Street Cleaning Ticket Given after Oct. 31st


“Dear PoPville,

On November 3rd, I got a ticket for parking illegally during street cleaning. Yes, November 3rd — after street cleaning was supposedly over on October 31. It was so odd that a very kind neighbor left a note on my car reminding me not to pay the ticket. So I contested the ticket on the grounds that street cleaning ends on October 31 but didn’t step out to take a picture of the sign because I figured all the signs across the city say the same thing and if the hearing examiner has ever parked in DC he or she would recognize the error.

I was wrong. Today I received a letter stating that my evidence is insufficient and I am liable for the ticket. Has anyone else encountered this? What kind of evidence can I produce that’s more substantive than their own website: ? Are there other street cleaning dates that I’m unaware of and supersede the one that’s posted?”

44 Comment

  • You need to show the evidence always. Should still be able to appeal, but might have to go in for a hearing. If they still make you pay, get pennies. Make a statement. Somebody’s gotta reign in this government when it comes to collecting money for fees/tickets/penalties.

  • I tried fighting one of those and they came back with the response that not all streets are covered by that rule!! I even printed out the page on their website! Good luck!

  • Same thing happened to me on the same day I believe. I likewise didn’t include a picture, but I did contest it. Have not heard back, but will be damned if I pay that ticket.

    • I’m very curious to see what happens to your contest. Maybe we can pursue this together if you get the same response. I think others on the block also got tickets that day and that’s why our neighbor left me a note.

  • I got bullshit tickets from that same officer!!! Good luck. Take an obscene number of pictures and I wish you the best. Fully agree on paying in pennies if it comes to that.

  • call your cm and ask for help.

  • Go back and take a picture of the signs on that block. They could argue that they have since changed the signs, but that is tougher. This is insane.

  • If you try to pay in pennies, they will initially say that they don’t accept pennies. When you remind them that pennies are legal tender, they will refer you to their supervisor, who will indicate that they do not accept loose coins. You’d have to roll them (you can get rolls from your bank) and they will ask you for your social security number. When you tell them that a SSN is not needed to pay a fine, they will attempt to stare you down. When you hold the gaze and laugh at them, they will begrudgingly break open the rolls and count the pennies – all 2,500 of them. Well, that was my fine anyways. Not sure what they’d do with 4,500 coins.

  • The website states it clearly:…”DPW cleans residential and arterial streets using mechanical sweepers of various sizes. Between March 10 and October 31, sweepers operate along residential streets where signs are posted restricting parking during street sweeping hours.” Also call DPW to get help dealing with your ticket: (202) 737-4404.

    • west_egg

      In addition to DPW, I would also consider getting your councilmember’s office involved (unless your council rep is Muriel Bowser, in which case don’t bother). You could also get in touch with Fox 5 — they’d be all over this kind of thing.

      • Actually CM Bowser’s office was the only helpful group I could find when I was in a similar situation (drivers license suspended due to administrative error). They were very prompt and got the situation resolved with minimal effort on my part. I was impressed.

        • Good to know her office is actually good for something!

        • west_egg

          You’re honestly the first person I’ve heard say anything positive about their interactions with Bowser’s constituent services team. (And yes, I do talk to people who aren’t PoPville commenters 😉 )
          That’s awesome that they got you squared away — exactly the sort of thing we should expect from our CM’s!

          • Abut 4 years ago, we were having a terrible time getting trash cans for our new house. One email to CM Bowser’s office and we got our trash cans the next day. Seems like maybe we were an anomaly, but wanted others to know that she did do some things.

  • This is their standard MO. Deny all/most tickets by mail and hope that most won’t show up in person.

    • Every ticket I’ve ever contested (and there have been many) was dismissed without a battle. It’s been a few years since I’ve gotten a ticket though. Has their MO changed recently?

      • Yes. I had no problem getting unjustified tickets dimissed in the mid-2000s, but my most recent appeal of an unjustified ticket (2012, I think) was denied.

      • In the last 6 months, I have contested three parking tickets which were unjustified IAW DC laws/regulations, provided evidence (even highlighted their website / DC legal precedence) but received the same rejection letter referenced in the initial post. In order to appeal, I had to send the fee, $10, and a written statement, but the appeals website warns that it can take 2-3 years before the appeals group will even examine the statement. So. I paid extra for just to get my voice heard regarding the injustice but will probably will not see my money again.

        When I first moved into the district, I received a couple parking tickets that I got rescinded by providing the same amount of evidence to delineate that they were unfairly received. It appears that someone else is in charge now…

        DC parking enforcement is a total racket; I hope that it’s shady practices get exposed soon.

  • If you see the meter person’s car, you can slip a (kind) note with the evidence under the wiper blade, a la a ticket. I did that once over a different incorrect infraction and it was resolved much to my surprise! (In my case, I was ticketed for parking in a construction zone on a date that fell well before the posted start date).

  • I Dont Get It

    Look online and find out which councilperson has oversight for DPW and contact him/her.

  • justinbc

    I’m pretty sure they just automatically deny everything and hope that you won’t fight anymore. I’ve posted here about getting tickets in the mail EVEN THOUGH I DON’T OWN A CAR. And they still denied my appeal. The only real hope you have is to contact your ANC’s Constituent Services office and have them help fight the battle for you.

    • This is not true. I have contested several tickets by mail and had them cleared. Make sure you have solid evidence, write a clear non-snarky letter, and submit it. Denying the charge “is” one of the options on every ticket so take that option.

      • justinbc

        Bruno, I’ve provided pages and pages of evidence, and don’t write snarky letters when dealing with monetary issues, and been denied on first appeal every single time.

        • Have you gone to court? My experience has been pretty good… the only thing that is hard to shake, in my experience, is if they send a ticket you never knew you had to a collection agency, and then the collection agency hectors you… that’s hard to stop. (Worst town for tickets Mount Rainier, MD! Please have a post about that some day!)

        • Agree with justinbc. I have received several tickets erroneously. Every time, I’ve submitted meticulous evidence, a clear explanation for the denial, and supporting citations from the DC Code. Afterwards, I always get a boilerplate letter from the City denying the appeal. I then have to go to in-person hearings, which always end with the tickets getting dismissed. A colossal waste of time and money.

        • I guess it’s a crapshoot. I’ve had another street cleaning ticket dismissed through regular online adjudication with pictures of my car with two flat tires and tow truck receipts. But another appeal process for a ticket that a parking enforcement officer had issued while I was driving my car* and I was unaware of until the fine had doubled, turned into a nightmare: while I was waiting for a decision or a hearing, they simply decided to take what I owed from income tax return and then send another letter saying now that I’ve paid the ticket, they consider the case closed. I should have fought that one but I was too bewildered by what they had just pulled off to react.

          *I had slowed down during a freezing rainstorm to read the parking signs. There was no traffic behind me and I was still moving. She pulled over next to me and motioned to me to roll down my window. Then she said you can’t park there and I said oh ok, that’s what I was trying to figure out, thanked her and drove off. Weeks later it turned out she had issued me a ticket and the fine had already doubled.

      • Have to agree – I’ve only contested two tickets online (one in 2011 and 2013) and both were dismissed citing proof I uploaded.

        Granted these were for tickets regarding failure to register my vehicle (and I don’t live in DC and my car is registered in a city on a mile from DC) – so don’t get me started on that whole deal ;).

        When I contested I uploaded a ton of proof (my current lease, a recent utility bill etc) so that might have been it.

        • I did not contest mine on-line. I contested them via snail-mail. Printed everything out, wrote a letter to top it off, tucked it in an envelope, mailed it. Tap, tap, tap… waited a few weeks, and got postcards in reply telling me the ruling. I keep hard copies of everything.

          I agree with earlier comments, though, that your first stop should be your councilmember’s office.

  • It’s always based on what the sign reads, regardless what the website says. If the sign reads “March 31 thru October 31” take a picture of the sign and that will be sufficient evidence. If the sign doesn’t say that, then you’re on the hook for the ticket.

  • But what does the sign actually say? It’s not necessarily true that because the city stops street cleaning on a certain date of the year that the regulation that prohibits standing in that zone is automatically suspended, too. The reg. doesn’t actually say that, so, unless the sign does — you probably won’t win this one.


    2423.1 No person shall park any vehicle or permit any vehicle to remain parked during the times and days indicated on a Street Cleaning Route.

    2423.2 Parking prohibitions for street cleaning shall override any less restrictive parking privileges at designated locations during the times and days specified, except for parking restrictions imposed by the District during snow emergencies on designated snow emergency routes.

    2423.3 When the opposite blockface is restricted for street cleaning purposes, parking shall be allowed on designated streets that are otherwise restricted during the times and days specified.

    • What then, proctor, is the purpose of posting the date street cleaning ends? To fool us and fill city coffers?

      • I’ve successfully argued entrapment to get out of a ticket. It was a dc holiday which dpw posted as a no parking restrictions day. I parked my car in motorcycle parking and got a ticket. I didn’t send in any proof other than stating what the site said and that it’s entrapment to post no parking restrictions then enforce them. Sounds similar to your situation.

    • Not sure if I got your point. The sign does say ending in October 31, just like any other street cleaning sign around the city.

  • if u take the city parking reg apart, u will see that the street cleaning exemption applies only to residential streets. “arterial” streets continue to b swept, n r not covered. ditto “major” arteries, including Independence Avenue SE, Constitution Avenue, etc. r not covered by the exemption. there is spec lang in city regs regarding major arteries. the city, n local ‘hoods, like to publicize the moratorium, but neglect mention of non-application for major roads n arterial streets.

  • My question is when, as taxpayers, we demand this nonsense stop. Why do we work out ways to maneuver through this nonsense rather than rally together and demand that the city government put an end to this nonsense for good. The government exists by our consent. Not the other way around.

  • Here is a press release from DC public works this year stating the last day is Oct. 31st.
    Good luck it’s a system designed to separate you from your money……

  • This has been business as usual in DC for decades. It’s a pretty low-rent way to raise revenue.

  • Thanks to all of you for the great suggestions. Sounds like I will have to wait for my CM, Brianne Nadeau, to be sworn in on Friday so I can take this to her on her first day at the job!

  • If you are a DC resident, I would call your councilman/councilwoman. The issue will resolve itself within two weeks.

  • Looking at the google street view of that block, the sign closely (if not exactly) resembles this one (with the change of it being Monday):

    That sign would then clearly state the date. Take a photo, write a clear statement, and contest. I contested a ticket for parking (when I wasn’t parked, but standing – which was allowed by the signs in the area) by including photos of the sign, and approximately where my car was parked, and got the ticket overturned.

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