From the Forum – finding parking in Dupont Circle


finding parking in Dupont Circle

“I live in Dupont and I have a young woman come and clean my apartment once a month. The last two times she came, she couldn’t find any parking and had to leave. I’d like to keep using her, but this is getting ridiculous. I think she only spends about 1-2 hours in my place cleaning, and I wonder if she can just park on the no parking side of our street with her hazards on. Has anyone else had this issue? Any possible solutions?

If there is no solution, I may have to switch to another cleaning service, perhaps one that drops off and picks up their cleaners.”

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42 Comment

  • Tsar of Truxton

    I wouldn’t tell her to park in a no parking area unless you want to pay the ticket/tow fees. I used to live in North Dupont, and I never found it all that hard to find parking during the day (after 5:30 is a whole different story). If she is only willing to park directly in front of your place, you are probably S.O.L., but I can’t imagine there is no parking within a block or two during the day. Another way to get her easy parking is to have her come right after the street cleaning ends because the whole block will be empty (in theory at least).

  • Request a visitor’s parking permit for her. Putting her hazards on will not stop her from being ticketed. While you wait for it to arrive, you may be able to get one from the police station.

    • A visitors parking permit isn’t going to let her park in the no parking zone. And you only need a zone parking sticker for > 2 hrs in most of dupont

      • I thought “no parking” was the side of the street that is zone X all day/night. It was probably street cleaning now that I reread it, but it seems she could just come one of the other 3 days when street cleaning isn’t happening or outside of street cleaning hours if that is the case.

        • It’s neither, it’s a one way street, with parking on one side, so it has nothing to do with street cleaning.

          • So she isn’t willing to simply park on the next block? Maybe she could drop off her stuff, then park and come back.

          • I think she’s been looking but couldn’t find anything. I remember telling her the nearby streets to look at and she said there was no parking there either. I mean, I’m not there with her, so I don’t know how far she’s looking.

  • Just get her a visitor pass. Or offer to pay her for the cost of use at a lot in the area. Or come during the day outside of street cleaning days. Or find someone willing to metro.

    • Ward 2 isn’t eligible for VPP.

      • That’s not true – I’m in Ward 2 and have a visitor’s parking permit.

        • I think there’s one portion within Ward 2 that’s VPP-eligible, and the rest of the ward isn’t.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        Even in the areas without a permanent VPP, anyone can always go to the police station and get a two week pass. You can repeat this as often as you want. It doesn’t seem like VPP is the issue in this case though.

        • This. I used them for visiting friends, family, contractors. they’re open 24/7 – it’s super easy. Just get the plate/car info. Prob solved. Just have to do it every month. Also, I’m in ward 2 and have a VPP. It’s just certain areas though.

  • if she literally can’t find a parking space because there are no spaces to be found, then i’m sorry but you’re SOL. try scheduling her for a time when street parking is more available. it might be less convient for your schedule, but that’s the price you pay for the overall convenience of living in dupont.

  • When is this person attempting to visit your home? I find parking in Dupont considerably better weekday late morning/early afternoon.

  • I park frequently during the day north of Dupont Circle – on 19th St, 20th St, R St, Hillyer Pl, and Corcoran St. usually – but also around them. I usually have to drive around a bit, but people are always coming and going, so I usually find a spot without a lot of trouble. Very occasionally do I have to look for a long time, or drive further. South of the circle would be harder, I think, as it is closer to business districts.

    That said, I do have a small car, and can excellently park in spaces just inches longer than my vehicle. That ability, and my willingness to drive around until I find something, come from years of parking in NYC. I find most people in DC are unwilling to drive around to look. So, check out best, choose the garage with the cheapest prices within walking distance, and pay for her parking.

    Or, if you have the sort of home with alley or lot spaces outside for nearby residents to park in, maybe you could make an arrangement with a neighbor who drives to work to use his or her spot for a few hours during the day.

    • I’m more Northeast of the circle, by 17th st. I happen to know she also has a giant card for all her cleaning supplies.

      I have looked into making those arrangements. Unfortunately, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get on listserv for my neighborhood, so short of papering all my neighbors I have no idea what to do.

      • It’s a yahoo group, google “dupont yahoo listserv” and you can sign up there.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        I used to live on 17th between R and S and there is tons of parking in that area during the day. Presumably, you are on Corcoran or Church? If so, she is not looking hard at all (sounds like if she doesn’t get a spot right out front, she determines that there is no parking).

  • – Have her/him come in a time slot when no alternate street parking rules are in effect (in Dupont that seems to be primarily Monday and Tuesday) because on those days, parking is halved.

    – Pick one block and circle multiple times rather than wander. Almost always a spot opens by the third loop, especially on Q between 18th and 17th.

    – As in Philly, say a prayer to Mother Cabrini! The parking genie. Also very effective :^)

  • Where in Dupont is she looking? With the exception of Sunday mornings, the northeastern portion is usually pretty decent with a little searching. I recommend the 1600 blocks (between 16&17) of Riggs, S St and Swann, as well as the long 1500 block of S St (north side of the Masonic Temple). Also, at least one side of 16th St is always available depending on rush hour timing.
    One other warning, though: If she doesn’t have DC plates and is at your house weekly, she might risk a ROSA ticket regardless of being legally parked at any given time.

    • Also: There are a fair number metered spots around 17th and Corcoran. I would certainly offer to reimburse if she had to use one.

      • ROSA only comes in to play if she is parking overnight – it has nothing to do with day time parking (aka any time RPP is in effect)

    • For 2-3 years, I had a cleaning lady w/VA state plates that would use my VPP in columbia heights. Never got a ticket. I think 1-2 hours in the late morning once a week is pretty safe…

    • A tad south of where you are describing, around the St. Thomas historic church ruins. She’s only here monthly, so I doubt she’ll get any kind of parking tickets just based on that.

      • Sorry, my bad on the ROSA. Unfortunately, that’s a pretty bad spot for parking. If she can walk 2-3 block northeast of you, she’d probably have better luck.

  • I sometimes park there during the day and it’s usually not too bad after people have left for work — try a side street that gets less traffic, but even arterial ones are OK. Slow down and wait for people to leave.

  • (snide, unhelpful comment)

    She should just run in the Ward 4 or Ward 8 special election and win, then she can park anywhere without a care in the world!

  • I Dont Get It

    Turning on your hazard lights does not make your car invisible. Please stop this.

  • I believe you can purchase her a type of residential parking pass…I’ve heard some people who have nannies and such can get these so that their nannies can park in the residential parking only areas

  • I think a part of being a cleaning service is the ability to find parking and get to your jobs. Presumably she knows she is losing money and is reaching out to you in the hopes of finding a better solution, but unfortunately you may have to find someone else who is willing to park further away. We have had contractors and other folks in our apartment and it’s never been the case that we’ve had to arrange for parking.

    • this! i’ve lived on busy streets in adams morgan and columbia heights and have never had to deal with helping people find parking. i can recommend my cleaners if you need a service.

      • please do! I don’t anticipate parking issues but have been debating about hiring cleaners 1-2 a month and think I might just bite the bullet now that we’re getting a dog…

        • CAOS cleaning. the website is caosdc dot com
          i’ve been using them since 2013 and have never had any issues. they come every 3 weeks for $65. i have two cats so i understand the hair problem, and its always amazing when they’ve been there!

          • I second CAOS, although I can promise you that you will not get that price from them anymore. The benefit of CAOS is they have a guy who drops of the crew (usually 2 or 3 people) and then comes back to get them when they are done. Very reliable. I have used since 2011 (and paid $85 every other week when I had a one bedroom and now pay $100 every other week for a two bedroom).

        • I have a woman come clean our rowhouse 2x a month and have been happy with her. She can also do monthly cleanings. Pretty affordable and she does a good job. Her name is Blanca Alvarez and her email is casajen at live dot com.

      • Please do.

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