools, and play in all of the free parks and museums as much as possible.

          • Schools produce an educated populace, which provides benefits to all of us. Parks create green space, which decreases DC being a “hot spot” and help clean the air. You might not use them, but you are indirectly benefiting from parks and public schools. Hard to say that about residential parking (except perhaps increasing one’s property value).

          • Hey Anon 4:14, you don’t think there are any common benefits to people being able to drive to their job, drive to cultural and volunteer activities, drive to stores to spend their money, and generally live rich active mobile lives? There are! There’s a common benefit to almost every subsidy if you choose to see it.

      • Spot on. I am the beneficiarry of one of those zone only blocks. It’s really nice, since, at a block from the Target we’d *never* get parking otherwise. That said, there’s no reason – at all – it should cost us, or anyone else, less than $3.00 per month.

    • Wow. Just wow.

    • If you want a private parking spot, buy a house with dedicated parking. End of story. Don’t like it, move somewhere else. But while you’re on a roll, what other publicly funded infrastructure would you like to claim for your own personal and private use?

      • So now I own part of Rock Creek Park because my property shares a line with it and I pick up trash there? Sweet.

    • I do own my home and we do care for our curbside space, but we have a bus stop out front (no parking allowed). So by this logic of being able to park in front of your home all the time, I’m not allowed to park anywhere. I can’t park in front of my place since that isn’t allowed and I’m apparently not allowed to park in front of anyone else’s home either.

      Nope– the idea that you have the right to reserved parking in front of your home just doesn’t work in a city for lots of reasons.

    • This is patently incorrect.

      • I think “Pretty Simple” was making a suggestion for how he/she thinks it _should_ be, rather than what he/she perceives the actual situation to be. (The language was a bit ambiguous, though.)

    • I’m surprised that people took this troll bait.

  • Did they change the eligibility? I’ve been mailed a pass for the last few years, but now the site says my Mt. P address is ineligible.

    • PDleftMtP

      I’m sure that’s the genius RPP policy that says that because anybody going to the zoo, working in the neighborhood, or storing their out-of-state car can park in front of my house as long as they want, I don’t need an RPP for the neighborhood. (In other words, if the space directly in front of your house isn’t zoned, no permit for you even though you live in the neighborhood.)

      • The space in front of my house in Mt P is zoned, and the DDOT web site still says my address is not eligible.

        • PDleftMtP

          If your mailing address is on a zoned block, you’re supposed to be eligible. The list of zoned blocks is here – if it’s out of date, you may need to call them.

        • From what I can gather, they are using multiple databases and keep changing the system. Years ago, we got a VPP. Then we weren’t eligible. Recently people nearby have been saying we are eligible, and I followed up on this and was able to get one. Other people still are getting messages that their addresses are not eligible, and I saw the advice on a neighborhood listserv that you should call in and ask for one that way. They can override the system if your address is eligible.

    • SusanRH

      On my first try it said my address was not eligible either, I reentered it in as just # Street Name and Quadrant and it worked, you don’t need Washington or the Zipcode.

    • Depends on your block (and side of the street I think) in Mt P. I live there and was just able to register my address and apply for a VPP.

  • GiantSquid

    My parents had their car window smashed this weekend and the VPP stolen. If they’re going to do this program for another year, there needs to be some way of very visibly tying it to a specific address or visitor license plate to prevent this.

    • I think that would be tricky, though. Would you have to submit the visitor’s license plate number every time you had a visitor using the VPP?
      I don’t use mine much, but I’ve had contractors use it when they’ve been doing work on my house and there’s no parking available on the side of the street that has the 2-hour visitor allowance.

    • An address on the pass would be nice, though, so I could find and have a chat with my neighbor who has given his or her pass to a commuter who simply parks for the metro.

    • This is a great reason to give out coupon-book style parking passes that are good for a specified period of time (24 hrs? 48 hrs?). You’d write the date and license plate on it for it to be valid. Then there would be nothing to steal, less incentive to sell to commuters (as has happened on metro-situated block), etc. Each resident would be issued a certain number of coupons. Perhaps additional coupons could be requested or purchased within a reasonable amount.

    • From the ddot website: “Each pass will be tracked and assigned a unique address identifier with a Quick Reference (QR) code to allow DDOT to effectively work with enforcement personnel to reduce the possibility of fraud and misuse.” It sounds like you should contact ddot and let them know that yours was stolen. Not sure if they have a way to flag the QR code as a stolen pass, but if so then at least they might be able to issue you a new one.

      • Oh, also: “If your VPP is stolen, please get a police report from the local police precinct in the area. Call DDOT’s call center at (202) 671-2700 during normal business hours and reference your police report number.” Good luck with actually getting a police report for this, though….

  • Or we could just look at other places in the world that have figured this out. In residential zones of Arlington with high attraction for non-resident parking, residents buy books of visitor tickets – I don’t know the price now, it used to be like $1.00 a ticket. You have a visitor, you give them a ticket to hang from the rear-view mirror.

  • Does anyone know why those of us in Ward 2, but not in 2f, are not eligible for the pretty placards that (I think) would save me a trip to the police station every time i have a guest or a contractor overf?

    “These proposed rules will require eligible households (within Wards 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F) to register either online at, or by phone at (202) 671-2700 to receive an annual VPP.

    • My guess would be that ANC 2F voted in favor of the program and the other subdivisions of Ward 2 didn’t. Your ANC single-member district (SMD) rep might be able to tell you.

  • I think the idea is that in Ward 2 neighborhoods are also work destinations, or close to them, so the hang tag system would be too easily taken advantage of.

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