Do As I Say Not As I Do Vol. 13


Great parking job by Parking Enforcement

“Seen on Calvert St about 5:30pm May 14th: Parking Enforcement parked next to a perfectly good empty parking space, blocking the bike lane.”

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21 Comment

  • They do this frequently. Last weekend, a Parking Enforcement vehicle was blocking the bike lane at around 15th and R St NW, and the parking officer got downright hostile when I called them on it. Bikes and cars were having to swerve way too close to each other in order to get around the vehicle.

    • I agree, there are some downright lazy, and nasty MFers working for parking enforcement.

      • +1
        I once had an officer try and tow my car for a barely expired meter during off-peak hours, what should have just been a $25 ticket. There are some horrible folks working for parking enforcement.

        • Were you parked in a rush-hour towaway zone? Or had you accumulated a bunch of unpaid tickets? It seems very unlikely that your car would be targeted for towing otherwise.

        • I second anon above. They two very quickly for rush hour violations (as they well should), but rarely for anything else.

  • justinbc

    While they do have some allowances on where they can park that other citizens do not, they are not supposed to impede the flow of traffic, which seems to be the case here.

    • Do they have some allowances on where they can park? This is a legitimate question. Can they actually break parking rules in order to enforce parking rules?

      • yes, because if they had to drive around looking for a legal space to park every time they need to get out of their car, they couldn’t do their jobs. I’m all for them, or cops or other city personnel who work out of their vehicles, parking in “no parking” areas, such as at the ends of blocks. As long as they are doing it to respond to a call or do their jobs, and not abusing it because they’re too lazy to find a legal spot when they are off duty.

      • justinbc

        Yes, they can park in places where you would otherwise not be allowed to park. However they cannot park out in the street like this, where it would disrupt the flow of traffic. They’ve actually been reprimanded for this in the past. WJLA did a story on it.

        • In that WJLA report you are referencing, it specifically says parking enforcement does not have special privileges.

          “We asked D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier whether they have special rights on the roads. She replied: ‘No, they don’t have special rights.’

          In fact, parking officers are supposed to follow the same rules of the road that every other driver does. DPW’s standard operating procedures require employees to ‘show courtesy to other drivers, obey traffic signs and traffic regulations'”

          • To be fair “traffic signs and traffic regulations” are not the same thing as parking restrictions (traffic being moving and parking being stationary. This may have been intentionally vague on her part.

          • justinbc

            Yes, exactly. That article is specifically about blocking traffic, not about actually parking in spaces otherwise deemed illegal.

          • Sorry, I don’t believe they were only referring to moving traffic violations, considering parking restrictions was specifically what the article was focused on.

      • Yeah, by nature they’d have to be able to park illegally, because it’s where there *aren’t* any spaces that people commit the most parking infractions.

  • I wouldn’t normally comment on this, but I think we might be a tad harsh on the parking enforcement person. The OP didn’t indicate how long the parking enforcement vehicle was stationary in that spot, but typically they pull up next to a vehicle like this so that their camera can read the license plate, then if a violation is spotted they print out a ticket and place it on the windscreen. All of this takes maybe 90 seconds so it makes little sense to actually pull into a spot – also the cameras on the vehicle are directed at a certain angle which only works if they pull somewhat parallel to the parked car rather than parked directly behind them.
    Now maybe in this instance the parking enforcement officer left the vehicle for an extended period to go into a shop or restaurant (that would be bad and would justify the OP’s outrage), but assuming they were just carrying out their duties then I see no problem with this.

    • If that is the case, than there is a huge problem with the process. They shouldn’t be crawling up the side of the road in their cars, especially when there is a bike lane present. It is my understanding that they should be finding a legal place to park, and walk up the the block when scanning plates.

      • The license plate readers are attached to their cars not the person.

        I also am tired of the constant bashing of parking personnel. They put up with so much crap from people like the guy on Euclid last week. Plus we don’t know the details of this situation, yet everyone is ready to hang him/her out to dry. Perhaps the other space had just been vacated before the OP arrived?

        I WANT it to be easy for parking enforcement to write tickets. I want them to write as many tickets as possible. I want them to enforce the rules so that the signs that regulate parking actually mean something and it will deter illegal parking. They provide a necessary service for the residents of the city.

        • +1 to this. I want to be upset about this, but they have to do their job. If they parked there and then got a coffee or something, that would be one thing. But chances are they were out writing a ticket or marking tires or something for a few minutes.

    • Can not park in the bike lane, don’t care who you are or what you are doing. I think history has definitely proven that the “I am just trying to do my job” is not an excuse.

  • Any chance that you got a tag number?

  • According to the the Post, DC gave out about 4000+ tickets for parking in the bike lane in 2014. I’d imagine that this is a pretty typical infraction to ticket ratio.

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