“you may have been ticketed and towed because it appears someone at DDOT didn’t do their job properly”


A reader reports:

“If you parked on the south side of the 1900 block of Calvert Street this morning you may have been ticketed and towed because it appears someone at DDOT didn’t do their job properly. The sign in the picture was just posted early this morning 5/12 despite having a printed date of 5/6 and an effective date of 5/9. I was outside late last night looking for these signs because I knew the repaving was scheduled to take place this week and confirmed that there were no signs as of 10pm. And yet the signs were up and parking enforcement was out there before I left for work this morning. She was just sitting in the car when I left and I didn’t have time to see if she would ticket anyone, but there are now reports on the Adams Morgan listserv that cars on that block were in fact ticketed and towed today. If this happened to you, you should be able to successfully contest it given the complete lack of advance notice. Compounding the DDOT ineptitude, it looked like someone was also granted a moving truck permit for today’s date along part of the stretch undergoing repaving. No idea how that was handled.”

19 Comment

  • This kind of stuff is just so embarrassing, DDOT!

  • This happens way too often. I have been ticketed in the past when a sign was hung the same day as activation and after I went to work. I contested it with photos, an email from the construction company, and a snapshot of their work order they sent to DOT. Still denied, payed $50.

  • I mean, it has been raining. What, you expect DDOT to go put up signs in the rain? (sarcasm, in case it’s missed)

  • Same thing happened to me earlier this year and same story as Tim above, in spite of all the evidence including an email from the construction company, no dice. Ironically enough, I went and looked at my photos from the incident and the same guy is the contact as in the photo above.

  • Mug of Glop

    Seems DDOT only really cares when it’s their own emergency restrictions on the line. I’ve heard nothing but horror stories (well, maybe more like disappointment stories) about individuals both on this blog and in real life putting these permits up for moving trucks and the like, and having DDOT act both inept and impotent when asked to tow cars out of the way, even when they do everything to the letter, like calling MPD three days in advance to check that the signs are actually up. Maybe I’m getting confused and it’s actually MPD and not DDOT that gets the call to ticket and tow? In any case, this story shows that the system is tilted way in favor of District agencies, and pretty much doesn’t bother to respond to individuals asking for the same.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      The problem with moving is that most people do it on the weekend, so there are no parking enforcement officials working. In order to get a tow, you need to have MPD come out and ticket (I have had this done and MPD was helpful, but it takes a while), and then get permission from DDOT to have a third-party tower come (there is apparently someone who will answer calls or something like that). Either way, by the time it is all said and done, you are finished moving, so its not worth the effort. If you move on a week day, these problems would not exist.

    • burritosinstereo

      yes, you’re totally right. I moved last week (5/8) and put my signs up 3 days in advance (once I got home from work on Tuesday). Because I had posted the signs after business hours, there was nobody in the office when I called to verify, so I called early on Wednesday morning. The woman gave me an earful about how she was doing me this huge favor by sending someone out to confirm because it was less than 72 hours (even though I was insistent I had posted the signs the day before) – regardless, she had a point. But on the morning of the 8th, there was a minivan parked like RIGHT in the middle of where the moving truck was going to go, and when I called to get them ticketed/towed, they asked me like 20 times if I had called to get the signs verified. YEAH I DID JUST MOVE THE DANG MINIVAN!

  • This has happened to me before too! I contested, with pictures of the signs, and gave details of when I parked there, when the signs showed up, and when I was ticketed. As a good government employee, I also included the reg citation:
    Title 18-24-07, 2407.24 A Sign prohibiting or reserving parking shall be erected at least 24 hours in advance in a non-residentially zoned area. If a sign is erected in a residentially zoned area, the sign prohibiting or reserving parking shall be erected at least 72 hours in advance. The Director for extraordinary circumstances shown may waive this required advance notice for good cause.

    I also was polite in my description and not an ass hat. That usually helps. It was vacated!

  • Let’s HOPE that these tickets/towings can be successfully contested. I’ve contested something very similar and actually lost. Not only does DDOT do this kind of completely unfair ticketing regularly, they’ve also made the appeals process a one-stop shop for rejections, regardless of whether the overwhelming weight of the evidence is on your side or not.

    Oh, and if you lose and want to appeal the appeal, I’m pretty sure you have to pay money up front and then appear in court in person. They’ve really left no stone unturned in an effort to negate the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.”

  • I just went through this same process (Hill East). I came home from work and the dates listed on the sign were for the previous week and extended for 2 months. I attempted to find the permit number on the TOPS system, to no avail. I called the contact (Fort Meyer construction) and was told that the city issues these permits and they are intended to be used throughout a neighborhood. I searched for my specific block and couldn’t find it. The people at Ft Meyer said that sometimes the permits are just issued and then the signs are reused on another block. I find this hard to believe, but well, crazier things have happened in DC.

    • saf

      Fort Myer is just evil. And since this is repaving, I am sure they are at fault here too. They seem to have some sort of odd lock on repaving in the District.

      • Scrillin

        Anita Bonds works for them.

      • They have been investigated a couple times over the past 15 years as the occasional Council member asks the same question: “Why does one company get 90% of the cities public roadwork and infrastructure money”. The answer after a hasty and “shallow” investigation is that Ft Myer gets to claim DC residency on their proposals because they maintain an office and storage yard in the District.

        The Districts relationship started in 1984/85 as a “patronage” thing under Barry. One of Barry’s personally selected staff who would be later indicted, and who was a friend, got them in on a project, and Ft Myer never left, despite being repeatedly proven to be anywhere from 15-25% more expensive than their nearby suburban competition.

        They have about 600 employees, yet fewer than 10% of them are District residents. Heck, the US Dept of Labor fined them a million bucks last year for race and gender discrimination, yet we still give them all our money.

        They’ve spent millions over the following decades on Council members (Like Anita Bond, who continued to work for them for years after elected) to maintain their cozy and obscenely profitable relationship with the District.

  • I have one of the cars they towed. They gave the explanation there was “street cleaning” as the excuse for towing. $150 fine. The signs have already been removed. Maybe trying to cover up the fact they f-ed up. Total idiots but what else is new about D.C. government employees.

    • Hmmm…. I did noticed the signs were gone and the repaving never happened (despite it being scheduled to start yesterday). If there’s a cover-up of some sort to explain away several cars being towed for no justifiable reason then that’s even more troubling than the towing itself. Maybe worth a referral to the DC IG office.

Comments are closed.