Be Careful How You Park Your Car in Cleveland Park


“Dear PoPville,

This was stuck on a car windshield on Porter Street this morning.

Having seen the comments on bad parking on PoP many times, I know someone will say, “Well maybe they parked in between two cars that were there at the time and that’s why they are taking up a spot and a half…”

This car was at the end of the parking lane, with five feet between their rear bumper and the parking zone sign.

So it really was a douchie parking job…”

52 Comment

  • Maybe a Smart Car was behind them 🙂 I’ve been seeing so many more Smart Cars around Woodley Park and Adams Morgan lately.

    • +1. Why are people who drive such entitled jerks?

      • +1 not all of them but many are sick jerks

        • Yes, I should say “disproportionately.” I’m just so tired of being nearly run down by people in a big rush to sit in traffic at the next red light. It happens at least a few times a week – and almost every single day when I bike.

    • +1000. It could have been a smart car, a motorcycle, maybe someone was hanging over the back a bit. It seems like people just don’t understand or take the time to get how parking works. As has been hashed out on here many times, it is all maximized in the long run, so no need to lose it if someone appears to be parked poorly.

      • Also, maybe the front of the car was pulled up as close as possible to the car that (was at the time of parking) in front of it. The 5 feet were the most the person could leave for someone else to squeeze in behind them. Maybe the person was actually being AS CONSIDERATE AS POSSIBLE in his parking job.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          Wrong answer. When you are near a sign, you should park as close as possible to it and not the car in front of you. That said, I agree that there could have been a smart car or motorcycle there.

          • That’s a good point, and honestly something I actually usually do out of habit when I drive. I just get so sick of these signs and arguments. There are dozens of legitimate explanations for how the person parked, and even if it was a jerk move, things like this are a huge overreaction. We live in a city with hundreds of thousands of other people in a small space, deal with it.

          • Yeah, right. And then someone with a smart car or a Mini Cooper leaves a “Dochie Parking Job” sign on your car because if only you had pulled up to the bumper of the car in front, then he or she would have had room to park. Unless you are watching someone park and you see them doing so in a way that takes up more space than necessary, you really have no idea whether what you are seeing is a bad parking job or a good parking job that looks bad now that other cars have left. And there are way more important things to worry about.

  • palisades

    A motorcycle could have been there….

    • Or another car parked over the line…

    • Right, there are lots of reasons why the car could be 5 feet from the sign, and even if the shamer witnessed the person parking that far from the sign, you have to wonder about someone who would take the time and effort to do this.

      • Spoken like someone who has never driven around the ‘hood for 45 minutes looking for a space. Parking like an a$$hole should be a punishable offense. The stickerer in this case is a hero of the people.

        • Spoken like someone who knows nothing about me. I’ve driven around many hoods many time in my life looking for parking and never felt driven to do something like this. If parking gives you this much heartache, you should consider some other means of transportation.

          • Exactly. Especially in a neighborhood that sits on top of a metro stop and at the intersection of multiple bus lines…

          • +1

            Or spring for a paid, all-yours-whenever-you-want-it space in a garage or nearby building. Of all the things I spend my money on each month, this has by far the highest return in both time savings and sanity points!

          • Well, we now know that you are very chill about parking. And that you make cool and good suggestions.

  • The could have parked behind someone else illegally parked.

  • When the cost of parking goes up to market rate, instead of the $15/year or whatever it is, I’ll give a crap about people taking up extra spaces.

  • People who park that way are not affected by those kinds of signs. It has to come from within or something. So better to just move on. (One of my neighbors does this; he has a big ego and nothing will change it; or I should say, attempts to change it will not change it….).

  • Leaving a sign like that on someone’s car is way douchier. If everyone just focused on keeping their own side of the street clean…

  • No one knows why the person parked that way, but maybe there was an emergency? Maybe they were having a terrible day and just wanted to get inside their house. Who knows, but it’s almost Christmas. Can’t we have a little more compassion for people? If this person was/is going through something right now coming out and finding that sign on their car surely won’t make them feel better.

    • Joyce Carol Oates inked a New Yorker article about leaving the hospital after rushing there to tend to her husband’s sudden death and finding a sign like this on her car when she came out. Does anyone want me to find it?!?!?

    • Accountering

      They had a bad day, so that entitles them to ruin someone elses day? Perhaps there was a reason (motorcycle, someone else hanging over the line, whatever) but if someone had a bad day, drove home, found 20 feet to park their spot, and wasn’t willing to spend the extra 3 seconds to park appropriately, no, that is not excusable. Your bad day is not a reason to be a jerk to other people.

  • Unfortunately, a “parking zone sign” does not necessarily indicate the edge of legal parking. There some set distance from the intersection (25ft) from which you can be ticketed, regardless of where the sign is. I’d hypothesize that “parking like a douchebag” here just means “parking legally.”

  • Anyone who makes a sign like this and keeps it with him for an opportunity to put it on someone’s car has some serious problems.

    • Accountering

      Meh, its not that hard. You can probably get a stack on Amazon for $3. Then you just keep them in your car, and when someone does something crappy like this, you put one under their windshield. Certainly not “serious problems.”

      • It looks like me to someone who goes out of their way to find something to be pissed off about. Life’s too short to live that way. And getting caught doing that is a good way to get your ass kicked (or worse.)

    • justinbc

      Yeah, someone carrying around cards like this is a far bigger douchebag in my mind.

  • I think this is an awesome idea and more people should adopt it! (This coming from someone who doesn’t even own a car and rarely needs to park one.)

  • Someone left a sign similar to this on my fiancé’s windshield a few months ago. We have been laughing about it since.

  • I’m missing something here. As I understand it, the complaint is that the car should have parked so that the rear of the car was parked as close as legally possible to the parking sign, instead of using the car in front as a marker — i.e. parking 2 feet or whatever behind the car in front. Not only would this leave an odd gap between the two cars, it would prevent a car2go, or a car briefly idling from using the space between the last car and the sign, or a few feet beyond the sign. Am I getting this right? Do people really park like this in practice? I ask this as a non-driver who was taught to park using the car in front of me as a reference — rather than references to the rear of the car instead,

    • Using the car in front as a reference is fine if you’re parking in the middle of the block. If you’re up against one end or the other (i.e. by the sign) then you should line up with the sign. If there’s enough room for a car2go, it can park between you and the car next to you. I don’t see how the possible appearance of an idling vehicle is relevant to how one parks.

    • Having observed parking patterns in front of my house of a number of years (I live at the end of my block near a parking sign) it seems (to me, anyway, and I’m admittedly no expert) most efficient to use the sign as a reference in case the car in front of you moves before you do. If that car moves then the next person to take the spot can use you as a reference, reestablishing a better use of the space.

    • Blithe

      Thank you both for your explanations. Krampus, I worked in an area with tight parking – and people would try to park closely together so that at the end of the line of legally parked cars, there would be room left for one car to park or idle half in front of the parking sign. Obviously not a legal space, but hopefully legal-ish enough for someone to allow someone to dash into the office or idle / wait to pick someone up without getting a ticket.

  • For reference, I just moved from Porter Street, and this car has been parked in the same location for weeks – including at least three with the lovely note attached. Even if a Smart Car or motorcycle was parked behind it initially, wouldn’t you think to check on your car every once in a while? With the cold weather coming, perhaps the engine will freeze…

    • Maybe they had an emergency trip to India because of a death in the family and there was a motorcycle parked behind them. Just kidding–it sounds like they (the person who is parked) really are a douche and the people who think the sign is a sign of mental illness really need to reconsider.

    • Where on Porter? In residential zoned parking or down the hill toward Mt.P where there are no residential restrictions? If the latter then the car may be “warehoused” there by someone who doesn’t drive regularly and lives in another part of the city, say a block in Dupont Circle with weekly street cleaning.

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