“Is this allowed?”


“Dear PoPville,

A ward 8 council member with the car in the photos was parked two blocks from Eastern Market on Capital Hill this past Monday night (approximately 7 pm). They were using their official parking permit to park and do not have a residential parking permit despite having DC tags. Is this allowed? Was he/she on official business? Is this an abuse of the permit?”

As we’ve discussed many times in the past, from the DC Code:

“Members of Congress or the Council may park their vehicles in any available curb space in the District of Columbia, when:

(1) The vehicle is used by the member of Congress or the Council on official business;

(2) The vehicle is displaying a Congressional or Council registration tag or parking placard issued for the current session or by the District; and

(3) The vehicle is not parked in violation of a loading zone, rush hour, firehouse, or fire plug limitation.”

It certainly seems possible that they could have been attending a meeting Monday night but it’s really impossible to know for sure.

Ed. Note: For the record I also continue to get Ward 2 Council Member “illegal” parking spot photos pretty regularly.

32 Comment

  • Well, there’s only one “Ward Eight Councilmember.” And someone elected to represent Ward Eight is going to have to live in Ward Eight, so the aforementioned will not have a “Six” or “Seven” (for some unlucky Capitol Hill souls) RPP, since RPP aligns with the Wards.

    I suggest you call her office, if you’re interested.

  • You don’t get to complain if you don’t know how to spell Capitol Hill.

  • i’m glad the internet was just in its infancy when I used my boss’ member plate.

    • It would be hard for them to verify that it isn’t the Member using it or that they’re not on official business. In my experience, that rule is rarely enforced. My friend used our Member parking pass to park on the street in NoMa (she didn’t qualify for a parking permit and didn’t even change her registration). Never once got a ticket.

    • My thought exactly!

      The number of member placards I see during recess around town and in the suburbs (house ones too, so odds are they’re not here unlike those once-every-six years fancy pants senators who don’t have to go home) makes me think the tradition of staffers swiping the second (third if the members wife gets one too) plate from the boss as soon as at it arrives at the beginning of the session is alive and well.

  • I”m pretty sure this isn’t the bulk of your question, but you aren’t required to get a zone parking permit. You can pay extra and get one if you want (which I definitely do) but it’s an option.

    • I think the majority of Ward 8 is not RPP zoned anyway, so even if a resident wanted one, they couldn’t get one.

      • @CS Good call. I just checked the RPP listings and there appear to be very few places where they are available.

  • Yvette Alexander represents DC’s poorest ward (by far), drives a Range Rover. Definitely checks out.

  • Yes it is legal, and no they don’t have to be on official business.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Then why does the code say this “The vehicle is used by the member of Congress or the Council on official business”?

      • @POP, Define “official business”; that’s worded so loosely, you can drive a Metro Bus threw it. Seems to me that almost anything would classify; unless you saw them coming out of the CVS with bags in hand this seems like an utter waste of time.

        • And even then the CVS bag might contain office snacks. The official business provision is not likely to be enforced. As long as the car isn’t blocking traffic or creating some other public nuisance, I think we’re going to have to just calm down and live with this one. Unless someone wants to get the law changed entirely.

      • That’s for a vehicle without the official tag. If they’re using an unmarked vehicle it’s allowed for official business. It says right below that if it has the tag it’s ok- official or not.

        • It hardly matters because no one is going to question whether they’re on official business (and therefore this complaint is pretty absurd), but the “and” means it has be both on official business and have the tag.

  • Not surprised Re: Ward 2. Jack Evans is a despicable person.

    • Yep, I don’t get why we’re being coy about Jack Evans’s entitled belief that he can park anywhere he pleases. If anything, there should be a link to that picture of him lighting up a cigar as he parked in front of a fire hydrant on his way to a party and then his ludicrous claim that he didn’t see the hydrant 🙂

      • Hardly ludicrous. I don’t see hydrants unless I walk around my car to check for them, which I always do!

        If you purposely don’t look for it, you often can avoid seeing it.

        Politics is all about plausible denial. He’s clearly got that down.

  • This car belongs to the council member for ward eight?

  • Wouldn’t the councilmember have the official tag? This is probably a staffer using the member plate. But either way, it isn’t going to be enforced.

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