Catch 22 Parking Situation Results in Tense Standoff and Frustration Last Night

pain sculpture

A reader reports:

“So on Tuesday from 7am – 7pm there is street cleaning on the north side of Euclid Street between 13th and 14th streets. So on Tuesday by 7am, residents in zone 1 on that street must move their cars from the north side of the street to the south side; where it is zoned and acceptable to park only on Tuesday from 7am to 7pm.

When residents get home from work, they must move their cars back to the north side of the street at 7pm. Here’s where it gets tricky and the altercation occurred. To move your car right as the stroke of 7pm happens is near impossible, so residents usually move their cars between 6:30pm and 7pm. Yesterday my neighbor moved his car around 6:45, and there was a parking enforcement guy who begun giving tickets. I pointed this out to my neighbor as I had just gotten hope from work myself. The parking enforcement guy (real jerk about it), told him to move his car back to the south side quickly and keep it there till right at 7pm or he would give him a ticket. There was also another neighbor that had parked his car but was already inside so I had to call him to race down before the parking enforcement gave him a ticket. In the meantime, I stood in front of his license plate to block parking enforcement from taking a picture of the back or the front license plate, as they are required to do to issue the ticket; this was all occurring at 6:50pm, 10 minutes before parking is acceptable on the north side of the street.

The parking enforcement gentlemen became aggressive and yelled at me to move, which I refused. He took my picture; which is when I begun taking his; he even stepped out of his car to “flex his abusive power” over the residents of Euclid Street. After he left, post 7pm, he called the police and showed up with them, I was still standing outside with my neighbors, around 10 minutes later. The police did nothing but I was reprimanded for interfering with city government procedures, they say it could be considered assault and local government and firefighters are protected under this. I understand but at the same time, it just seems amoral to ticket like this.

All in all, it seems like a flawed system. How can you allow for no grace period? It seems like a racket to me, to come along and make people sit in their cars to move them right at 7pm would be chaos. It seems like just another way for the city to get money from ridiculously strict parking enforcement.”

206 Comment

  • justinbc

    It is clearly poorly planned, but it’s also the law. If you’re impeding enforcement of the law you shouldn’t be surprised that there might be repercussions, and honestly I would say you got off pretty easy in this case.

    • +1. I’m not surprised that the OP got into trouble by standing in front of a license plate to stop the parking enforcement officer from readings it.
      It sounds like what is needed is for the parking restrictions to be changed so that there’s (say) a half-hour of overlap, if I’m interpreting correctly and you can’t park on the north side _until_ 7 p.m. but also can’t park on the south side _after_ 7 p.m. Maybe they should allow parking on the south side until 7:30 p.m., so as to give people 30 minutes to move their cars.

      • Er, *reading.

        • Agreed. They should allow some overlap in time to appropriately move your vehicle. If not, one minute after 7 p.m. on one site lands a ticket or one minute before 7 p.m. on the other site lands a ticket. #Ruthless

      • Of course there should be some overlap, but even 30 minutes doesn’t seem very reasonable.

        • If there’s a grace period at all, then people would ask for a grace period to the grace period.

          • justinbc

            +1, never fails. Everyone wants a leg up over the next guy.

          • What does this comment even mean? It completely ignores the problem. The current setup means that technically you break the law every day. Not once in a while, every single day. A grace period is necessary in this physical universe in which we all live to not break the law. As far as I’m concerned the current system should be considered as entrapment.

          • justinbc

            Andy, it’s called a slippery slope. If the limit is 7PM, there will be people who expect a grace period of 10 minutes to 6:50PM. If you move it to 6:30PM there will be people who expect a grace period of 10 minutes to 6:20PM. No matter what time you set it, someone will come here bitching about getting a ticket 10 minutes before the time limit. There are more places to park in your physical universe than these 2 sides of the street, expand your horizons and avoid a ticket.

    • OP is lucky he didn’t end up in cuffs, as is usually what happens when you interfere with government services. What an ass. And I say this as a Euclid Street resident who lives between 13th and 11th, so I intimately know the parking woes of this area.
      OP – it could always be worse. Our entire alley is closed for the next 2 weeks so it can be re-paved. No one can access their parking pads, so all residents are forced to park on the street.
      DDOT is actually pretty responsive in changing parking regulations if enough households on the block agree to the changes. I’d start with them first before ranting to PoP’ville.

  • Why is street cleaning for 12 hours? Most streets only have it for 2-3.
    Also, maybe just chill a little and park around the corner.

    • I’m not sure about other neighborhoods, but up here in/around Columbia Heights, restrictions are all day 🙁 It’s a huge pain. Columbia Road is all day Monday, Harvard Street all day Tuesday, etc…it’s like musical cars in the area at the beginning of each week.

    • Mug of Glop

      It seems to be an all-day 12-hour restriction only on streets that are one-way with parking only on one side, as is the case in several blocks between at least Georgia and 16th in Columbia Heights. It’s likely because if the cleaning restrictions were for only the standard two hours, the spaces on the cleaning side would fill up before the residents on the swapped side (the “parking only on this day for twelve hours” side) could get home from work to relocate their car, leaving them in a lurch. I get the intent behind it, but it seems like it was poorly executed, what with the sixty second window for crossing the street. Maybe a 30-60 minute window would be more appropriate.

      • Is it all day to give people who need to move their car time to go to work and come back. There is not room for parking on both sides of that street. So on cleaning day , the cars move. Folks go to work or whatever and then come back and move to the other side. If there was only a 1 hour window, they’d have to move the car back after the hour, or the street would get parked up on both sides.

        That is probably also why there is not a grace period, or you end up with a 30 minute period when both sides of the street are parked up. Of course, both side of that street are often parked up with cars with their blinkers on, plus someone double parked all the time.

  • “All in all, it seems like a flawed system.”

    Human designed systems are never flawless, are they?

  • All this over getting a 10 minute jump on parking? I’m surprised you got off with a warning after impeding enforcement personnel. Why is moving the car at 7 pm “near impossible” but easy 15-20 minutes before?

    • exactly. i don’t understand this post AT ALL. sign says 7pm. you don’t get to park there at 6:50. oh but it’s just ten minutes! the entitlement here kills me. enough, people. stop bitching because you didn’t get your way or the law didn’t do you a favor. sucks to be an adult but get used to it.

      • The problem here is that the regulations require you to move your car exactly at 7pm. If you move it earlier, you get a ticket, and if you move it later, you also get a ticket.

        • at 7pm you want to move back to the other side of the street where parking is now allowed, but you’re competing with lots of other people and therefore if you want to park on that side you gotta do it at 7pm. i dunno. seems like maybe early in the morning, find a spot on another block- people tend to clear out in the AM- and don’t park on the opposite side. but i get it- it sounds like a headache.

          i’m lucky to live on a street that has ample parking and cleaning restrictions are only two hours. but i also live near H St and on weekend nights it’s impossible to find parking. but i’m a big girl and i deal with it. i’m not entitled to a parking space. it’s called living in a city.

      • albany

        [email protected]:48/2:20. I have to strongly disagree with your posts (and I don’t even own a car). Obviously, no one living in a city is ‘entitled’ to a parking spot; but that doesn’t mean that they should be subjected to a capricious parking ruse designed to give out tickets to citizens trying to go about their business. Personally, I’d be pretty annoyed if I got a speeding ticket for doing 31 in a 30, which seems like an appropriate analogy in this case (absent some showing that these restrictions are there to aid rush hour flows etc.). And I would be curious to know where you stand on the Sunday church goers and their diagonal parking? It’s also against the law technically speaking, but sacrosanct (pun intended) to parking enforcement.

        • justinbc

          I’ve yet to see a single person on this site defend the church goer parking maladies, if that helps with your query at all.

        • i hear ya. my issue is more with the expectation that the OP deserves some leniency here. i think the rule is ridiculous and should be changed to accommodate residents and others who need to park on that block. but the method the OP went about dealing with it was wrong.

          i also had blood taken this morning so i’m starving and weak and cranky.

          (as for church…what’s church?)

  • Should not have been blocking the license plate; case closed. People are trying to do their jobs.

  • Being able to find street parking in front of your house is not a right. It’s a gamble to move cars into the spots before 7 pm and if you’re not willing to pay for a ticket on the days an enforcement officer shows up, you should wait until it’s legal or park on a street further away.

  • Why don’t you just park on another block. Different blocks have different times. Exercise won’t hurt you.

    • Exactly. OP presents this as a binary choice in which he has no option but to magically move exactly at 7:00, which ignores the option of parking around the corner.

  • I see one jerk in this situation and it’s not the parking enforcement guy

  • Wait, the street cleaning closure is 7AM to 7PM? That can’t be normal. S between 12th and 13th, for example, is like 9:30AM to 11:30AM. But an all-day window?

    • Shorter window is probably an allowance made for the nearby commercial zone and adjacent school. But in a more residential area, it would be difficult for those who leave their cars at home all day.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        The short windows are on streets that have parking on both sides of the road. Because each side of the road is a different street cleaning day, there is no issue with people being stuck at work. With a one way street that only has parking on one side, there is only one street cleaning day. On that day, the “road” becomes parking and the “parking” becomes the road. I assume the long time for cleaning has nothing to do with the ability of the city to get it done in a smaller window, but everything to do with the fact that people would need to move cars midday if the window was shorter. In essence, it is designed to help the residents, but it is clearly not quite working because there is no overlap.

        • Exactly. I don’t know if Euclid St. rules are different, but on Irving, Kenyon & Harvard, when the 7 pm parking opens on the north side of the street it doesn’t “close” on the other side. These streets all have parking on both sides after 6:30 p.m. (or 7p.m. on street cleaning days – which is in fact kind of whacky.)

          The goal of switching one’s car a few minutes before 7 p.m. is simply to insure you get a space in the big land-grab.

          • There is a reading problem going on here.
            This is a street on which you can normally only park on one side . To do street sweeping, they allow parking on the opposite side on ONE day, from 7a-7p ONLY, during which time parking is prohibited on the side where it is normally allowed.
            So, yes, parking on one side becomes illegal during the same minute it becomes legal on the other side.

  • Reminds me of all the people parking, scratch that, sitting in their cars, on 16th Street at 6:20pm, waiting for that 6:30pm no parking during rush hour ban to lift.

    There’s a reason why there is no parking – because it’s rush hour. And you (not OP), sitting in your car, not technically “parked” but still blocking traffic, are the reason why we have traffic enforcement with such attitudes. I don’t know that block of Euclid that well, but the signs may be there for a reason, such as traffic flow.

    I’m not sure why it’s a “racket” to move your car at 7pm, as opposed to obeying the law.

    7pm is 7pm. Not 6:30, not 6:45. Because if there’s a grace period to 6:45, then people will start moving at 6:30.

    • Agree on the rush hour lanes, but that’s not the issue here (supposedly). It’s for street cleaning. It sucks to be cruising down North Capitol and then have to switch lanes because some idiot parked or stopped in the rush hour lane!

    • Like others, I am re-reading. Wait – are you saying that people MUST move their cars from the south lane by 7? If that’s so, then, I can understand the frustration. And never mind what I said above. I think most people reading your story are focused on the parking early part of the story, and not on the MUST move part.

      • yes, but if you MUST move, isn’t the clean side of the street now totally empty at 7pm? so you have plenty of spaces to park. i’m so confused.

        • Yeah, but it sounds like you have to move from one side to the other in 60 seconds. It’s pretty ridiculous! This person should not have reacted in this manner, but you’re risking a ticket on the left side if you don’t move to the right side exactly at 7pm. What if you have to use the bathroom at 6:59pm? Oh, better hold it!

          • “What if you have to use the bathroom at 6:59pm?”
            Rent a parking spot like most of the people in our neighborhood.

          • No, you don’t HAVE to move you car at 7:00 pm. That’s just the earliest time you are ALLOWED to move your car for the following day’s no parking restrictions.

          • No. You don’t have 60 seconds to move your car. When parking “opens” on the closed side is does not “close” on the other side. After 6:30p.m. (or 7:00 on cleaning days) parking is allowed on both sides until 7 a.m.

          • I responded to the wrong Victoria comment above. This is where I meant to say:
            There is a reading problem going on here.
            This is a street on which you can normally only park on one side . To do street sweeping, they allow parking on the opposite side on ONE day, from 7a-7p ONLY, during which time parking is prohibited on the side where it is normally allowed.
            So, yes, parking on one side becomes illegal during the same minute it becomes legal on the other side.

  • Is it annoying that this parking enforcement guy was doing his job by giving tickets? I mean, sure – everyone would prefer the way that is easiest for them. Were you breaking the law at 6:45? Yes. Would you have been breaking the law by waiting 15 and then parking legally? No.

    • But from his story, waiting 15 minutes to park legally on the North side, could get him a ticket for parking after 7pm on the South side. It just seems very odd to me that the times would line up like that, but I put nothing past DC gov’t.

      • So park on another block. Or (gods forbid) pay to park somewhere for the day. DC USA is half empty most of the time. It’s a pain, but when you choose to keep a car in a neighborhood where you absolutely do NOT need one (unless you’re seriously disabled in which case I think the city should make some kind of accommodation) and where there is seriously limited space, you have to realize it’s going to cause some minor inconveniences like this.

        • here we go again. people who absolutely DON’T need a car assume everyone else absolutely DOESN’T need a car either. for real?? not everyone has one day job and a public transportation-friendly commute. i’d actually be miserable if that was my life. i happily have more than one job on top of side gigs and therefore i have to be all over the place on any given day, sometimes in very metro-unfriendly places that it would take 4 hours to bike to, and good god why am i even writing this? just stop assuming things about everybody, k?

          also, to all the people who are only a little bit disabled, not “seriously” disabled, well… i give up.

          • Yes, practically everyone I know who lives in DC these days has a job they have to somehow get to in MD or VA (myself included), and many are in areas with weak or no public transit. It’s a very lucky person who can go about their daily business within the bubble of DC.

          • For people who absolutely DO need a car (though I’ve noticed that “need” in this context is relative, to put in mildly), there are plenty of places in this area where off-street parking is available. But if you choose a place in a close-in neighborhood with no off-street parking, and you also choose to keep a car, you should expect occasional inconvenience.
            The issue I have with OP is that s/he apparently feels entitled to park on the very same block regardless of street sweeping rules. It’s unrealistic.

          • west_egg

            I swear, the only people who hate the idea of “entitlement” more than Republicans are PoPville commenters. OP is not writing because s/he feels “entitled” to a parking space on Euclid Street, s/he’s frustrated by poorly thought-out regulations enforced with zero discretion. Yes, the law is the law; and yes, OP probably shouldn’t have stood in front of the license plate like a kid throwing a temper tantrum. But having higher expectations doesn’t mean you’re not a “big girl” (whatever that means) and personally I refuse to accept the premise that living in a city = accepting poor outcomes as inevitable.

          • Really? The word “entitlement” is off limits now?
            We’re not talking about being entitled to food, or shelter, or medical care. We’re talking about practically-free parking, in front of one’s house, in a densely-populated area between two Metro stops and at least half a dozen bus lines. I’m perfectly ok with not viewing that as a human right, regardless of how in love people are with their cars in this country.

          • west_egg

            That wasn’t my point at all; so, no! Not really.

          • @westend, I still can muster any sympathy for anyone who relieves their frustration, however justified, by harassing city employees doing their job correctly.

        • We’ve been a car-free family (and live about 10 minutes away by foot) for 2+ years and it’s a pretty serious pain in the rear end sometimes. I love not having to drive to work, but I’m fortunate enough to work right downtown whereas obviously many people do not.

          For weekend activities, it sucks pretty hard though. If we want to visit family, it’s a 3 hour commute round trip by public transit vs 60-75 minutes via car. When we need to go shopping for large or heavy items, we either have to rent a car or have it delivered. We can’t take our puppy to some of the best dog parks in the area. I had to pay an uber driver triple his normal fare to get my cat to the vet when he was sick last year (no clinic within walking distance). We can’t do weekend getaways. Lots of other things are off limits. And we don’t even have kids!

          Yes, it’s possible for some people to live in CH without a vehicle, but you do have to forego a lot and be willing to get super organized and plan things in advance to rent or borrow vehicles for the times you absolutely must drive. But that doesn’t mean it’s possible for everyone.

          • See, for things like this I would just use Zipcar. And unless you use the car literally all every weekend every weekend, it’s likely to be a lot cheaper than keeping your own car. I’m also increasingly ordering large/heavy items using Instacart – even with a car it’s a hassle to go to the store and battle the traffic/crowds.

    • Thank you! And this parking enforcement guy even gave someone who was there a chance to move their car rather than be ticketed. He must be one in a million!

  • No sympathy for the OP in this. You WERE impeding enforcement and it says 7pm on the sign for a reason, not 6:45.

  • Thank goodness we have you around to interpret laws for us and enforce them any way you see fit.

  • rules are rules.

  • Agree there’s no monopoly on jerkishness here. If anything, I’m pleasantly surprised that the parking officer was nice enough to warn someone in order to avoid a ticket.

  • I used to live on this same block, and always thought the 7am and 7pm changeover was ridiculous. It’s a mad dash to get a spot right when the clock strikes the hour. There is not a lot of parking in this area, and by the time we have to move our cars, all the other streets are full. Obviously it’s not a ‘right’ to park in front of your house, but in this area, you may have to drive around for half an hour before finding a spot. I totally commiserate with the OP. sorry that happened, there should be a grace period. I’m just glad I never experienced the nighttime ticketing like this because most everyone moves slightly before. The 7am parking enforcement guys show up exactly at 7 and start ticketing, so that’s why people move a few minutes before 7…

  • It is actually designed to keep as many cars off the street as possible during rush hour. Can you imagine the added congestion with people trying to get their cars across the road and park while in rush hour traffic? It’s not all about you!

  • I can’t believe I’m the only one siding with the OP here. It is absolutely a catch 22. The parking enforcement guy could just as easily been ticketing at 7:10pm on the OTHER side of the street. I think it’s pretty ridiculous to expect an entire street to sit in their cars at 6:55pm to fight to get parking on the other side of the street or even elsewhere in the neighborhood. I’m not sure I agree with the way the situation was handled, but I definitely understand the outrage.

    • It sounds like the parking restrictions/timing are really poorly set up, so I sympathize with the OP’s frustration on that count. However, I don’t think deliberately blocking the parking enforcement person’s view of a license plate is the appropriate way to channel that frustration.

      • So what is the answer then? Let them ticket you and allow the city to continue acting in bad faith/incompetence that is unfortunately it’s hallmark.
        It’s not right and it’s not fair to set up a system that is so unbelievably flawed and results in people getting tickets no matter what they do. I would be pretty angry too if I was getting tickets arbitrarily.
        That’s what the city wants you to do. Accept that they are incompetent, that nothing is ever going to change, and turn around and bend over.

        • “So what is the answer then?”
          Rent a spot. I have one available just one block from the OP for $125/month.

        • The answer is getting on DDOT’s case (with the help of your ANC) to change the hours for the parking restrictions.

        • HaileUnlikely

          You should be angry, but not at the guy issuing the tickets. The system is f*cked up, and the OP is getting screwed, but the guy who puts food on the table by faithfully doing the really sh!tty job of driving around and writing tickets all day is not the enemy here, has no power to change the restrictions, and risks the source of income on which his family depends if he decides unilaterally that he is just going to blow off his job because his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss made a dumb rule.

          • Surely the parking enforcement guy has some discretion. He doesn’t have to be on this street (of all streets) at exactly this time.

    • It is just a combo of rush hour zones and street cleaning on some of the side streets. 13th doesn’t have any restrictions at night.

    • justinbc

      That might be true if this were literally the only street in the neighborhood.

    • It seems like a lot of people aren’t aware of the actual Catch 22 here – that the law requires your car to instantly move from one side of the street to another exactly at 7pm.

      • That’s still not a good excuse for getting aggressive with a parking enforcement officer.

        • Someone needs to get aggressive. Obviously parking enforcement has caught on to the fact they can just sit at the ends of these kinds of blocks and wait…easy prey. It’s absurd. I just think the aggression should be channeled at the city and not the one individual, however shady this all is.

      • justinbc

        The law doesn’t even require you to own a car, so I’m not sure how you think it requires you to move it from one side of the street to the other. If you CHOOSE to park on the side of the street that expires at 7PM then it’s your responsibility to figure out those arrangements. Nobody FORCED you to park in that spot to begin with.

      • yes, BUT.

        the law does *not* require your car to instantly move from one side of the street to the other. the parking regulations don’t care about YOUR car. nowhere do these signs say you can only park on these two streets and all cars on one side must now park on the other. you move it back and forth because it’s what’s convenient. (i do it too on street-cleaning days- i just assume i’ll park across the street- but there are actually lots of spaces in my neighborhood so i don’t have the same problem as the OP.)

        i get the frustration- really, i do! but this is what entitlement is. obeying the rules only when they are convenient and with little regard to anyone else. and that’s what pisses me off about this whole thing. yes! it’s a stupid rule because there isn’t a lot of parking elsewhere, but it’s the rule. and therefore the OP should perhaps deal with it in a more potentially constructive way, rather than by whining about it and expecting special favors.

        • justinbc

          Yep. When I had a car in Logan Circle, and moved it basically only for street sweeping days, I hated it when someone would get one of the spots on the opposite side of the street. But I sure as hell didn’t move my car over there when it wasn’t allowed in order to circumvent the law. I often wound up circling for 15-30 minutes just to move my damn car. It’s a bitch, but welcome to city life.

  • 1. That does not sound like assault. It may still be something for which you can get ticketed or charged, but standing and refusing to move is not assault. And everyone is protected against assault, not just police and firefighters.

    2. If you do not like the 7am – 7pm deal, you and neighbors should use the energy you exerted here to get the city to change the time window to something more reasonable and allow more time to move the cars. As someone who often works well past 7pm, that would be really terrible to deal with every week. Street cleaning was reason enough for me to get rid of having a car in the city I used only a few times a month anyway. I think the answer here though is to get the rule change, not ignore it and do what you want.

    • justinbc

      +1 to your second note, and I also sold my car after realizing the only times I was ever really using it was to move from one side of the street to the other twice a week for cleaning.

      • Entrapment.

      • I would just note that I am sympathetic and I do not jump on the “WHY DO YOU HAVE A CAR IN THE CITY YOU CRAZY PERSON” bandwagon so many others do. There are multitude of reasons to have a car when you live in the city. I drove out to Reston every day for years, which until recently, was the only option. People seem to think that because they can live without a car, everyone can. Or should.

        At the very least, taxpaying DC residents should get first dibs on parking in front of their own homes. And the city should do what it can to make that a reality. There is little more frustrating than dealing with moving your car for street cleaning and circling block after block to find parking filled with cars with VA and MD plates.

        • justinbc

          Oh yeah, I totally get the need for a car. My partner has one, because she works out of the city. For me, there’s just zero real need. The few things I use hers for now, because it’s just a convenience, I could easily find an alternative for that didn’t require a car.

        • You know you can have your block zoned so that only permitted cars living in the same zone can park there, right?

          • Why do you think everything has such an easy solution? Have you actually gone through the zoning process? I have and let me tell you, it is no fun! You have to hunt down 75% of the people on your entire block and get them to agree to the zoning. Then you turn in your application and you wait until DDOT comes out to visually inspect block. If they so happen to come on a day when half your neighbors are out running errands or decide to drive into work? APPLICATION DENIED! But wait, you did get your application approved? Great! The restriction is only good from 8 am to 6:30 PM (which means those without zone parking can start taking up spaces at 4:30 PM). Want those hours extended? You have to wait a year and then start the whole process all over again; time to collect 75% of those signatures again.

            People have legitimate gripes and it’s so simple to say “just do this” when you have no experience doing any of it.

          • justinbc

            “The restriction is only good from 8 am to 6:30 PM (which means those without zone parking can start taking up spaces at 4:30 PM).”
            Can you explain that 4:30 part? Where I lived that was Zone 2 only you very clearly could not park during the hours posted (which were more like 7am to midnight, if I recall).

          • Also… parking zones are the same as ward boundaries, which means (for better or for worse) that people who live nowhere nearby can still park on your block. This can be an issue if you live, say, near a Metro station. And I recall someone who lives near Howard University Hospital saying it was a huge problem on his/her block — commuters with Zone 1 parking stickers were choosing to park on the street in Zone 1 parking rather than pay to park in the hospital parking garage.

          • Justin — The hours vary; some blocks are restricted for longer hours than others.
            I think “More Is More” is referring to the areas that have signage saying something like “Two-Hour Parking Limit Except for Zone ___ Residents.” So in those cases, someone who’s not a resident of that zone can park there starting after 4:30 p.m.

          • “Can you explain that 4:30 part? Where I lived that was Zone 2 only you very clearly could not park during the hours posted (which were more like 7am to midnight, if I recall).”

            Sure. When you’re first approved for the signs, it allows 2 hour parking only between the hours of 8 AM and 6:30 PM, with those with zone permits exempted from the time restrictions. So, if you don’t have a zone permit, you can technically start parking at 4:30 PM without violating the 2 hour time limit.

            If you want to extend those hours or make it zone residents at all times, you have to wait an entire year and then start the entire process all over again. It’s truly agonizing and really needs to be streamlined.

          • justinbc

            Ah OK, you’re talking about a different kind of restriction than what I was thinking. I assumed this area would already fall under the non-zone sticker = 2 hours parking rule. I thought Eponymous and you were referring to the Zone-Only type restrictions where there is no such allowance.

          • It’s kind of like losing weight. You can 1) eat less, 2) exercise, or 3) have gastric bypass surgery (or some combination). Those are your choices. You can kick and scream and say it’s unfair as much as you like, but densely-populated areas don’t mix well with large numbers of personal automobiles. When lots of people choose to have cars, the solutions are limited.
            There are lots of complicated problems in this city requiring complicated solutions. OP’s first-world parking problem really doesn’t qualify, and it certainly doesn’t justify the pathetic temper tantrum.

    • Mug of Glop

      According to the current laws in DC, that could constitute assault, though there are recent efforts on the DC Council to change that.

        • I do not think blocking a license plate is even assault under this definition. For starters, it is a parking enforcement person, not a police officer. You’re missing a few steps here for the police officer in OP’s story to be right. The officer would need to have shown up, asked the OP to move and then attempt to arrest OP who then resists for it to be “assault” even under this completely ridiculous definition of assault.

          Even then, this isn’t assault. If a person swings, kicks, etc. at the officer while resisting arrest, then sure. But simply refusing to move and forcing the officer to forcibly remove you is not assault. So I agree with Mary Cheh…change this ridiculousness. But again, that is not what OP was doing at all.

          • Mug of Glop

            I mean, I don’t think it should be assault, and certainly you don’t, and I’m happy Mary Cheh doesn’t, but it might under the broadest definition of the current law. If you’re arrested for something that could “in good faith” be considered assaulting a police or enforcement officer, regardless of whether it’ll hold up in court, you’ve still been arrested. And police will often use the widest possible definition of laws to arrest you if they think you’re annoying them.

          • Well, the arrest matters far less than a conviction. A cop can arrest me for battery even if I haven’t hit him or her.

            I’m just saying that under the normal, widely accepted legal definition for assault, what OP did is not assault. And even under a very cursory reading of the DC version of assault in this situation, what the OP did isn’t assault. The OP wasn’t arrested, so could not have been resisting arrest by refusing to comply with the officer’s commands. Also, the parking enforcement person is not a police officer (which is why that parking enforcement person called the police officer). So, I’m sorry, but the officer is wrong in saying that what OP did was assault. And I suspect he or she knows that.

          • I have an acquaintance who was arrested for “assaulting an officer” when interfering with the work of a parking enforcement officer under similar circumstances. He spent the weekend in jail and while eventually the charges were dropped he did spend $$$ on a lawyer and a lot of time worrying about the loss of a security clearance.

  • Listen —

    As a Euclid street resident, I jut want you to imagine everyone trying to play musical cars at the same time… with a meter man standing on the side walk, writing tickets just as fast as people try to move their cars. Sure, rules are rules. But abusing the power of enforcement by literally trying to play “gotcha”, well,… that’s just not cool.

    • Scrillin

      Most people on this website either have off-street parking or live in some tony area where there’s ample parking all the time.

      Meanwhile, when they want to go out to eat their small plates in Columbia Heights or U St, where do they park? Oh yeah, where all these Euclid people normally would.

      • “Most people on this website either have off-street parking or live in some tony area where there’s ample parking all the time.” I doubt this is the case, but I’d be interested to see a PoPville poll on the subject.

      • If you choose to live in an area such as this, you choose to deal with the parking too. If you want off-street parking, move farther out in the city.

        • Actually, just about every house on this block has at least one if not TWO off-street parking spaces. Perhaps OP just needs to make friends with the neighbors and ask to borrow a free space on occasions like this.

          • Except that almost every “house” on this block is an apartment building or multi-family home/house split into various units. I lived in a 40+ unit building on this block with only 4 parking spaces. There were way more than 4 people in the building who had cars.

        • west_egg

          Ah, ye olde “Don’t like [insert thing that could be improved by setting higher expectations]? Then MOVE!” chestnut.

          • Or, you know, make a conscious decision and then live with the consequences – like an adult. You choose to live on Euclid (I used to, just one block west of OP) you deal with the reality. I had to move my car every single week, and I find OP’s behavior abhorrent. You don’t get special treatment because you “have to” have a car. That’s a choice you made.

          • See, the funny thing is, that’s how it works. Parking sucks in Columbia Heights. Everyone knows this. If you choose to live there, then you are choosing to deal with the issue. Just like by living in Brightwood, I choose to deal with having to walk a mile to the nearest Metro. And yes, when you don’t like something about a particular neighborhood and it starts to impact your life to the point that you don’t want to deal with it – move! Or go ahead and try and change the laws. But don’t interfere with someone who didn’t make the law trying to do their job, act like a complete child, and expect to get sympathy from perfect strangers on the internet.

      • do you even popville bruh?

  • I feel the need to read this letter using a funny voice.

  • I lived on the 1300 block of Kenyon Street for six years without a parking space so I can appreciate OP’s issues and applaud his concern for his neighbors, but I never expected parking enforcement personnel to give me a break or a grace period when it came to assigned times for restrictions. Best thing I ever did was move to a block with no rush-hour restrictions.

  • This block only has parking on one side. I’m sure there’s some reason why that’s the case (school buses? the apts on the south side?). The reason for the day long street sweeping is that parking can only ever be on one side and it’s easier for residents to switch in the morning and evening rather than from 9:30 to 11:30 only (as the block of Euclid between 11th and 13th). If this is too much of a hassle, just park on a different block on Tuesdays, which is not all that unreasonable. You probably knew when you moved in that it is not the easiest neighborhood to find parking, but honestly it’s not really that bad. If you really hate that idea, you can get DC to discontinue service by getting the signatures of 80% of residents on 3 contiguous blocks. Personally I’d rather just move my car and have clean streets.
    I’m sure they targeted this for enforcement specifically because they don’t want cars parked on both sides of the street at any point. It’s completely unreasonable to prevent city workers from enforcing the law.

  • We have a similar issue on our street, except that it is a one-way, one-block street with one parking lane, one travel lane, and little parking enforcement. Normally there is only parking on the east side, and the west lane is a travel lane. On street sweeping days between 7am and 7pm, you must park in the west lane. Except that, because of lax enforcement, few people remove their cars from the west side by 7pm, so when people park legally (on the east side) after 7pm, it often ends up blocking the street.

    That is, because there’s no enforcement, people park in the parking lane AND the travel lane and the entire street is often blocked on Thursday evenings – no way to drive down it. I wish we had the kind of enforcement you’re complaining about. (Yes, I am a parking snitch and call 311 all the time to report this. They might come and ticket, but they don’t tow after 7pm, so there’s apparently nothing to be done until people move their cars from the east side.)

    If I’m not going to be able to move my car back at 7pm on a Thursday, I park on a different block the night before. That’s part of having a car in the city.

  • This is clearly a city scam designed to ticket residents for non compliance with laws that are nearly impossible to obey. I noticed a lot of people are calling this a “flawed system”. It’s not. It’s a well designed system intended to create extra revenue for the city. It’s the exact reason parking enforcement showed after street sweeping had occurwd, at the time most people begin moving their cars.

    • justinbc

      No wonder the grocery store was out of tinfoil last night, you took it all.

      • Can’t believe you and so many others here are siding with DPW. Our parking enforcement regime absolutely is revenue-based and overly aggressive in its implementation. Fees like this are income regressive and should only be a revenue source when absolutely necessary to promote efficiency and deter rulebreaking which is actually harmful to the public interest. In this case, the street sweeping truck (in the unlikely event there even was one) had long passed, and there’s no legitimate public interest in the officer playing this “gotcha” game on both sides of a residential block. In fact it’s likely, as I usually see, the DPW officer’s Honda Civic was the only vehicle anywhere around which was actually impeding car or bike travel lanes.

        • justinbc

          I’ve been issued a ticket in this city even when I don’t own a car, and I still side 100% with the officer in this case. It’s only a fee if you choose to break the law and park there earlier than allowed. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for people who willingly opt to break the law out of convenience.

  • The street cleaning provisions are absolutely absurd, and something that remains a headache, this is why when we bought a house, we got one with available off street parking.

  • I once got a ticket at 4:01pm on Wisconsin. The Parking Enforcement officer saw me crossing the street with my infant in arms and still happily wrote me a ticket. As much as I think he was a a-hole for doing it, he was in the right and I was in the wrong. Same with this situation. There is no such thing as a grace period. Dick move or not, it’s the law.

  • I honestly cannot believe how many of you are blaming the OP for his or her mild civil disobedience in this case. All they did was try to show, in a peaceful and non-violent way, that the parking officer was following an obviously unjust and impractical law.

    All these comments show to me are that most of you didn’t actually read and understand this letter (I hope), or you genuinely don’t care how ridiculous the laws can be in your own backyard.

    Just…have a little heart every now and then and don’t always pat yourself on the back. If this was your weekly life to run to your car and stress to avoid losing $45 while systematically losing your time, you’d be plopped down right in front of your car as well.

    • justinbc

      You know who has the power to change those laws? Not the parking enforcement officer. If you want to practice civil disobedience or voice displeasure it’s a lot more effective to do it at the appropriate parties, not just some civil servant trying to do the job they’re told to do.

      • +1 The amount of abuse parking enforcement get for doing their jobs everyday is staggering. What OP did was not legal and just like what the driver did was against parking regulation. I think several of the readers “have a heart” for the person just trying to do their job.

        • I’m not defending the OP here, but I place my respect for parking enforcement in DC just above the metro station managers who sit in those boxes and sleep all day. And mostly because DC parking enforcement almost always illegally parks to write you a ticket for illegally parking.

          • justinbc

            That’s within their administrative rights, and often times the only way possible for them to do their job. Can you imagine circling a block for half an hour trying to find a spot to write a ticket for a car you saw 2 blocks away that might be moved by the time you get to it? That would be silly, right? That’s why they’re allowed to “illegally park” (it’s legal for them).

          • I can because I don’t know how many times I’ve had to circle the block to find a parking spot. And I don’t even get paid to do it.

          • justinbc

            You also don’t have a job that explicitly allows for it. If you can’t grasp that very basic concept then I can’t help you further.

        • justinbc

          It’s a really crappy job to have to do, I don’t envy them. Virtually nobody likes the service they provide when it’s provided to them, but everyone wants you to provide that service to someone else who’s causing issues for their convenience. There really are very few comparable positions to be in.

          • Hey buddy, just like you argue above, no one is forcing anyone to do it just like no one is forcing anyone to park across the street.

          • Thank you! We all applaud when we see that out of DC jerk get a ticket for leaving their car in our zoned areas for 2 days. But as soon as it impacts us, it’s an outrage. We need those parking enforcement officers and I know without them I would have less places to park.

          • justinbc

            @Truxtoner, actually, yes, they are forced to do it. Because if nobody enforces the law people will clearly take advantage of it. And as evidenced by this story, even when people are enforcing the law there are people who still want to take advantage of it right in front of them.

          • “And as evidenced by this story, even when people are enforcing the law there are people who still want to take advantage of it right in front of them.”
            $20 says the OP is a “government affairs specialist” (aka lobbyist). That’s the type of crap they do right under Congress’s nose.

          • @justinbc – so parking enforcement workers are slaves who are forced to do a job that you think is terrible and therefore we should all have some sort of empathy for them. But I am not allowed to feel empathy for people who, after working all day, have to come home and figure out what to do with their car because DC is inept and any sort of sensible urban planning? You’re right, no one is forced to park on the 7am – 7pm side of the street. But no one is forced to be a parking enforcement person either. I am not condoning the behavior of OP here, but I see no reason to feel bad for someone because they have a job you probably wouldn’t want to do. Driving around in a little air conditioned car and hopping out to write tickets doesn’t actually seem that terrible to me.

      • +1. It’s like chewing out the cashier at the grocery store because you couldn’t find some obscure produce item.

    • “Civil disobedience” over rights to convenient, reliable, and FREE parking is a laughable concept.
      You act they’re Rosa Parks, refusing to move to the back of the bus. Puh-leeze.

  • It seems unfair, but lax enforcement would be even more unfair and probably dangerous. Euclid is the first street north of Florida that runs from Georgia to Adams Morgan, it has limited clearance for two-way traffic, and major thoroughfares on either end of the block. Stop the flow in either direction and the back-up could quickly create gridlock on surrounding streets.
    It’s easy to think a grace period is fair but soon enough the posted times would be meaningless – which is pretty much unfair to everyone else, whether parking or just driving through.

    • “It seems unfair, but lax enforcement would be even more unfair and probably dangerous. Euclid is the first street north of Florida that runs from Georgia to Adams Morgan, it has limited clearance for two-way traffic, and major thoroughfares on either end of the block. Stop the flow in either direction and the back-up could quickly create gridlock on surrounding streets.”
      Ding ding ding, we have a winner.
      This is actually why the street has such restrictions. This particular block is a major cross-town artery during the rush hours between Sherman Ave and 16th. It is also a two-way block. This is further compounded by the fact that lots of people like to double-park in the traffic lanes on this particular block and toss on their hazard lights, usually in front of the numerous apartment buildings on the south side of the block (the north side is a strip of 4-story row houses). It also doesn’t help that many of the rowhouses on this block continue to be sub-divided into condos, thus worsening an already tough parking situation.
      If you allowed dual side parking during the rush hour and then added in the perpetual double-parkers, you would get a major traffic jam that would end up all of Euclid and most of 13th. It would be chaos.

  • I live on this block as well. The point that was not well-conveyed well in the OP is that on Tuesdays, enforcement is there waiting to give you a ticket if you move to the North Side before 7:00p, but also to give you a ticket if you’re still on the South Side at 7:01p. So everyone on the entire block is expected to just move their cars, all at exactly the same time, or be issued a ticket? That is entrapment. Parking Enforcement should understand that this situation (which they did not create) is a logistical nightmare, and spare the ticket for those who move their cars just a few minutes early. After all, those people are consciously trying to *avoid* a ticket by moving their car. No one should be ticketed for simply acting to try and avoid a ticket. Now, for those who aren’t outside to move their car by 7, I really don’t have a lot of sympathy for, since time was up.

    • Except that there are many other ways to avoid the ticket.

      • Entrapment? Please. You can absolutely move your car before 7 pm — you just can’t move it to the other side of the street, the most convenient destination. But you can move it to any other block.

        If you want the convenience you’re apparently seeking, you need to be there on the dot of 7 pm.

    • Ha yeah right, that would require the Parking Enforcement people to have a heart. And a brain. Based on my dealings with them they have neither

      • It’s not up to Parking Enforcement to use their personal discretion or invent rules, especially when the posted times on the signs are clearly stated and seem to be understood by all those parking on the street. What would having a heart or a brain mean — Giving people a 10 minute grace period? 15 minute grace period? 1 hour grace period? It’s too arbitrary. If the posted times are an issue, this is something to raise with your councilmember.

    • justinbc

      It’s not entrapment. Please do not use legal terms you don’t understand, as it mires some of the legitimacy you might have in your argument. There are other streets in DC. You are not forced to be on one side of the street or the other, you choose to be.

    • There are presumably places one can park other than the two sides of this block of Euclid street.

      • Yes, in theory there are, but that area is notoriously bad for parking, and there are many times when there are no spaces available within a 5+ block radius.

        • Then demand is higher than supply for parking in the neighborhood. Opening up the other side of Euclid earlier (at 6:30 or 6:45) is not going to change this, and it will result in cars parked on both sides of a street where there is clearly only supposed to be cars parked on one side at a time.

    • So this block does not allow parking on both sides of the street from 6:30 pm – 7 a.m.?

  • It’s just a shame that there is nothing Parking Enforcement can do about all the illegally parked out of town police vehicles that are littering the city this week

  • Everyone here likes the argument that you could just go move and park on another block…until they realize it is their block these people are parking on.

    • indeed. People’s heads would asplode if they came home and all the parking spaces were full with cars from 3 blocks away.

    • Does anyone who lives in this area actually believe that they have some sort of right to park on the same block as their house?

      • What does having or not having a “right” to do something have to do with anything? People are not allowed to have a reaction to something if there is NO RIGHT of some kind? Who cares if there is no right? There are plenty of other reasons to think parking near your house is sensible…logical…etc. Why have parking at all then? Why have zones at all then? Why not just live in completely anarchy?

        As to a right, no maybe not, but I would think with the money people dump into the DC treasury in order to even have a car in the city, the numerous and repeated hoops you have to jump through, yeah, there is some expectation that when there is parking in front of your house, you might actually be able to use it without some incredible hassle all the time. Not a right, but I’d say a sane reasonable expectation.

        • justinbc

          “there is some expectation that when there is parking in front of your house, you might actually be able to use it without some incredible hassle all the time”
          You’re in luck, as it’s apparently only one day of the week, not all the time.

          • Well that assumes anyone is going to bother moving their car back. Once I moved for street cleaning, I rarely moved again until street cleaning on whatever street I moved my car to.

        • But there are clearly many more people who live and visit this neighborhood and want to park then there are parking spaces. So, it will be hard to find a spot. Options for dealing with this include: renting a private spot, lobbying the city to raise the price of the Residential Parking Permits, or selling your car. Talking about sensible and logical expectations is not going to magically create more car storage space on our neighborhood streets.

          • I do not disagree that there are no perfect solutions, but I do think there should be a trend toward preferring the people who live there to visitors and setting up a parking enforcement scheme on this block that incentivizes people to either disregard the scheme or move their cars away from their homes into other neighborhoods makes very little sense to me, which is why I pointed out that the people suggesting you just park somewhere else think that until that somewhere else is their own neighborhood where parking is just as limited. I don’t know how much the tickets are, but when I owned a car, the fine was $25 if you parked in street cleaning zones on that day. Leaving your car there and just taking/paying the ticket is cheaper by half than most private parking spots cost.

            Also, why should taxpaying homeowners have to find private parking when there is parking in front of their own homes. You’re not guaranteed a spot, but it’s lost on me why the city shouldn’t at least try to make it a lot easier on people who have invested in a particular neighborhood to actually get to park there.

          • “why should taxpaying homeowners have to find private parking when there is parking in front of their own homes?”

            Because there are many, many more taxpaying homeowners (and renters) in CoHi then there are parking spaces.

          • I am not sure there are more taxpaying homeowners with cars without parking as part of their home than there are parking spaces. Perhaps, but I doubt you know that for sure either. The point is that a decent percentage of available parking in CoHi is taken up by people who don’t live there. If that was not allowed, we could actually know if there was still some vast shortage of parking.

            Why should taxpaying homeowners have to pay for private parking instead of Virginians and Marylanders who drive into the city? Why can’t they be prohibited form parking in residential areas at all times? Let them pay for parking in a private spot instead of the DC resident.

      • You’d be surprised – a lot of people assume this: old timers, house-poor yuppies, families shlepping tons of kid-related crap between the car and home, etc.
        Everyone thinks they’re a “special case”

  • Some of y’all need to chill.

    Many of the neighborhoods with the worst parking problems did not have major parking problems until they became popular neighborhoods. I’ve been in my home for 14 years and in that time I have seen my block and the neighboring blocks go from ample parking to 0, thanks to exploding population (with the 9 pop-up’s on my block, we have now more than doubled the number of cars).

    It is not automatically a case of “well you should not have moved into that neighborhood if you knew you needed a car” because for a lot of us, we could manage our cars just fine when we moved in.

    Should I quit my job and find one closer to the metro just because every other house on my block now has 3-4 times as many families in it?

    As for the “why is it so hard for this guy to move his car at 7:00” I think a lot of you are missing the fact that the minute it becomes legal for him to park on the left side, it becomes illegal to park on the right side. It’s not that it is difficult to move the car in the evenings; it’s that it must be done precisely at 7pm or get a ticket (and they are hawks in that neighborhood).

    OP– talk to your ANC commissioner about how to get DDOT to change the parking restrictions. it is not that difficult especially if your neighbors all agree.

    • Well said.

      Do you really have 9 pop-ups on your block??

    • I need a drink after reading these comment threads.

    • You don’t have to move your car precisely at 7 PM. You can move it anytime before 7 PM. You just can’t move it directly across the street.

    • justinbc

      “I think a lot of you are missing the fact that the minute it becomes legal for him to park on the left side, it becomes illegal to park on the right side.”
      I don’t actually think anyone has missed that point. What we’re saying is that nobody is forcing you to park on one side or the other and do that switch. If you park on the right side then you are doing so willingly knowing the outcome you must prevent. There are myriad other streets (or rental spaces) for you to place your car other than that one side.

  • First off- I never support people being rude to government employees just trying to do their job. However, I do understand where the OP is coming from. I used to live on this block, and it was more of a nightmare parking situation than any of the other places I’ve lived in the District. There were days I ended up having to drive to work (instead of biking or walking as per usual) and pay for parking because I couldn’t find any parking within a 6+ block radius of my apartment and needed to get to the office. Talk about perverse incentives for limiting car traffic. It is particularly penalizing for those with inflexible work schedules who cannot be staked out at exactly 7am and 7pm to move their cars. This area is already awful in terms of parking, but the street cleaning mess on this block (and a few other around it, I believe) make things particularly hellish.

    At the time, I had to have a car and repeatedly searched for a decent off-street parking spot in my area, but everything got snapped up quickly due to relatively few spots vs. a lot of apartment buildings and multi-family homes. It would be fabulous if, amongst the constant development of the area, someone could build a parking deck with long-term spaces to better serve this area. You could even have a community garden (or some other productive use of space for the benefit of the community) on the roof!

    • justinbc

      I will say that when I moved into the city I was really surprised by the complete lack of 24 hour parking garages in residential districts. But given the way that everyone bitches about every new opening here that’s announced but isn’t some cool sounding bar (see all the hate any time a real estate office is opened, or a CVS, or anything that provides a basic service) I can see how it would have a hard time getting approved.

      • The “destination” neighborhoods in DC don’t want parking garages because it would encourage more people to drive their cars. So instead, what they get is endless conflicts over parking because visitors still drive but just have no designated place to park.

  • Getting up to move the car, or setting reminders to do it, might be worth it if the streets were actually cleaned.

    • Not sure where you live but in my ‘hood, Park View, the streets are cleaned regularly. In fact, some of the sweepers now have cameras on them. If you are blocking the lane they will snap a picture of your plate and mail you a ticket.


  • As I was there for this incident, I do want to note that the parking enforcement guy was a complete jerk. At 5 to 7, I said, “5 minutes, are tickets neccessary?” His reponse wasn’t “the sign says 7” but rather “street cleaning.” At which point I noticed the enormous amount of trash along the curb. Now I break that particular law every Tuesday morning as I’m catching the S1 at 7AM, usually move my car at 6:45. And I’m guilty of moving the truck over 10-15 minutes early just to beat the rush at 7. But writing tickets with ten minutes to go…that’s just silly. And a sure fire way to ensure the public hates parking enforcement more than they already do. And God forbid parking enforcement actually does something about the huge number of cars we see over and over with Maryland tags and no DC parking permit. That’s half the reason why parking is such a pain in the ass in and around Euclid Street.

    • justinbc

      “But writing tickets with ten minutes to go…that’s just silly.”
      Let’s all apply this logic to breaking other laws and see how much fun we can have!

    • “…a sure fire way to ensure the public hates parking enforcement more than they already do.”
      No, it’s just a way to ensure that the public makes every effort to adhere to the posted times. Hate for parking enforcement is a given. It’s regrettable that the guy was a jerk but he’s probably taken more abuse on the job than you could dream up for him.
      People think this is about poor planning or fee collection or just plain spite for residents. What about the person whose legally parked car gets swiped as drivers try to get around an illegally parked car? How about the ambulance that can’t get through because what’s supposed to be two lanes is now one?

      It’s interesting that so many of the complainers mostly leave their cars at home, so they likely have very little idea how much of a pain it is to travel crosstown anywhere in DC at rush hour. It doesn’t take much to lock it up completely, which I guess is no big deal unless your house is on fire.

  • As I was there for this incident, I do want to note that the parking enforcement guy was a complete jerk. At 5 to 7, I said, “5 minutes, are tickets neccessary?” His reponse wasn’t “the sign says 7” but rather “street cleaning.” At which point I noticed the enormous amount of trash along the curb. Now I break that particular law every Tuesday morning as I’m catching the S1 at 7AM, usually move my car at 6:45. And I’m guilty of moving the truck over 10-15 minutes early just to beat the rush at 7. But writing tickets with ten minutes to go…that’s just silly. And a sure fire way to ensure the public hates parking enforcement more than they already do. And God forbid parking enforcement actually does something about the huge number of cars we see over and over with Maryland tags and no DC parking permit. That’s half the reason why parking is such a pain in and around Euclid Street.

    • It seems to me that the point of these restrictions is to not have cars parked on both sides of Euclid at the same time, because that would interfere with traffic flow. The only way to accomplish this is to enforce the restrictions as written, and not have a “grace period” during which people can store their cars on both sides of the street.

  • Here’s a thought, perhaps the OP and his neighbors could tell DPW that they don’t want their street cleaned.
    Side note question: How is it determined which streets get cleaned and which don’t? My street doesn’t have it and I wish it did. Full disclosure, though, I don’t own a car. 🙂

    • AMDCer — I think it’s by resident request. Specifically, if 80% of the block signs a petition, then a non-street-cleaning street can become a street-cleaning street.

      • Interesting – I had never heard that. I doubt that we could get 80% of my block to vote yes, so probably not worth trying. So it stands to reason that the OP and neighbors could request *not* to have cleaning if they got 80% to request it….

  • Justinbc is officially “that guy” who applies logic and common sense to the discussion at hand? Good for Justin. I hope that I too can be “that guy” sometime.

  • This “problem” will soon be solved by technology. More and more of the street sweepers are being outfitted with cameras. If the street sweeper encounters a car parked on the wrong side of the street, the license plate is snapped, and a ticket gets sent to the offending driver. Once the street sweeper has gone through, there’s no need to do any ticketing because the purpose of keeping the lane clear has been met.

  • I’ve disagreed with justinbc about plenty of things, but YOU are “that guy” for resorting to personal attacks simply because you disagree with him here. Really uncool.

  • This post and the subsequent man years of anxiety and rage exhibited in the responses below is EXACTLY why I only looked at houses to buy that had offstreet parking. Sure, it comes out to about an extra ~20-30K depending, but not having to deal with the byzantine parking enforcement of DC, and the lost months of time every year circling for parking or moving my car multiple times a week.

    Offstreet parking is awesome

  • So, a couple years after I moved to Euclid St (which is currently a two-way between 15th and 13th) they changed the street cleaning signs from the normal 2-hour no parking every other street has, to 12 hours (7am-7pm) because they only allow parking on one side of the street between 15th and 13th because so many people use it both ways. However, it USED to be zoned for parking on both sides like Euclid between 13th and 11th is. Basically because so many commuters, who don’t live in the neighborhood, use the road they changed the parking to one side, reducing parking for residents so others can drive fast. Anyway, although an inconvenience to have less parking in front of our homes, the move from 7am-7pm no parking on street cleaning days is a major hassle.

    Personally I have to set an alarm to remind myself to get out BEFORE 7am to move my car because parking enforcement literally sits at the end of the block, gets out of their car at 7am exactly and starts ticketing all cars that haven’t moved. I got a ticket once at 7:04am. No mercy. However, as inconvenient the 7am move time is, 7pm is worse. Routinely I cannot go out on Tuesday nights because I have to move my car at 7pm. Most residents move their cars earlier to avoid a 7pm ticket, but now, apparently, parking enforcement is waiting at 7pm too and started ticketing people who moved a few minutes before 7pm. Which is what happened to the other guy who wrote you.

    I saw what was going on and had to stand outside until 7pm waiting to move my car exactly at 7. It is VERY unreasonable that these two blocks of DC have different regulations than the rest of DC and that we are being penalized for moving our cars at any point except the EXACT moment we have to, which would be impossible for everyone to do at the same time.

    Personally, I wish the ANC commissioner would try to get parking on both sides of the street again so that we can only have the 2-hour window during the workday that wouldn’t interrupt two blocks of residents every Tuesday. And/or make Euclid a one-way like most every other parallel street is around here.

    Also, most of the time the street sweeper hasn’t even come, which was the case last night.

    • west_egg

      Help us out here — would it be possible for you to park on another street (13th, Fairmont, etc.) on Monday night so that you could sleep in on Tuesday and go out after work? Having lived in that neighborhood for many years I understand how tight parking can be, but are restrictions on immediately adjacent streets as imposing?
      And I’m with you on the 7:04 thing. That’s why I’m personally in favor of cameras on the street sweepers themselves — they ticket the people who actually impede the street cleaning process, as opposed to those who are a few minutes late on streets where the sweeper never even makes an appearance.

      • To be fair, the neighboring streets are usually just as packed. Free street parking spots are hard to come by in this area, especially if you aren’t back to move your car until after 5:30pm or so.

  • So glad to have this post and resulting commentary. I’m saving it for the next time street sweeping comes up as a question in my neighborhood.

  • It took me a second to understand the issue. It sounds like a good thing to bring up in neighborhood meetings or with the city. They should have allowed for a bit of wiggle room for the move on Tuesday. The sign should definitely be 6:30 – 6:30 or something like that so that they have time to move the cars.

  • 1. This falls squarely in the category of: Life’s not fair. Deal with it.
    2. Choose your battles.

  • We have the exact same situation on Corcoran St Nw between 15th and 16th. I haven’t seen this sort of escalation on our block but I have gotten a ticket at 6:59pm. They don’t even clean the street half the time, the whole thing is just an excuse to write tickets. They are dutifully there every Monday morning at 7am on the dot. What I would like to know is why doesn’t the street cleaning hours start after people have left for work?

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