27 Comment

  • west_egg

    Parking Enforcement vehicles lead in terms of crappy parking jobs. This example isn’t even the most egregious — I often see them blocking traffic or, a few weeks ago, parked in the southbound bike lane on 11th during the morning rush hour.
    I really do feel for these people — the work is tough and thankless. Who wants to spend all day every day getting harangued by people who are mad at you for doing your job? But this seems like an easy enough problem to fix internally — make a policy that you shouldn’t break any parking regulations while enforcing those same parking regulations, and then hold people accountable.
    (BWAHAHA! Gray administration…hold people accountable…good one, West Egg. Good one.)

    • justinbc

      The problem is that in many neighborhoods the only place available to put a car, in order to issue parking tickets, is an invalid parking space.

      • Do they actually *need* cars?

        • They can cover more area with a car than on foot, thus maximizing revenue.
          Some of their cars also have automated license plate readers. As they drive by, the scanning system will flag an out-of-state car that’s not ROSA registered or notify them of a car with unpaid tickets (so they can get the car booted).
          I’d rather have them park illegally for a short amount of time in front of a fire hydrant than have them take up a valuable parking spot in a busy area. They are crawling all over the U Street area on the weekend to ticket MD and VA drivers (who are usually tipsy & impatient). It’s easy money for the District.

          • There is a parking enforcement employee who I see a lot around U Street/14th St who rides a segway. I see him a few times a week and he is always printing out tickets (love it or hate it). This, compared to a woman who sits in her car for 30 minutes at a time (I work from home) looking at or talking on her phone on 12th and V almost every day.

          • HA, I know exactly who you are talking about in both cases. The guy is pretty young and very athletic. He’s always cruising around on that Segway.
            The woman is parked EVERY morning in front of Izakaya Seki. She also looks like she hasn’t walked more than a mile in a loooooooooooong time. Though, to be fair, my guess is that she’s in the car and waiting for the zone parking restrictions to go into force. I believe they are applied starting at 830 or 9am.

        • That said, they certainly don’t need 4 door sedans. I’d have them drive a cheap tiny SmartCar, though I’m not sure if procurement laws would allow that (SmartCars are made by Daimler).

          • justinbc

            +1 The cars are part of the job, but if they know they’re constantly going to be committing infractions they should be doing so in the least invasive vehicle possible.

          • Accountering

            I agree with this. They should be driving the smallest possible car, on the understanding that they need to be able to get in small spots (or often park illegally)

          • I wonder if they could go around in bikes instead of cars.

          • austindc

            Or we could just put them all on bikes. Just as easy to cover ground, and you could maybe still mount those cool license plate readers on them.

      • west_egg

        This is absolutely true in many neighborhoods. However, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered them double-parked mere feet from a legal (or at least out-of-the-way) space.

        • justinbc

          Even in that case, imagine you’re the one coming home, and the only available parking space that would have been there is taken up by someone out walking down the block to issue tickets. You would have missed out on it, and then likely been pissed they were there taking up space. It doesn’t hurt anyone for them to be parked where they are, as they are usually right around their car and can come move it in the event of an emergency.

          • Yeah, but you’re appealing to common sense, not to my sense of outrage. Can’t we just stick to narratives that highlight the incompetence and negligence of city employees?

  • Now THAT is a parking job I can ridicule.

  • I wish one of them would catch double parkers in Shaw, especially by the apartments below the O street Giant. They always create traffic messes during morning rush hour despite open parking spaces.

    • west_egg

      I’m pretty sure double-parking in DC is protected by the Constitution, especially double-parking on busy roads directly adjacent to a legal parking space. (Is it double-parking when you’re next to an empty space? Hmm…)

      • I thought that was only constitutionally protected on Sundays?

      • Mid-block U-turns are also constitutionally protected.
        DC is the only place I’ve ever seen people blatantly do this. Everywhere else I’ve lived, this would be a instant moving violation. People do it here in front of cops with impunity.

        • And they frequently end up stuck in seven-point turns as a result.

        • justinbc

          Yeah I had never seen it until I moved to DC, now I see it pretty much daily.

        • Totally serious here: I thought mid block U turns were legal in the District. Would someone mind researching this for us? (An answer with a credible citation to some legal authority would be great.). I also think they’re safer and less complicated than U turns in intersections – as long as the U turning driver is paying attention.

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