Dear PoP – Snow Emergency Parking Tickets

by Prince Of Petworth February 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm 127 Comments

Snow car
Photo by PoPville flickr user dullshick

“Dear PoP,

I wonder if you’ve heard from anyone else getting “snow route emergency” tickets after the storm. We parked our car in front of our house in Columbia Heights Friday right at 6:30p.m., as we often do on weekends, and it’s good on that side of the street until rush hour on Monday morning. This weekend, some city government ass literally tunneled a hole through the snow bank in which our car was buried in order to place a $250 ticket on our windshield. The ticket was time stamped just before 3a.m. on Sunday morning. My first question is, WTF? My second question is, is a ticket enforceable if the car was parked legally prior to the declaration of an emergency, and while the car is parked legally the spot suddenly becomes illegal due to weather? Our entire side of the street was lined with cars, as it pretty much is every weekend, but I haven’t confirmed if everyone got the same ticket. As far as we can tell the jackasses doing the ticketing made no effort to tow anyone, so it’s hard to see any point to it other than just a shameless effort to capitalize on the fact that people were immobilized by the storm in order to generate extra revenue. This strikes me as wrong on several levels.

I’d appreciate any insight from you or your readership. We do intend to dispute the ticket, but are still trying
to figure out the best angle.”

Well, I think you may be out of luck here. If a snow emergency has been declared it doesn’t matter if it is a weekend or weekday. (Snow emergency was lifted at 9:30 this morning.) I’d be sure to check the sign on your street. If the sign says snow emergency route then you have to pay. It is brutal to move one’s car in these situations but that’s the law.

What do you guys think am I missing something here?

  • ShawRes

    It’s the law. You have to move your car when there is a snow emergency declared, regardless of whether it was parked there before the emergency was declared. Think about it: what good would a snow emergency route be if nobody who was parked there prior had to clear the streets?

    Also, the reason they didn’t tow you is because – surprise surprise – it snowed. a lot. City tow trucks were too busy towing out ambulances and police cars. You’re lucky you only got a 250 ticket, which is considerably less than it would have cost you to be towed and put in storage.

    Pay the ticket. Sorry, tough break, but that’s the law.

  • Alex

    Lesson learned. Move your car next time. Snow Emergency Routes need to be clear for emergency and snow removal vehicles. They can’t ‘courtesy tow’ because they don’t have time or resources to move you.

  • Pip

    I’m kinda with the city on this one. I think the writer’s righteous anger is a bit misplaced.

    The point of the snow emergency routes is to make sure essential traffic, like fire trucks and ambulances, have clear routes through the city. This isn’t just some bullshit rule.

    A $250 ticket is a pretty good way to ensure people won’t forget or ignore the posted signs next time.

  • Ike’s Mom

    Totally owes the ticket. Really dumb move for him/her and any neighbors not to move their cars or take advantage of something like the DCUSA free parking.

    This person must be the only individual in DC who didn’t get the memo about the snow.

  • jcm

    If they had towed you it would have been $250 + $100 tow fee + $25 impound fee, so you actually got off kind of lightly. Presumably the they gave you a ticket so that you won’t park in a snow emergency route next time it snows.

    Also, calling some poor DPW employee who had to work all night during a frigging blizzard a jackass is pretty damned rude. I would say the person who can’t be bothered to move his car from the snow emergency route and then whines about the ticket is the real jackass here.

    • totally agree w/ you jcm…the jackass is the person who didn’t move the car and now is trying to get out of a well deserved ticket.

  • it sucks to have to pay it … but those routes have a purpose and as someone mentioned before the parking lot at DC USA was open for public usage for free.
    might be time to sign up for DC Alert

    they had a ton of messages about this…

  • Obviously, yes, you have to move your car and you can dispute the ticket, but it’s a waste of time b/c the writer is so very obviously in the wrong. I live on a snow emergency route, and it’s kind of common sense that it needs to be moved – that’s the whole point, to clear the way for emergency vehicles etc. I’m sort of dumbfounded that this concept is unclear to the writer. Why do you think the city bothers to declare a snow emergency? Plus, the snow emergency was declared with more than enough time for you to go out and move your car before it got snowed in.

    Now, the time in January of 2004, when Mayor Williams declared a snow emergency but then it never actually snowed, so I didn’t move car and STILL got the $250 ticket, I went ahead and disputed.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re not on a snow emergency route, you can fight the ticket. If you are on a snow emergency route, you broke the law and deserve the ticket. Fenty declared the snow emergency to start at 9:30am on Friday, so when you parked at 6:30pm on Friday, you were breaking the law: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/getthere/2010/02/dc_snow_emergency_begins_at_93.html

  • Shawn

    I’m happy with the way the DC gov handled this storm. They allowed people to park in DCUSA all weekend and this morning they just had the gates up and open for everyone to exit for free!

  • Jack Frost

    I don’t think the commenter was looking for a “courtesy tow.” If I read the post correctly, he/she was looking to be left alone during a blizzard. What if you left your car parked legally and then left town for the weekend? I don’t see how you can be held accountable for a violation that didn’t exist when you parked the car, when it otherwise would have been legal to leave the car there for the same time period. It would be different if an emergency was declared (and you were notified) and then you parked in that zone in violation of that requirement.

    Anyway I’m with the OP. This is ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      The violation did exist when the OP parked their car…if they’re on a snow route emergency. Also we all knew this storm was coming a week before it did, so anyone gone for less than a week should have avoided parking on a snow route emergency. Now for people who left town before the storm was even mentioned, I don’t know what kind of recourse they have…I guess that’s why that “no parking for more than 72 hours” law was useful, but I think that was repealed recently.

    • Eli

      “What if you left your car parked legally and then left town for the weekend?”

      That’s the risk you assume by parking in a snow emergency route. Park somewhere where it won’t be towed if you go out of town.

    • Los Politico

      This jerk parked in the snow emergency route 9 hours AFTER the declared emergency.

      I hope he does fight it so he loses wages/time off work too.

  • Matt

    I agree with what was said above. I live on North Capitol (also a snow route) and was ticketed during the first blizzard a few months ago for $250.

    I’d suggest going online immediately to see how much the ticket will actually cost you. Although we received a $250 ticket, it only cost $100 due to the promptness of our payment. It’s not much, but it’s at least something. Make sure anytime there’s threat of snow in the future that you park on a side street beforehand.

  • Jane

    Not that it matters, but the snow emergency was declared way BEFORFE 6:30pm on Friday!!! Hello, federal government workers got out of work 4 hours early (by 2pm). So there is absolutely NO excuse for having parked your car in a snow emergency route at 6:30pm. Of course, it wouldnt have mattered even if you parked your car after the snow emergency was declared. You have an obligation (for everyone’s safety) to move your car. The only people I feel bad for is the city worker who had to go out in the blizzard and your neighbors whose street did not get properly plowed b/c you didn’t move your car.

  • STFU and pay the ticket. You are smart enough to find PoP but not smart enought to read street signs?

  • Anonymous

    What attitude and cynicism from a scofflaw !

  • Columbia Heights Boy

    Sorry, everyone knew this was going to be a blizzard. Sucks but looks like you have to pay the damn ticket and plan ahead next time.

  • Anonymous


    “Gov’t ass”, “WTF”, “jackasses”, “the best angle”.

    Do you really have to post such a letter ?

    Can we raise the bar here somewhat ?

    • Anonymous

      Tend to agree here. I’ve noticed that recently most “Dear PoP” posts are just people who did something patently wrong and are looking for some communal absolution for their sins and/or approval of a perception that they shouldn’t be held accountable for their own actions. I love that the commentariat pretty much sees right through it (and PoP, too).

      And for my two cents, the writer is completely in the wrong and the ticket should have been higher. “wrong on so many levels” usually implies to me that the other party is “right on the relevant level.”

    • Anonymous

      you obviously felt such a need to respond.

  • Matt

    Go online to see how much the ticket is actually registered for. When I first moved here, I parked on N. Capitol during a snow emergency. My fault, obviously. The ticket was for $250 but I was only required to pay $100. Take care of this ASAP.

    • Dan Sanders

      Hey matt how do u get your ticket reducted to only 100. Please let me know, I am tight on money

  • Joe

    Herb is my new BFF.

  • Matt

    Clearly a valid ticket…it’s a snow emergency…you can’t park….this is pretty simple. Saw them towing a lot of people in Gallery Place area, you should just count yourself as lucky they didn’t get to you. And to whoever said that “what if you go away for the weekend” that’s easy – just don’t park in the snow emergency route if snow is in the forecast.

  • Jane

    oops— I meant to right —Of course, it wouldnt have mattered even if you parked your car there BEFORE the snow emergency was declared.

  • Anonymous

    What an ass. Pay the damned ticket.

  • Raymo in LeDroit

    I wish they would give out more tickets during this type of event. Also to those people dumb enough to get stuck some place, like the Nissan on my street, and then just leaving it there blocking the road.

  • Ragged Dog

    I think you’re missing something, something like gray matter. I think you should pay double for being such a selfish brat. Snow emergency routes are to be clear for EMERGENCIES like fire trucks and ambulances to get around the city. I wish a tow truck had plowed into your sorry butt and totaled your car.

    PoP, why? Why don’t you screen for IQ?

  • zt

    The OP put lives in danger by not moving their car. A $250 ticket is pretty cheap for that kind of negligence. If you go away for the weekend to avoid a storm, the least you could do is move your car first so ambulances, police cars and firetrucks can get through while you are gone.
    No one is owed street parking. The city owns the streets and let’s people park on them provided that in a few narrow times cars are moved to enable emergency services during weather-related emergencies. So yeah, pay your ticket and think of the people who need emergency services next time.

    • a2003

      If the city owns the street then they should pay their own damn taxes for the streets. Don’t collect money from the citizens, they don’t own the street.

  • Tim

    It’s not often that I side with DC parking enforcement, but these rules exist to make the roads more useable for the city as a whole. There are reasons that for instance, you can’t park on N. Capitol street, or many other places during rush hour, so that traffic can move as smoothly as possible. This is much more serious when we are talking about providing open snow emergency routes for plows and emergency vehicles to get through. I bet the same guy who is bitching about paying this ticket is upset that his road isnt plowed as well as he’d like. Well, it sure would help the plows if some idiot hadnt blocked to side of the road. So, admit you made a dumb move (its ok, we all do sometimes) and pay the damn ticket. Its probably the most justified ticket you are likely to get in this city.

  • suck it

    i personally have a little sympathy for the fellow who got the ticket. i do not however feel sorry for the person giving the ticket at whatever time in the morning — they are sneaky and most of them can be jerks. i have disputed many ridiculous tickets in CH as well, and won. i literally had to chase down a person giving me a ticket that i knew was a mistake, they yelled at me and said they could not change it, knowing that they had made a mistake. not saying that he didn’t break the law, but i really just think the city was out to make money. even where there’s two lanes the snow plows only make room for one lane of traffic going each way. i’m sure his car wasn’t really affecting how much the plows could do their job. even on my street i don’t see many cars parked on one side, and the plows didn’t clear away that snow, so a car there wouldn’t have really mattered. what i’m saying is that i really don’t think the person giving a ticket had an emergency in mind. i’m just saying. and many of the “snow emergency routes” in CH are small streets — there’s one on kenyon. just because things are “the law” doesn’t mean i’m going to lean over and suck it.

  • Anonymous

    On an unrelated note, what are people doing about the snow on their roofs? Is it necessary to clean it or can you just let the snow melt? If the former, any good recommendations for people/companies who can clear the snow, especially given the additional accumulation expected on Tues/Wed?

  • Anonymous

    If the writer lives on the street, he’s familiar — or should be — with the fact that it is a snow emergency route. If he parked at 6:30 on Friday, there was about 5-6 inches of snow accumulated at that point, so even without knowing about the official declaration of the emergency 9 hrs. earlier, he should have suspected something. While I could sympathize with the guy who was out of town from all week and left a car where it usually is fine, I have no sympathy for this joker, who was more interested in getting good parking and rolling the dice with DC parking officials on Friday night than he was in exercising even minimal judgment or attempting to play by the rules.

  • Anonymous

    There was plenty of time on Friday evening before the snow was impossible to work with to relocate the car. Why would you wait until you knew it would be under 2 feet of snow before taking the sign seriously and coming up with a plan B? Take some responsibility.

  • BC

    How did you end up only paying 100? Did you contest it, or was it only entered into the DMV system for $100?

  • PFL

    Oh, man. This is like shooting fish in a barrel:-)

  • dcdc

    Seriously? And he is planning on disputing the ticket? I hope some other dumbass runs into his car and totals it. He shouldn’t have a car in the city.

    Are you out there OP? Still feeling self-righteous and indignant?

    • suck it

      i hope some dumbass throws a beer in your face.

  • jpq

    Can’t help but pile on this d-bag. Car ownership and on-street parking aren’t a birthright. And instead of complaining about your ticket, perhaps you should be hoping that your refusal to move your car didn’t stop an emergency vehicle from saving someone’s life.

    • suck it

      that’s a little extreme, don’t you think? it was a residential street and it doesn’t sound like his car was blocking other cars or emergency cars from getting through.

  • Busted

    Reminds me of the infamous red light ticket writer, legendary Officer Rios, from 3D. He stands next to stop signs right at the kiddie park on Columbia/Kalorama or the one on Adams Mill. Dare to not stop completely before the line, and slam, a ticket. I once stood and watched him for like 20 minutes, he was pulling over people who actually came to a complete stop, but on the big white line and not before it. That’s like writing someone a ticket for going 56 in a 55, no? But can you really fault the guy, he’s looking out for our little ones! The fine, a low $50, not the whopping $250 for parking your car on the street illegally.

    • anon

      I once got a ticket for going 31 in a 25. When I was whining about it, my father said to me “well, you were speeding, weren’t you? And how often do you speed and not get caught?”
      True, both points.

  • Snow

    Dumbass asked:
    …is a ticket enforceable if the car was parked legally prior to the declaration of an emergency, and while the car is parked legally the spot suddenly becomes illegal due to weather?

    I love the passive use where the parking spot “suddenly becomes illegal” as opposed to mentioning that you were too stupid or lazy to move your car from a snow emergency route.

  • snow bunny

    Two comments for Gabe Klein:

    1) Irving St NW is designated a snow emergency route, and I’ve heard nothing but nightmare stories from hospital workers trying to get to work to take care of their patients.

    2) North Capitol Street is in the same condition.

    When I walked along Irving St NW, this morning, there were plenty of cars parked and slushy snow in the middle of the street. Although I don’t anticipate that other people will shovel show in front of my home or along my street, I am disappointed that the main streets near four major hospitals were so treacherous.

    • Bitter Elitist

      Irving St is a nightmare on a 75 degree night with traffic. I can’t imagine it filled with cars.

  • Anonymous

    The ticket was deserved. That’s why certain streets are deemed snow emergency roads, they need to be cleared of cars. I work up on Connecticut Avenue and police officers entered all the businesses to warn people that they were about to be ticketed if they didn’t move their cars off Conneciticut. It sucks, but you have to do it.

  • snow outlaw

    I’m the OP. I have to say, I’m consistently impressed (and not in the positive sense of the word) with the blind pro-law enforcement bent of the readership of this blog.

    I’m from Colorado, where snowfall like this would warrant little more than a passing comment at the office along the lines of “decent snow last night, huh?” No “emergencies” are declared, and people just go along with their lives and enjoy the beauty of it all. In my case, I was parked on a street accompanied by about 12 other cars on the same side of the street. Clearly no one on my block suspected that the midnight meter maids were about to be unleashed to squeeze a few extra dollars out of the storm. Most of us were unaware that our residential street was in fact a “snow emergency route,” despite having lived here for years. Nonetheless, snow plows passed without incident, and cleared a nice lane through the middle. That’s great, and exactly as it should be. Afterwards, we all dug our cars out and went on with our lives, regardless of which side of the street we were on.

    In any case, I hate to be crass, but you people are kind of sad, in a quaint kind of way, and should maybe try standing up for yourselves every now and then rather than just assuming that if it’s “the law” then it’s good for you and you must submit yourself to it. If in fact a “snow emergency” was declared on Friday morning at 9:30 before a snowflake fell, that’s also sad. I love this town, but it’s a pretty weird crop of people who are so liberal minded at the voting booth and yet are so mindlessly pro-authority on the interwebs. Unless everyone posting here actually lives in Virginia, in which case all of this would make way more sense.

    • So we’ve got a “Where I come from…,” and an “everyone else was doing it…,” a “how was I supposed to know” and an “I don’t care if it’s the law, it’s dumb and I’m going to stamp my feet in protest…”

      Just wanted to make sure I’ve got a proper accounting of all the ways in which you refuse to take responsibility for your own jackassery.

      • well said.

      • Ryu


      • suck it

        damn, i’m glad i’m not your friend or kid for that matter. i’d hate to share anything with you.

    • Oh honey… No. Just… no.

    • Anonymous

      How much money does Colorado budget for snow removal per year?

    • Anonymous

      I lived in Chicago for 6 years, they fined and towed cars on snow routes all the time. And that was only for 2 inches of snow, which we had about every day from September through May.

      • saf

        Same in western NY.

    • Finstock

      well, troglodyte, I’m from Kansas, and they taught us how to read in them there parts. So, while I can handle the snow as well, I read the emergency signs and said to myself, by golly, I ought not to park there. But then I started to get mad, because I’m from Kansas and we are even tougher and most often even bigger jerks than people from Colorado, and, dad gummit, we can drive in the snow and ice like any dirty self-centered hippie from boulder.

      But then I realized, wow, these folks in D.C., they don’t get snow like that very often, and their infrastructure might not really be set up to handle it as well. So I calmed down a bit, and I MOVED MY CAR.

      Also, I’ve got a decent record on file at the D.C. Courthouse if you get to thinkin’ I’m just some mope who loves to suck on the DCPD teet. Heck, I’ll add another assault charge to the file if you want to settle a border feud.

      So, point of the story, you’re a complete moron, regardless of where you’re from. Piss off.

    • Anon
      • Damn you are smart Anon…like it like it like it

    • quincycyclist

      I don’t know where in Colorado you lived where they didn’t have snowstorm plowing emergencies, but in the Twin Cities we had snow emergency parking and if you were parked there during the emergency you were even more screwed than a $250 ticket (car towed to a lot, then you have to go wait in line for 5 hours with the other 1000 people who screwed up, AND pay a fine.) I wouldn’t say Minnesota is a place where people are scared of snow, yet they have the same system!

      The purpose of snow emergency parking in the cities was so that the plows could clear the entire road – parking included – not so they could clear one lane in the middle of the road.

      I love how this gets pegged as “pro-authority” or “blind pro-law enforcement attitude.” The fact is that you failed to read the posted signs and you paid the price. It sucks that they gave you a ticket a 3AM, but part of car ownership is actually paying attention to where you’re parking and what the parking situation is. Some of us don’t like dealing with that stuff – so we don’t own cars.

    • jcm

      “I’m from Colorado, where snowfall like this would warrant little more than a passing comment at the office along the lines of “decent snow last night, huh?”

      That’s a load of crap. Maybe some podunk little cowtown in Colorado doesn’t notice, but for any big city in the US 2 feet in 2 days is a big deal. This storm was a lot like this one, which shut down Denver and had the governor declare a state of emergency and activate the National Guard.

      I grew up in the Great Lakes snowbelt, which we got much more snow than Colorado. Normally I make fun of Washingtonians freaking out about snow. This weekend was a legit snowstorm.

      I do think it’s funny that you’re asserting your independence and fighting the man by trying to get out of a parking ticket, though.

    • ct

      >>If in fact a “snow emergency” was declared on Friday
      >>morning at 9:30 before a snowflake fell, that’s also sad.

      i think the point of announcing in advance that a snow emergency will be declared is meant to give people time to comply with snow emergency requirements, including moving their cars off snow emergency routes…

    • Westminster, CO native

      I promise, not everyone from Colorado is this ridiculous!

      • Anonymous

        i’m from colorado and i feel for the guy. it was quite ridiculous that most places closed down well before the storm actually came on friday. i didn’t know that there was a “snow emergency” or that i wouldn’t be able to park in front of my house. i live on kenyon, and just saw that it’s a “snow route” — who knew? you people are harsh.

    • average citizen

      This is probably the most reasonable post I’ve read in this thread. The snow emergency declarations are ridiculous, particularly the second one where no snow even fell. A shit load of so-called snow emergency streets never even saw a single tow truck during the entire storm, but the city had these cars ticketed anyway for $250 a pop. Why not just ticket only those cars you have to tow because you are actually creating a snow emergency route? A lot of residents had no idea a snow emergency was even declared. You all claim that residents should have known a long time beforehand there was going to be lots of snow, well then the city should have known the same, and if so they should have made it amply clear there was going to be a snow emergency. News flash kids, not everyone watches the shitty local news. The city could have easily put up digital signs on major roads stating an upcoming snow emergency. Frankly, I’m easily siding with the original poster of this thread.

  • Anonymous

    ya’ll are plain harsh.
    the writer was just asking.
    i’d freak the beelzebub out if i got a $250 ticket. that’s a ton of money for me.

    sure, the writer is in the wrong and deserves the ticket, but why is everyone so mean about it?

    • Anonymous

      damn it. i just read the last OP’s post and would like to retract my comment. i was naive to give the person the benefit of the doubt. sorry.

    • ah

      Because of the attitude that s/he wasn’t in the wrong, and because it’s one offense that actually can cause serious problems if it means they can’t plow adequately for ambulances/fire trucks.

      Anyway, for the case to be persuasive it would have to be someone who parked well before the storm was on the radar (sts) and had gone out of town. Even then, not so much, because in the winter you have to figure it could happen. Anyway, that’s not the case here.

    • suck it

      exactly. he wasn’t trying to kill anyone by parking there — he didn’t even know it wasn’t a freakin’ “snow emergency route” ya’ll need to chill out.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah I think people on this thread need to chill the fuck out. The guy didn’t know it was a snow emergency lane. So big deal. He didn’t know. All this talk about complete doom for police/fire vehicles is laughable. Chill out people.

  • King Cake

    The Tribe has spoken!

  • Victoria

    I think the fine should double for idiot whiners.

    • suck it

      victoria: do you kiss cops after they give you a ticket? i’m sure you never get upset, or are you a cop?

  • Matt: Calling and getting it reduced – I have never heard of that. I paid my $250 the next day – who would have known? You, obviously, so how did you know that?

  • zt

    OP do you agree that it is reasonable for a city to have designated snow emergency routes?
    If a city does have snow emergency routes (as nearly all do, I think), is it reasonable to have a fine for not complying?

    The main reason to have a big ticket, is because it would be a dangerous task to tow the cars and it’s important to dissuade people from parking on snow emergency routes.

    Saying, I already parked there, so why give me a ticket once the damage has been done already is a bit like saying “why put write me a ticket, i already ran the stop sign”.

    • Matt

      Sorry, finally checked this out again. I didn’t fight it or anything. I just went online and it was registered as $100 (despite the ticket saying $250). I have no idea whether this was a fluke situation or not. I chalked it up to 1) using the online system, and 2) paying it the day that I received it.

      Based on what others are saying, I guess I was just fortunate. Definitely won’t make that mistake again though.

  • crin

    Hey OP would you like to make that $500? Skip the whining and excuse making. Are you going to park there again Tuesday night like an incorrigible douche-bags, or have you learned your lesson? Tool.

  • enus gobunger

    OP, this has nothing to do with people being liberal minded at the polls, but pro-authority otherwise. You broke a very rational law and then whined worse than child when you got caught. People are being mean about it because your email was so full of entitlement that it was painfully off-putting. How…HOW can you not know that your street is a snow emergency route after living there for years? No excuse. Pay the fine and be quiet.

  • snow outlaw

    This is like a hall monitors anonymous forum. Holy crap.

    • Anonymous

      hahaha. :)

    • Finstock

      like I said above, I’ll happily make it non-anonymous if you’d like to. I bet you set the curve in your rational logic class.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know…intrinsically I’m all for anarchy…But then I run into douchebags, and I realize laws are necessary and need to be enforced to make people at least act like decent human beings.

      • suck it

        i bet you like to rub cops butts too. douchebag, really?

  • RD

    Sounds like you were parked on a snow emergency route on 3 days. You probably got lucky with just one ticket.

    I’m far from pro-authority. I have issues with the way many laws are enforced. But if a city needs to pass a law to ensure a few select routes are clear for emergency vehicles, it should obviously be able to do it. And it should be your responsibility to have your head out of your ass enough to not park your car there. That is a big fine, but hopefully you and your selfish neighbors will think twice next time.

  • Snowman

    Having lived in Denver, I call absolute bullshit on the claim that this wouldn’t merit a comment in CO. This was very similar to the storm we had their in Christmas of 2006, as was the local reaction.

    And the reason the emergency was declared before the snow falls is to give people plenty of time to move their cars, just as I did. This should be beyond obvious.

    I HAVE always wondered about the zoned parking enforcement during these snows, as I would love to avoid paying for parking around my office on a day like today.

  • waka

    Appeal the ticket on equal protection and first amendment grounds since the city will not ticket/enforce parking rules against churches/church parkers. I did this 3 years ago and my appeal is still pending. Oh, and yeah, I tie my dog up when I go to Starbucks too.

    • snow outlaw

      No doubt. I hate that shit too. I may just try that approach, since if it’s true that the emergency was declared on Friday morning — however absurd that would be — my original angle wouldn’t likely work.

      And I used to tie my dog up until recently when I started reading about these assholes who actually steal people’s dogs from outside of a coffee shop. And then they post on PoP and this crowd of self-righteous hall monitors starts piling on the person who lost their goddamn dog. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s PoP posters stealing the dogs to send some twisted moralizing message. In any case, congratulations, I don’t take my dog to the store anymore, even though she was happy as she could be to play with people passing by while I was inside for five minutes.

      • Finstock

        you still haven’t answered me! I’ll be the guy outside Wonderland in a clown suit holding a claw hammer. I answer to “Bill”.

        • Finstock

          either that, or I plot out all of the snow emergency routes in Columbia Heights and just look for the flaming asshole. either way suits me.

          • suck it

            wow, you have some issues dude. really. you must be the hall monitor manager?

            i might have to support the guy who’s just a little upset he got a freakin’ ticket, maybe it’ll ruffle your feathers.

            or i’ll wait outside of wonderland too to see if anyone throws a beer in your face.

      • Tim

        snow outlaw, you keep saying that it is ridiculous to declare a snow emergency on the morning before a big snow storm, maybe in CO, but in these parts the threat of 20-30 inches is a big deal. I think the whole reason for declaring the emergency so far ahead of time is to allow time to tow cars that are still there and make sure the emergency routes are clear.

        I do appreciate that you at least have the balls to come and defend yourself against a hostile crowd, even if I think you were wrong. so kudos.

      • Anonymous


    • Anonymous


    • Big mean dog

      Oh goody – I love sidewalk food!

  • kck

    FYI, it is illegal to park in any one spot in the district for LONGER THAN 72 HOURS.

    • snow outlaw

      Who gives a shit?

      • Eli

        lol bitter much?

      • Anonymous

        Waaaaahhhh! I can’t do whatever I want! I’m special, I should get to do anything even if it hurts someone else. But there had better be laws to protect me from someone hurting me!

        • suck it

          man, you people are freakin’ ridiculous. what the hell happen to ppl in CH? i’m pretty sure the guy didn’t hurt anyone, ass.

    • saf

      No, they repealed that a few years ago.

  • Quick PoP post some house porn or almost house porn to calm everybody down.

    Can I try…almost porn


  • Anonymous

    sounds like there’s a bunch of self-righteous aholes out there. hall monitors, yes.

  • Victoria

    Everybody – NOW! Go to youtube and watch funny cat videos!

  • Anonymous

    i hear colorado is sketchy.

  • jellyroll

    looks like i am reading this post late…but i still felt compelled to respond.

    OP is full of nonsense. I just moved to DC from colorado where I spent 15 years!!Yes, the storm in 2006 was horrible and people freaked out. Not AS bad as here, but almost.

    The world is a mess with people being all self-righteous and not taking accountability for their actions. Yes, you need to pay the ticket, it is your consequence for not following the law. seriously.

    ps…love the poster’s comments who was from KS!!

    • Anonymous

      i think the OP was questioning the law on his neighborhood street, which i think is totally fair. i’m on kenyon and saw a few people get tickets, their cars weren’t blocking street traffic at all — and it’s a “snow route” street, i never knew. i would be pissed as well if i knew my car wasn’t affecting the plows, etc. the plows have come by again and still haven’t moved the pile of snow where those cars were parked. i’m just saying. i don’t think the guy intentionally broke the law as many on this post are implying.

      • Bitter Elitist

        I suspect that they want ALL cars removed is to facilitate movement of emergency vehicles. They have to slow down more if they worry about playing bumper cars with parked cars. Some leeway makes perfect sense.

        In addition, if they hit somebody’s precious SUV while trying to save someone from a heart attack, said SUV owner will turn around and sue the city.

  • anon

    This reminds me of the POP post about the couple that bought a house in NE and wanted the city to pay 50,000 bucks to move a lamp post in the alley so they could park in their back yards. This certainly is the entitled generation isn’t it.

    To those saying these streets can still be passable to plows with cars parked on it. This may be true but the objective is to clear a WIDER swath of street on snow emergency routes. pushing the snow all the way over to where the cars are usually parked. Emergency Vehicles are wider than the average car and need more room. And if a car goes down the street and gets stuck despite it being plowed there needs to be room to pass on the side.

  • Tim

    This has nothing to do with being pro authority. The law is the law, and if you dont like it, you can fight it. I dont think the people staging sit ins in the 60’s complained that they got punished. They did it knowing the consequences and by golly they made a difference and our country is better for it. If you dont like the snow emergency route laws, then by all means continue to park there and get tickets, and then start a petition and try to get the law changed. but dont complain about having to pay a ticket for a law that you should have know you were breaking. You sound like Gilbert Arenas who didnt know it was illegal to keep his guns in his Verizon center locker. I think there are a lot of bullshit laws in this city, and in this country, but I abide by them and then I do what I can to change them. but I dont go running around trafficking pot and performing gay marriages just because I think i should be able to and then complain when I get punished

  • Djdc

    I gotta stand up for Colorado too. There are storms there that also overwhelm services and cause problems, even though they’re generally more prepared and practiced. I was stuck for days during the 06 Chrismas storms. People curb their driving, shovel as much as they can, and abide by the laws or pay the fines.
    Fort Collins Native

    • Anonymous

      colorado is sketchy, but fort collins is REALLY sketchy.

  • Anon5

    Pay the ticket and next time, read the parking signs.

  • vanya

    Unfortunately the signs are not always correct. Not to side with the OP but there are streets that are improperly marked as snow emergency routes. On M St NW between Thomas Circle and 11 St there are dozens of cars that have been ticketed for being on a snow emergency route. However, that section of M st has not been a snow emergency route for a decade. The DC government has not taken down the signs to reflect that change.
    Until recently, that same stretch of road also had signs that reflected penalties for parking during rush hour but the District had changed that particular law. It didn’t have the signs removed until local citizens pointed out the discrepancy. The same should be done for the snow emergency signs. Until then, there is basis to contest the ticket.

    • You are my hero. I parked on M street between 12th and 13th NW because the signage was poor and located way down the street and also, totally a residential street that didn’t make sense as an emergency route. They gave me a ticket but I’m contesting because like you say, it isn’t listed with the official snow routes.

  • Anonymous

    What if the street has already been plowed, clear street, multiple cars parked. An out of town resident decides to park (Saturday Feb 13th 12:30 AM) and returns to a $250. ticket. The street was full of parked cars, all received tickets. Traffic was flowing smoothly, street was plowed.

  • Aman

    I got one at 9 st too @12:30 am & I did not see a sign for it. Even if I had seen the sign I did not think the emergency was still in effect. What I don’t get is they lift the emergency the same day after they gave 100s of tickets and the street looks the same. It seems to me that they are just trying to capitalize with the situation. I think we all need to get together and contest the tickets

  • Greg Jones

    I just had a similar experience yesterday, Monday, Feb 16th. Apparently, a new snow emergency was declared Monday morning in anticipation of the expected snow fall in the afternoon. It did snow for about 1-1.5 hours, however, it did not stick. I parked on Rhode Island Ave, where there were several other cars at 7PM and received a $250 ticket. Not sure what to think as there didn’t seem to be an emergency. I would’ve checked to see if others received a ticket, but I didn’t notice the ticket until this morning when I was back at home in the U street area.

  • Cyndia

    Same thing happened to me, Greg. I parked on Connecticut Ave at 7pm on Monday, Feb 16th and recieved a $250 ticket. I knew that DC lifted its snow emergency ban on Saturday at 5pm, and since it barely snowed on Monday, I never dreamed they would have reinstated the ban. I even watched the news on Sunday evening. Apparently, they reinstated the ban after 8pm on Sunday.

  • Michelle

    I am from out of town and was visiting the weekend of the snow storm. I also parked on 9th and was unaware of the snow emergency. I recieved a $250 ticket sat because of the snow emergency (which I can now understand after reading these posts) but I did not leave until Monday and recieved ANOTHER $250 ticket Monday. So on my car waiting for me were $500 worth of tickets! I was completely unaware there was a snow emergency Monday, as the road was entirely clear. I do not live in the area so will have to dispute the ticket(s) via mail. $500 is just ridiculous for a parking violation. Any suggestions? [email protected]

  • Joe

    I was hit with a Snow Emergency ticket in DC the first Friday night of the big snow. My problem with this is I’m a Virginia resident and ALL signs were CAKED with snow. I cleared and checked 3 signs to see if it was a Snow Emergency Route. None said anything about it. Later I learned where the sign was. It is higher than any other parking sign on the block. I would not have been able to reach it anyway. If they are going to spend the time to enforce and tow, I believe they should put in the effort to clear the sign on the block they are enforcing. I contested the ticket and will have to wait up to 6 months for a decision. The language in the Ticket Contesting form listed “Obscurred sign” as a valid argument. Hopefully they consider this. My biggest obstacle is that I didn’t take any pictures of the signs that night. I didn’t have a camera, anyway.


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