Please Help. “this rolling debris container has been parked for 2 weeks past the expiration date of their emergency no parking sign”


“Dear PoPville,

There’s construction in my neighborhood, and this rolling debris container has been parked for quite sometime – For 2 weeks past the expiration date of their emergency no parking sign. This is in Newton St NW in Mt Pleasant. I’ve tried contacting the Department of Transportation, a few days ago. And it seems nothing has been done.

Parking is tight in my neighborhood and the workers try to block parking overnight every night with trash cans and caution tape. The construction vehicles have Maryland tags, and it appears that they park all day every day with impunity. (Which is interesting because the parking enforcement in my neighborhood is normally very strict, and the street parking only allows 2 hours for non residents.)

I also want to add that I believe that their permit is for 3 spaces but they routinely try to block off 4 to 5 spaces, and it’s unclear from the placement of the signs exactly what 3 spaces they are blocking.”

36 Comment

  • west_egg

    There’s some work going on up the street from me, and they had a permit up for one roll-off container. Before long there was not one but TWO containers set up, the second blocking a fire hydrant. I reported those shenanigans using the DC 311 app and it got cleared up right quick. It allows you to include a photo. I think you can also use the app to report the Maryland scofflaws.

  • The owner/developer/contractor should definitely get the public space permit extended or a new one. I hope you never plan on remodeling because if you are getting so up & arms over a 2 week delay I don’t think you’d ever make it through a remodel. Point being is the container is going to stay until they are finished; they should have to pay for that but the parking thing still won’t be resolved until they are actually finished.

    • The OP has every right to be up in arms. The developer needs to either get a new permit or move the rolloff container somewhere else until he has one. And from what the OP says, it sounds like the developer has been using more public space than he’s actually been paying for, and that’s not right either.

      • I said exactly that — they need to renew or get a new permit. How do you know it is a developer (likely but not for sure) Have you ever done a renovation and more specifically one that required a dumpster on the public streets? Not condoning the reported behavior here but I have personally gone through this process. I got all the required permits etc, posted the signs (72 hours in advanced) etc and then I still had neighbors who parked there making it difficult to place the dumpster. After it was placed neighbors that they could just throw their unwanted trash and belongings in the container that I paid for. Further on days it needed to be emptied I did put out trash cans and such so the truck could pick it up for removal – but more then a few times cars obstructed that as well.

        In particular this person needs to realize it is temporary; report the expired permit and park your call elsewhere for the time being. If it is that important to have an available spot for your car rent a space as we did!

        • You’re looking at it from the perspective of an individual homeowner (I assume) doing remodeling work and dealing with all of the headaches it causes. Maybe it is indeed an individual homeowner… but my guess is that this a developer, for whom this kind of thing is part of their JOB.
          And something tells me that even if the developer gets a new permit, they probably won’t be made to pay retroactively for the time that the dumpster was on the street without a permit.

        • wow, bitter much? And did you read the post?

          Using a permit for 3 to claim 5 spaces is inexcusable. Neither is trying to reserve parking overnight.

    • I have very little sympathy for some flipper that will double his/her investment with 2 months of contacted out work. They can afford a parking permit.

    • Rehabs are rough, but it’s not really fair to ask the rest of the neighborhood to give up those spots (and then some) indefinitely while demo is ongoing. Just like that ridiculous post about the Cleveland Park resident who wanted the spots in front of his/her house vacated for diplomats, the owner of the house does not have the right to take up so much space illegally just because construction is running long.

  • “That’s a nice debris container you’ve got there. It would be a shame if anything would… happen to it.”

  • Move the trash cans, take down the tape – they aren’t legitimate parking space holders. I’ll help you out if I walk by at night and see the cans or the tape
    And call 311 to report the expired roll off permit –

    • I drive by this everyday and thought it was annoying, but didn’t know the permits were expired. I will ram my POS car into the cans on the way home tonight if no one is behind me.

      • Ehh, better to just move the trash cans. It’s not the developer who will suffer when the building is occupied and rats crawl into the damaged trash cans to feast — it’ll be everyone who lives on the alley.

    • Does anyone have experience with 311 and know whether calling is more effective than using their App? I seem to be calling nonstop for issues on my block and can’t figure out how to get the best response…

      • The few times I’ve tried calling 311 for issues, everyone seems disinterested in solving anything. I usually get transferred 4-5 times until I talk to someone whose job it actually is, and then that person is usually not answering his/her phone. No surprises there I know.

        • Seriously? Every time I call the 311 rep is incredibly helpful and always resolves my issue. Maybe that’s because my issues are primarily requests for bulk pick-up (from my house or others nearby).

      • DCAIK, I used to put in my 311 requests by phone too. Now I do it online, because it’s easier for me to track that way.
        What’s frustrating to me is that the 311 system — at least as far is DPW is concerned — allows the agency to “close out” a 311 request before they’ve actually done anything. Every time I report illegally dumped furniture, etc., the request gets closed fairly quickly with a note like “Need alley cleaning.” However, it can take a few more weeks for the items to actually get picked up (and as far as I can tell, that’s the only “cleaning” of the alley that takes place).
        I suspect that DPW is doing this to manipulate its numbers so that it looks like it’s addressing problems quickly when in fact it’s not.

      • The intriguing thing about the app is that it makes a publicly visible, geo-tagged log of the report, and allows other people (I think, right) to sort of “upvote” it, or concur. One would THINK that having the report visible would make it more likely for action to be taken to close the issue. Whether or not that’s the case, I’m not sure. But I like the idea that there’s the added egg-on-face aspect of having an open reported issue visible to everyone for an extended period of time if they don’t get on it. You don’t have that “oh look, they haven’t repaired this pothole in 3 years” effect with a phone call to someone who blows you off.

  • … and cut down the expired signs. I’m guessing if enforcement sees those signs from a distance and the containers, they’re going to assume everything is legit. They may take a closer look if the expired signs are gone.

  • I’ve found my ANC rep to be SUPER helpful in these types of situations. We had a corner blocked off from construction on a vacant property that took up both the sidewalk and many parking spaces from orange and white construction barriers set out there. The construction had halted long ago, and the no parking signs were 6 months expired. I called my ANC rep and within a few days, the barriers were moved to give back the parking spots AND the sidewalk.
    Good luck!

    • You’re lucky. I’ve emailed my ANC rep three times and she’s never responded. It’s super irritating. I’ve had better luck contacting my council member. They’ve both been very responsive (formerly Graham, now Nadeau).

      • JCM, is your ANC rep a person whose first name begins with R? If so, she seems to be very responsive via Facebook. (Not that that’s an excuse if she’s not answering e-mails, but…)

        • No, I’m actually in 1B10 (the border is the middle of Columbia road, and I live on the south side), so mine is Allyson Carpenter.

          • Oh, that’s too bad on her being unresponsive.
            For what it’s worth, I’ve found Ben Case — Ward 1 liaison for the Executive Office of the Mayor — to be very responsive.

          • Thanks for the tip! I’ll add him to my “I need help” contact list.

  • If 3-1-1 does not work then you should call 9-1-1, and they will transfer you to a unit that deals with illegal parking.

  • Contact the local ANC rep – might be Jack McKay (he has a decent portion of that part of Mt Pleasant). He’s tough on parking scofflaws.

  • What is this 311 app? How do I get it for my iPhone? I can’t find it in the Apple Store.

  • Hello Folks,

    Frustrating indeed and lost parking. Tried to talk to the contractors and got blank faces. I just called DDOT. There will be an inspector out tomorrow. There should be a better way to time and coordinate bulk pickup.

    ANC 1D02

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