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Dear PoPville – Neighborhood Nuisance or Something More?

by Prince Of Petworth June 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm 181 Comments


Dear PoPville,

I am wondering whether blocking a parking spot as seen below is legal. Everyday they block their parking spot! [in Ledroit Park] Would the cops do anything and what would someone report as the problem? Any thoughts on what if anything can be done?

Ed. Note: We’ve previously spoken about parking spot savers in the winter (back when we used to get snow and folks would shovel out a spot) but I’ve never heard of folks saving spots like this in other times of year.

  • Anonymous

    I think the city should come along and clean up those flower pots which are obstructing the street.

  • tl

    Remove pots. Park a police car there.

  • We get snow? Here in DC? Oh, I kinda remember that….

  • yes

    Just move the planters whenever you see them. Not necessarily when you just need the parking. I have a neighbor that blocks a spot or sometimes 2 spots all the time with official looking DC cones. I just move them whenever I see them.

    • Take the cones and throw in the nearest dumpster.

    • Anonymous


      I’ve done the same. And parked my car there.
      They can go pound sand.

    • washingtonian

      Why do you care if you aren’t even looking for parking at the time? Seems supremely douche-y. What if the spot is being saved for some purpose, like for a disabled person who hasn’t been able to reserve a spot through official channels yet?

      • me

        Well I happen to know that in this case, disability is not a reason.

        But even if it were – sorry – but your disability does not mean that you can steal a public resource from the city. And disabled or not, stealing still makes you a super douche.

        • Smart car is quite douchey then, they’ve been reserving spots all around town in prime locations… >:[

          • AP

            Car2Go actually paid for those spots.

          • me

            It’s hard to have beef with the zipcar or the car2go people. They probably decrease the number of cars in the city and they pay for those spaces. (though I don’t know how much they pay, if it’s less than market, then I would be pissed) If I am ever in a situation where I can live and work in the city, I would get rid of my car and just use zipcar or car2go as well.

        • ClevelandDave

          What do you mean? Council just gave half the parking spaces in Ward 1 and 2 to developers that weren’t required to provide sufficient parking for their developments- allowing them to maximize/build more units and making the parking situation even worse for visitors.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, because taxpaying residents exist to please “visitors” from the suburbs.

          • I assume you’re talking about lowering parking minimum requirements. Did the council also make residents of those buildings eligible for RPP? Unless I’m mistaken, I believe residents of large buildings (such as Park Place, just to give one example) are not eligible for RPP based on their address.

          • yeah

            but I heard somewhere that it’s up to the buider / building manager to verify that residents don’t have RPPs. i.e. The city won’t cross-check your address vs banned rpp address.

            Anyone know the scoop? if that’s the case, then it is complete and utter bullshit and simply another way for builders to line their pockets.

      • Roz

        Because many people in DC are very consumed with what you’re “not supposed to” do.

        • anti-roz

          stupid law abiding citizens…..

          • anon


          • Roz

            Seems stressful to always have to ensure you’re compliant with all applicable city, state, federal, maritime laws.

          • Anonymous

            Seems stressful to always have to ensure you’re compliant with all applicable city, state, federal, maritime laws.

            Darn Laws….

        • lblbl

          correction “people in DC are consumed with STOPPING ILLEGAL ACTIVITY”

          • and

            it’s not exactly super-stressful for me to take 2 seconds out of my day to move some illegal cones, say, that I see on my walk home.

            If we all did 1 thing every day that makes something better, I think we’d all be better off.

          • Roz

            Wait, which people, cops?

          • Anonymous

            Before putting on the tights and capes, perhaps people should exert the same energy making sure their business is in order before attending to others. Law abiding living starts at home, or something like that.

        • Alan

          It’s not that hard. Don’t be a dick. If something isn’t yours to reserve, don’t try to take it. I thought we learned about this in kindergarten?

          • Roz

            I don’t have the best memory, but I don’t recall learning anything about making reservations in kindergarten.

          • Anti roz

            Roz clearly failed kindergarten because she didn’t understand the concept of stealing.

          • Roz

            Is this a case of stealing? Wouldn’t the parking space in question have to be private property in order for someone to steal it? I thought we had determined it was public?

          • ZetteZelle

            It’s theft to take public resources, too–otherwise there would be no flowers, playground equipment, picnic tables, grills, or anything else in any DC park.

          • Roz

            Noted, but this isn’t really a case of “taking” anything. It’s mostly just a case of putting cones in the street, no? Any lawyers here?

          • again

            kindergarten fail. If you take something that isn’t yours = stealing. period. Good god, are you seriously thinking you want a lawyer to be the arbiter of a question on morality?

          • Roz

            No, I’m mostly just bored at work.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, what’s supremely douchey is acting like you are somehow special and above the law. No one owns any part of the street and thus has absolutely zero right to block it. IF the person had a true disability, they could get reserved handicapped parking- not just block off the street with planters.

        • Anonymous

          Getting the sign is less douchey? Just cuz its the legal way to do things even though it winds up the same? I’m not convinced.
          Once a handicapped person dies, moves, or no longer drives, do you know how hard it is to get the signs removed?

          • ZetteZelle

            The signs I’ve seen on residential reserved-for-disabled spaces specify the permit number that’s allowed to park there. So as long as there’s an adequate system in DC* to revoke permits once their owner dies, no-one can park in the space, so there’s powerful incentive to get the sign removed.

            *Yes, I know folks talk about various jurisdictions where it’s too easy to get a disabled permit, and there’s poor tracking. But I haven’t (yet?) heard these stories about DC.

          • Anonymous
          • Anonymous

            Yeah, I’m pretty sure an actual handicapped person going through the proper channels to get a spot reserved in front of their house is not at all douchey…

            Person who ILLEGALLY blocks a spot every day in front of his or her house in order to park their sports car: definitely a douche.

            See the difference?

          • my opinion

            I think it’s douchey.

            Not douchey = buy a space with parking or at least pay the full market rate for such a spot
            Douchey = get special treatment

          • Anonymous

            Wow. So when you or a family member has some sort of crippling disability, let’s see if you think it’s “douchey” for you to get easy access to your home…some people.

          • Anonymous

            if a member of my family becomes disabled, then I will take the burden upon myself and not thrust it upon my neighbors.

          • yes

            I think it’s douchey to feel entitled to a resource with a market rate of $50K without paying for it.

          • Anonymous

            It really is astounding how little compassion some people have…

          • Anonymous

            So, I guess you also think it’s douchey for parents to collect tax deductions for their children, or homeowners to collect tax deductions for their mortgage. That’s basically what you’re saying. They’re having money handed to them by the government for a choice they made…whereas being handicapped is not a choice and is likely to preclude the person from making much money or working at all…

          • actually

            that is one logical conclusion. But it makes sense. I’m childless myself, but if I were to have a child, why should I expect you to pay for it.

            And I’m a homeowner, and while I do appreciate the tax deductions, why should a renter give me money for owning a house?

            Or take that to victims of hurricane Sandy. Say I own a beach house, and I pay for subsidized insurance… why should I expect some poor person living in the midwest to pay for my beach house to be re-built?

  • Anonymous

    Definitely illegal. Who would handle the citation – DC parking enforcement or DCRA?

    What do they do on street sweeping days? Are these neighbors “old DC” or “new DC”? Either way, they’re pretty damn entitled.

    • Anonymous

      Seriously? Obviously “old”

    • Anonymous

      Seriously? What difference does that make? This person is a douche whether they’ve lived there 20 years or 6 months.

  • actually talked with parking enforcement about this once because a non profit near me would use cones to block spots. the only legal way to save spots is with those red and white no parking permit signs.

    • Anonymous

      Namely the suburban churches that think they own DC parking (legal and illegal) on their Sabbath.

      • Anonymous Coward

        Of course it’s legal for churches to do that, dontcha know God’s Law is supreme over Man’s Law?

  • Ward One Resident

    Move the flower pots and park there is what I say. They (whoever they may be) have no legal right to reserve those spaces (unless there is clearly marked signage and even then I’m not so sure they can legally use stuff like flower pots to block the spaces) and you would be well within your legal right to move the pots and park there.

  • Matt

    The Holiday Inn at 15th and Rhode Island regularly blocks spots with cones.

  • Blasian

    This was posted in that above linked article:

    MPD and the DC gov say it’s wrong [and illegal], and is encouraging residents to remove crap from parking spaces if they see it – this was posted on an MPD listserv:

    You’re correct there’s no reserving public space. Items placed on public space should be moved. I hope residents can assist with this- if we do this we will have to likely seize items of value left on public space, do a report and place it on our property book. If necessary we will but instead of pulling officers off the street I would suggest residents put them up on curb space or call 311 and have DPW/DDOT pick up as abandoned. Thanks.
    David Kamperin
    First District


    To do this in the warm months is really lazy. Sure, parking isn’t exactly plentiful, especially on one side of the street the night before street sweeping, but it’s everyone’s problem.

  • AlreadyFrustratedParker

    Psh. Park ON them. This is rude.

  • wobble

    I think this is really obnoxious. That being said, I would probably leave it alone. People who have that kind of aggressive entitlement have been known to take very retaliatory actions. I have a retirement house in a transitional neighborhood in another town where a neighboring woman wouldn’t let anybody park in front of her house. However, she had a two brothers in jail for murder, and a third brother in a wheelchair because of a disability resulting from a gun-fight. I decided to not contest it.

    I don’t know how difficult parking is in LeDroit Park. In Adams-Morgan, where I live, that wouldn’t be tolerated. You may want to submit a service request to the DC government, though. What they are doing is probably not legal. A few words from parking enforcement may help them see the wrong of their ways.

    • I’d be wary of messing with this stuff as well. Call the city. It may take multiple follow-ups, but it’s the responsibility of DCRA/DOT/MPD to enforce the law, not a random citizen.

  • Put on a long-sleeved shirt and gloves. Dig up a bunch of poison ivy from Rock Creek park. Put the pots on their doorstep. Plant the poison ivy in the pots.

  • Anonymous

    Put the pots back on the other side of their property line and fill them with garbage – and I’m talking food scraps, eggshells, smelly mayo jars, beer bottles, confetti, and all sort of nasty detritus.

    That should send a clear message.

  • Anon

    If your car is older and you don’t care about “flower pot” damage, I say ram them. I do that all the time in my older truck. Idiots think they can save parking spaces. If they want their own parking, they should have bought a place (or rented) with a parking space.

  • Mary Kate

    Count me among the people that would move those for my entitled neighbors.

  • There is someone on 11th up near Wonderland who has constructed something to put in their spot, except their spot is marked by the new handicapped parking permit signs. I assume the thing is there because people ignore the signs. While you shouldn’t put stuff in your spot/on the road I actually think it makes sense in this case because mobility is an issue and the spot is already reserved.

    This makes me wonder if the person/people in question are handicapped and need to park nearby. If so, they may not be aware of the handicapped spots that can designated in residential areas. They’ve cropped up all over my block lately.

    Or they might just be jerks.

    • Anonymous

      Let me get this straight – they’re disabled and have a designated spot in front of their single family residence, however they seem to have the mobility to move large obstacles out of their spot?

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure that they are committing fraud. I see so many MD and DC cars with disability placards and then see perfectly healthy drivers climbing out of the car. Such a BS racket and one of those perks you give to friends/family.

      • washingtonian

        Are you assuming differently abled people are hermits who don’t know anyone who can perform tasks like this as a favor?

        Besides that, someone could have one leg and move around a plastic traffic cone, they’re not 100 pond dumbbells.

        • Maymo

          Nice. I haven’t heard “differently abled” since 1995.

        • If

          They have an able bodied person on call to move big barriers for them. Why can’t the same person just park their car for them in a normal spot?

      • Kevin

        It’s more likely that the handicapped spot is for a family member but an able-bodied family member places the obstruction in the spot. I don’t have any problem with that.

        On my block near U Street a resident has a severely handicapped child. She has a reserved spot in front of her house. I’ve never seen her block the spot but wouldn’t blame her if she did. From time to time clueless U Street partiers do park there and it’s really hard for her to get the kid inside from a block or two away (if that is where she has to park).

      • A couple of months ago, the Kojo Namdi show (on NPR) had a DC parking administrator on to address parking issues, he seemed very receptive to additional handicapped parking spots.

        Note: I don’t have any experience with this and am not vouching for their responsiveness, just passing on what I heard on the radio.

        Also, I raised a similar question on popville in regards to the alley behind my house (can’t seem to find the forum entry to post the link) – people not reserving parking spaces, but otherwise taking up public space for their own use. One recommendation I received was to host a block party to increase the sense of a neighborhood, which would hopefully curb (you’re welcome for the pun) this type of activity. It sounded like a good idea, I am still hoping to one day do this myself in order to reclaim my alley.

        • They’ve been popping up like made in Southern Columbia Heights. I think there’s one on every side of my block. So yeah, they’re pretty receptive to adding them.

    • how does that even work?

      Do you pay the city for exclusive use of this handicapped spot? I would hope that the price is steep – say on the order of $500 a month.

      Otherwise, even if the city designates this as a handicapped spot, I should think any other handicapped person should be allowed to park there as well.

      • I have no idea what the charge is, but seriously DC charges $35/year to take up real estate that is worth tens of times that amount (ie park on the street). Do you really think they’re going to charge a lot for this?

        I think the idea is that because these are residential-there is no need to go to a nearby business- they are marked with the resident’s permit number. I’m not sure how much I agree with the whole set up, but there are definitely people who require the ability to be close to their homes due to lack of mobility.

        I don’t know what it takes to get one of these, but I do hope that bar is pretty high. Lots of non handicapped people get handicapped stickers so they can park free at meters, but if anyone with a handicapped sticker is eligible, then this has the potential to be a sh!t show (how many people even have the stickers???).

    • DowntownJim84

      Sounds like a good Kickstarter campaign!

    • It could also be a friendly neighbor moving things in and out of there spot. I know I was guilty of not seeing the handicapped sign at first and then a neighborhood stoop sitter nicely pointed out the sign and I promptly moved the car. Just neighbors watchin out for neighbors.

  • Anonymous

    Also, if they are saving the spots for a disabled person, they can actually request signage for a “Disability Parking Only” spot right in front of their house. It’s a great service for the District’s disabled residents.

    (Unfortunately, I see a lot otherwise healthy MD and DC drivers with disabled parking placards who are abusing the system.)

    “Reserved On Street Parking for Residents with Disabilities

    Residents with disabilities who live in a single family dwelling and meet certain other requirements can apply to have an on street parking space reserved for them.

    To get more information on this program and to apply for a reserved space please contact us at [email protected].”

    • I have a genuine question. If a disabled person has a parking pad behind their home, should they still be able to reserve a parking space on the street outfront? There are stairs to get to the door with either option.

  • upstate

    We had an issue like this with some neighbors I was near in college and routinely trashed their cones. One time they actually keyed my buddy’s car when he parked over the cones left in the road mid-day so we superglued their 3rd or 4th set of cones to the road, blocking both spots in front of their house. Once they got them off a week or 2 later, they never put up cones again. That was smart – if they hadn’t we were planning to glue them to hood of the car.

    On a side note – how do people feel about this practice with residential handicapped spots? There’s a single handicapped spot across from Room 11 that’s always blocked off like this and, while I understand the purpose if it, what’s the point of it being a handicapped spot if its being treated as a private one that no other handicapped person can use?

    • outraged

      Personally, I’m outraged that a valuable resource is being given for free to someone (if indeed it’s free).

      If you’re so handicapped you need your own personal private space in the city, then pay for it.

      • Aggie

        Outraged: I can only hope you are joking. Spend a week in a wheel chair and get back to us.

        • Anonymous

          Seriously. Add to that the fact that there are myriad ways in which whatever put someone in a wheelchair can be exactly the types of things that would negatively impact someone’s ability to pay for a private handicapped space. If someone can’t deal with being minimally inconvenienced themselves, for the sake of maybe making one aspect of being disabled a *little* easier for someone else…Jesus.

          • Aggie


    • Aggie

      My elderly neighbor lives with her VERY elderly mother. They have a designated parking spot for their own use right in front of their house and I find this absolutely wonderful (and yes, we sometimes have to walk a bit far to park our own wheels). One thing I love about this country (which is not mine), is its capacity to facilitate people with disabilities so they can live in the community.

      • upstate

        I agree entirely but if they’re not going to be ticketed for blocking the spot with trash, why doesn’t DC face reality and just give them a permanent spot specific to their license plate number? If the true goal is to give the handicapped resident 100% access to the spot in front of their door without hassle then clearly the current policy is a failure.

        • It is a permanent spot with their tag number on the sign. The person by Room 11/Wonderland probably blocks it so people who don’t pay attention or don’t care notice that it is a reserved spot.

      • Non e Mus

        Amen, And it’s not every part of this country. I was in NYC recently and took the subway to get to a number of places. The thing that struck me – which I didn’t notice when I was growing up there years ago – is how incredibly unfriendly, if not downright impossible, the NYC subway is to people in wheelchairs. Good luck finding an elevator – a working one. And good luck finding an escalator. Ours may breakdown a lot but at least we have them.

      • anonymous

        +1 to Aggie’s comment about the capacity of communities to facilitate people with disabilities so they can live in the community.

        Also folks do not always need to have a visible disability to have a disability. It could be something like decreased lung capacity from chemotherapy that makes walking even a few steps difficult at times.

        • Aggie

          Thanks – and I happen to also be an economist. You guys should trust me (despite my profession): in terms of tax money, providing free parking spots and relying on family members and informal networks to provide care is much more economical than paying for retirement homes / long term hospital stays / hospices…

    • Marcus Aurelius

      Apparently, DC differentiates between spaces reserved for the handicapped in commercial areas, and spaces reserved for the handcapped in residential areas. As stated in a prior post, if you live in a single family home – which is presumably in a residential area – and meet the criteria, you can have a space reserved for you. The area where Room 11 is located is primarily residential. I have seen reserved spaces for handicapped parking in commercial areas.
      Personally, I don’t have a problem with this program. One of my neighbors has a reserved space. Could she park somewhere else and walk to and from her car? Probably. But she’s old and doesn’t get around super well, so I don’t begrudge her the convenience. I’m not that old – relatively speaking – and I get more aches and pains every day. Hopefully no one will begrudge me the convenience if I ever reach the point where I qualify for one of these spaces.

      • oh

        well we all get old sometime. Sweet, can we all get handicapped spots?

        What about the time I sprained my ankle? Can I get a handicapped spot then too? Or what about the time I was depressed/suicidal because of a death in the family and looking for parking because an added stress? I’d like a handicapped spot then too.

        That’s the thing with Americans – can’t live within their means, either with money or ability. If *god forbid* something happens to me, I would change MY life, not expect someone else to change theirs for me. But I guess that’s just me.

        • Anonymous

          Good lord. “Can’t live within their means” might be an issue for some people with money (that’s a debate for another thread), but how in the world is that judgment relevant with respect to “ability”? There is only so much that someone with a disability can control about their situation–that’s the whole crux of having a disability. And the “sprained ankle” analogy is ridiculous; that’s an inconvenience to be sure, but a temporary one. Try having a sprained ankle–or worse, something like paralysis–every day, for life.

          • easy solution

            move somewhere where life would be stressful for you and for other people around you.

          • Agreed (or +1 perhaps I should say).

          • Anonymous

            Nice. Maybe someone in a wheelchair has family here. Maybe their job (or their caregiver’s job) is here. Maybe they just like their neighborhood. If the occasional reserved wheelchair space bothers you THAT much, why shouldn’t you be the one to move somewhere more convenient and with more ample parking?

          • DC resident

            I’m not asking the city for any special rights or privileges. Why should I move??

          • DC resident

            maybe I should apply for a handicapped spot. I’m sure I can find a reason. Then I’d be the kind of entitled selfish neighbor you would want.

          • manimal

            jesus christ people. let handicapped people get a parking spot! if you think they’re lying, bust them. but don’t tell people they have to move away because you’re not down with the situation. the cold heartedness of some of you is horrible.

        • Marcus Aurelius

          I’ve never thought that I was “changing my life” for my elderly neighbor by acquiescing to her having a dedicated handicapped parking spot in front of her house.
          I don’t think I’m changing my life when the bus I am on takes extra time to load or unload someone in a wheelchair, or when I have to get up from the front seats in order to enable someone in a wheelchair to board.
          I don’t think I am changing my life when I have to step around someone in a wheelchair that is parked next to the doors of a metro car I am boarding.
          I don’t consider these kinds of minor inconveniences to be a great sacrifice or burden. Apparently you do. Hopefully you will never need anyone to show you the kinds of consideration you now find to be such an imposition on your life.

          • a parking space

            is not a minor inconvenience. It’s a valuable resource, and people in the city pay upwards of $50,000 for or $200 a month. If some handicapped person goes into your wallet or bank account and takes $5000 or even $200, would you be cool with that “minor inconvenience”?

          • or actually

            a more apt comparison is this. What if the city hands a handicapped person $50K, for being handicapped? That hardly seems fair. Especially in the case of the morbidly obese person who became handicapped by their own poor decisions to begin with.

          • Anonymous

            Gotta love the “it’s not fair!” argument being used against people who can’t walk more than a block…or can’t freaking walk at ALL. If loss of revenue from a small number of disabled parking spaces costs me a few more tax dollars out of my paycheck each year, so be it, if that’s what it takes to make life a little easier for someone whose daily living is full of all kinds of obstacles (obstacles that exist whether they live in DC or in some exurb where everyone has their own personal parking lot).

          • Anonymous

            Oh wait, I forgot! Those terrible disabled people brought it on themselves. None of us able-bodied people EVER engages in anything even slightly risky or unhealthy. And if something bad happens to us nonetheless, we’ll totally be like “Nah, it’s cool…I don’t mind parking five blocks away, haulling myself and my wheelchair out of the car, and rolling myself home! Better yet, let me just move away from my awesome neighborhood and all the stuff I like, because I care THAT much about not inconveniencing my fellow citiziens!”

          • Anonymous

            ^ +1000

          • it’s beyond

            a matter of fairness. It’s also called equality before the law. You know – the concept gay people use to allow to be married.

            A society is not a just society if certain people and only certain people get special rights.

          • Anonymous Coward

            to: it’s beyond, 1:12pm
            subj: weak troll bro

          • Seriously. If you become disabled, you can get a placard too. Go back to watching Judge Judy.

    • Anonymous

      There is a lady that lives near us that has one that is just super fat. Not sure what the standard is but I see her getting bigger and bigger every year which of course hinders her mobility even more. Sure I don’t know her medical history but I think her claim must be idirectly related to morbid obesiity which I am not sure qualifies as a disability. If it does, I will acknowledge I am resentful of that fact since she can move. She just moves very very slowly.

  • amm

    Replace them with a lawn chair and it’s Southie! Reminds me of Boston…

    • Ha, I was just going to say that this reminds me of Baltimore in the winter. If they shoveled out the parking space, they considered it “theirs” until the snow melted and would vandalize any car that dared to park there.

    • Ha, I was just going to say that this reminds me of Baltimore in the winter. If someone shoveled snow out the parking space, they would put out junky lawn chairs to block the spot and considered it “theirs” until the snow melted. They would vandalize any car that dared to park there.

  • Anonymous

    How rude. Take the pots, plant some flowers in them, and put them in your closest neighborhood park or green space for the enjoyment of the community.

  • Anonymous

    I’d move the pots, park my car, and be sure to thank my neighbor for reserving the space for me (in the form of a note stuck in one of the pots).

  • DN

    Plant weed in pots. Call cops?

    • hiphopanonymous

      Good plan. skip calling the cops though.

  • Just tell me exactly where this is and I’ll do what you should’ve done and remove them myself.

    • Anonymous

      400 block of Oakdale Place NW @ 5th Street NW

      • hma

        Good lord. Flower pots and a car cover for a MIATA???


        • Anonymous


          • saf

            Mmmmmm – Pi!

      • Anonymous

        You can see the cans on the side of the road, next to a hooded miata, on google view! Seems like this has been happening for some time.

    • anonymous

      Please also take care of the owner of the white van on the 3800 block of 10th st, NW. They look like ddot employees with a never-ending supply of orange cones.

      • saf

        He works for DPW, not DDOT.

        Before he came into the picture, she used cinder blocks.

        • Anonymous

          So we’re talking theft from the city on many levels.

          • saf

            Oh yes. But they are the types to engage in retaliation, so nothing ever gets done.

            (And no matter who did it, they would blame me. They really dislike me.)

  • Anonymous

    If I needed the spot, I would move them. I wouldn’t do it just to make a statement.

  • Anonymous

    I would move the cones whenever I see them, encouraging other people to park there. I don’t know if i would park there myself, since as others have mentioned, jerks can be real jerks with respect to keying, etc.

    As for handicapped parking, the dc dmv’s website says, “Residents with disabilities who live in a single family dwelling and meet certain other requirements can apply to have an on street parking space reserved for them.” I take that to mean that the spot is indeed reserved for a specific individual, not for general handicapped usage. But the signage does not generally indicate as much. I used to interpret the ones that say “Reserved Parking” with a picture of a wheelchair this way, but those signs occur in places where it is not reserved for a specific individual, so my interpretation was probably incorrect.

  • Anonymous

    Wow – this guy is a real piece of work. Check out the Google Map link – he’s reserving two spots!!!! The one reserved by the flower pots is for his convertible sports car.

    This is pretty much the textbook definition of an anti-social, entitled d-bag!

    (Are we sure this isn’t a City Council member’s house?)

    • anony

      What a douche! Just put dog poop in the planters.

    • hma

      All this for a Miata no less.

    • AMDCer

      Yeah – I looked at street view, too. Totally obnoxious. Besides, there looks to be plenty of open parking on that street, at least when the shot was taken.

    • dc property tax database

      well I cross-checked the list of homeowners on Oakdale Pl NW. None of them are on the city council. Of course, it could be a renter city council member.


  • sk

    what about when CVS puts their blue and red crates in parking spaces (for hours!) to allow their trucks to unload?? maybe I am biased because I detest CVS, but this drives me crazy!

    • Heh, the Dominos at 14th and Fairmont used to do this too, but I forgave them because their delivery truck smelled like fresh pizza dough. And really, you just can’t get mad at that.

  • AC

    Brilliant! I want to do it too!!! LOL

  • That is absolutely illegal. Contact DDOT and your ANC commissioner. Also, call 911 *non-emergency* to report an obstruction in the street. MPD does not enjoy doing the paperwork but if they can connect it with the person placing it, they will issue a citation to the douchebag. A police report on file also helps DDOT with whatever enforcement action they mete out.

  • Anon

    My ex-boyfriend had two cars and a driveway, and still would complain when he couldn’t park right in front of his house. He’s a very nice guy, but I could never understand/agree with him about that.

    • Hence why he’s an ex? :)

      • Anon

        LOL – no, it wasn’t a deal-breaker, just a head-scratcher!

      • Anonymous

        I think it’s a suburban thing. We have friends in Leesburg who ask us to park around the corner when we visit. Apparently everyone on the block (including our friends!) thinks the public spots in front of their homes are reserved for them. So far I’m respecting my husband’s desire to keep the peace ;)

        • Anon

          He lived in Southeast, so not surburban, but not in a high-density/hard-to-park part of DC.

  • wow. Googlemap 428 Oakdale Place NW DC and view it at street level.

    I’m not saying the person lives at that address but you can see that the person has left a large cone and garbage can in the middle of the street. And there is a car behind that with a covering on it and the flower pots just to the right on the sidewalk.

    So clearly this guy has been doing this for a very very long time. I just called 311 and spoke to a gentleman and gave him the address and the whole story. He agreed they can’t do that and they will be putting in a call for parking enforcement issue and sanitation issue. Even got a confirmation number for both the parking and sanitation.

    So hopefully this will be resolved soon.

    • holy shit

      Good job. Well it’s easy to figure out who the homeowner is from an address. Hopefully if this person has any friends or neighbors viewing this blog, they would talk to this person privately and get them to get their shit together before the city gets to them.

    • snarky

      Looks like a Mazda Miata under the cover. Somebody needs to tell the owner that those covers cause more problems than they’re worth. Humidity builds up underneath them and that leads to rust issues.
      Oh, and congrats on 311-ing their entitled ass!

    • Hah, that’s hilarious. Don’t mess with the internet.

  • Sir Douchy

    Hell, I might just drive my Hummer right over those red planter things. If you leave them in the road then they’re going to get run over! Time to load up and take a trip to the 400 block of Oakdale Place NW!

  • Anonymous

    you know you can look up the property records for this place and see who owns it…

    • Anonymous

      … which will tell you exactly squat about who lives there.

      • well

        if they are getting the homestead deduction, then the owner better be living there…

        And the owner of 428 Oakdale Pl NW is certainly getting the homestead deduction. If the owner is not the resident, then we have two problems here that need to be reported.

        • Anonymous

          If the owner doesn’t live there, yet claims homestead deduction, that something else that a good citizen would file on: write

          Mr. Carl Piggott
          Homestead Audit Unit
          Office of Tax and Revenue
          Government of the District of Columbia
          1101 – 4th Street, SW, Suite 750W
          Washington, DC 20024-44

          Let’s help our fellow citizens be good citizens.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone wants some red planters for their backyard? If they are left out in the street like garbage, you can claim them. Those things ain’t cheap.

    First come, first planted!

    • ShawGuy

      That’s actually a brilliant plan. If they are out on the curb on a trash day, it is fully reasonable to think of them as trash and just take them. I’m gonna go check and see if there are any ZipTrucks available… those would look nice in my yard!

  • Anonymous

    How come those pots haven’t been ticketed for not displaying a zone sticker?

    • Probably because someone spray-painted “Tuesday” on them, thus satisfying the sign’s requirement that the parking is for “Tuesday” only!

  • ShawGuy

    Well, I suppose it’s not really much different from my neighbor with the Jetta that never moves. It has literally sat in the same spot (the one directly in front of my house) for six months – I noticed someone threw up on it on New Years Eve, and it’s been there ever since. I’ve called to report it as abandoned, but it has legal tags and inspection that run through December and the right zone permit, so parking enforcement has said there is nothing they can do unless the tires are flat, because it is legally parked.

    If I were you, I would leave a note on the planters saying that while you appreciate their desire to beautify the neighborhood with planters, it is not legal to leave them in the street and that you will be moving them whenever you see them. If he/she keeps putting them in the roadway, I would move them two or three times, and then I’d hit the Home Depot, get a bag of QuickCrete and just put a dollop under each one on the sidewalk and leave them to dry and cement in place.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t they have to move for street sweeping? What happens on those days?

      • Anonymous

        Also, I would have deflated their tires late at night a long time ago. No need to vandalize the car, just take a key and let the air out of the air release. Then call city towing to get it out of there.

      • NHAve

        No street sweeping on that side of the street. It is a short block and apparently the residents opt not to have it.

        • Anonymous

          Woah, I’ve never heard of this! Which block is this??? That’s nuts.

          Perhaps the best way to change the situation is to get them to impose street sweeping. Start complaining to the DPW about trash on the street and ask them to do a temporary, one-time sweep. That might be enough to get the guy to move his car.

    • annonny

      Maybe the owner died?

      That happened in my building – dead neighbor and her car parked out front for months until the estate could figure out how to deal with it. Unfortunately for my neighbor’s heirs, the registration soon expired, too, and at that point it started racking up city tickets and was eventually towed away.

    • Me

      One of my neighbors broke her leg skiing and couldn’t drive for months so her car stayed in the same spot. Another neighbor worked for DHS and was temporarily assigned abroad. Same deal. I mean it sucks but what would you do with your car if you were in this situation?

  • Anonymous

    What blows my mind is that the block is only two hour parking on weekdays and requires permits, which obviously severly limits who can park here. But this also means that DC parking enforcement probably rolls through here daily and sees these shenanigans but does nothing about it. I’m assuming that this person probably blocks the spots because they don’t want Howard students and hospital employees using the spots. Which is a dick move, IMO. My bet is that this person is a long time resident and is getting a free pass from municipal employees who turn a blind eye.

    Furthermore, does this person open up the spot on street sweeping days? How do they handle that?

  • Fonzy

    The pots look plastic. Knock the bottoms out so when the owner picks them up, all the dirt falls out the bottom… Passive agressive, yes, but in this case, it looks like it takes one to know one.

  • Ask them if they are from Pennsylvania. It’s a big custom there, and maybe they think it’s OK here. It’s not “their”spot though so I cannot imagine it’s kosher.

    • Anonymous

      or vegan.

      • Q: How can you tell if someone is vegan?
        A: They will tell you.

  • Sydney P

    Well, when I go to a self-service food place, I have a friend hold a table while I get our food.

    Too bad for the folks who already have their meals.

    • Anonymous

      Not illegal. Just smart. Who doesn’t do this?

      • Anonymous

        Anyone with a modicum of decency doesn’t.

  • DoUhaveAPermit?

    Few days ago I had a large delivery item. As the truck arrived and parked in front of my house, a car that was parked exactly in front of my house left. Both the truck driver and I were very happy about that since now, he could easily move the bulk item easily in to my yard. Well, not so fast, said a lady who just pulled and started backing into the spot, even though I was standing on the newly opened spot. I motioned her to stop and went to her driver side window (which was open) and nicely asked her if she could wait a bit longer since my delivery item is about to be unloaded and that if she parks there her car could get damaged. The very first thing she said to me was, “Do you have a permit?” at that point the first thing I wanted to do was … well, I didn’t. Instead, I said, No, but look there is another parking spot just 5 cars down the street. She said, “well, they just pulled out.” I said great, please park there now and as she left I said: thank you. The delivery guy and I just shook our heads and stated unloading the big box. Of course she had to walk past us…we just ignored her.
    “Do you have a permit?” that is what I get for asking someone who doesn’t even live around there to momentarily use the empty spot in front of my house? Really?

    • Elle

      I once saw a woman ram a man with her car while he was (a) holding a baby and (b) standing in the space trying to save it for his heavily pregnant wife.

      True, he didn’t have a legal right to do that, but she definitely won the bigger jerk award that day. The cops actually showed up while they were fighting, I can only hope she got what she deserved.

  • Anonymous

    This person’s activities are pathetic. I should’ve scanned and saved the illegible paper which was somewhat threatening when I parked in “their” space. I would’ve parked there continuously had my wife not become furious with me everytime I tried to do so.

  • NHAve

    We used to live a block away from this place. We parked our car on that street while on vacation because it was the only one in the area without street sweeping restrictions. We returned to a very interesting (not nice) note on our vehicle, despite having a residential permit and being perfectly legally parked. The note indicated that the residents of that block had opted not to have street sweeping and it was *their* parking. Looks like the note writer has taken to more drastic tactics to keep other residents from parking on that block.

    I imagine now that those weird townhouse/condos are built on that corner, this person won’t be able to get away with this for much longer.

    • Anonymous

      Are you serious? No, it is not “theirs.” That’s ridiculous that they would even think that. Great, you opted out of street cleaning, but that doesn’t mean you have exclusive street parking rights…

      The entitlement is off the charts on this one.

    • Anonymous

      We also used to live around the corner and parked there when there were no available spots on our block. I took Metro to work and left the car there for the week. We, too, received several notes stating that we should not park there and they knew where we lived. Real mature (if they knew where we lived, they could’ve knocked on our door and explained their situation with us). They used to have ceramic planters filled with gravel and on several occasions they were smashed with gravel strewn across the street. It looks like they have changed their tactics and moved to plastic pots.

      • Anonymous

        That is insane. I really don’t know how these people have been operating under the delusion that they have exclusive rights to street parking for years. YEARS. How have they not been ticketed?

    • Anonymous

      Wow, these people are nuts. I can’t believe the degree of entitlement here. DC Parking Enforcement needs to get down there and start writing tickets.

      Some of the houses on this strip don’t have alley access, but still. Buy a parking spot if you want guaranteed parking. There’s a parking garage directly across the street!!! Jesus.

    • jcm

      Wait, there’s no street sweeping on this block? I know where I’m parking during my next vacation.

  • Anon X

    I live near here, but not near enough for them to know me. I want to start a vigilante group of people who they dont know and cant threaten that will go by there once a day and remove the planters until they learn not to.

    • annonny

      The best passive-aggressive solution would be for a bunch of zone 1 parkers to gang up on this street and park in all available spots as they become available. Would be a hassle to coordinate but would drive the entitled people living on that block absolutely crazy…..

      • Anonymous

        I would totally support this, but I’d be a little worried about them damaging my car. Maybe set up a security camera in your car so you could catch them if they try anything (they sound pretty unstable, so…)

  • Anonymous

    Kind of similar scenario, I was driving endlessly around Lanier Heights/Admo looking for a spot the other night. When I found one, an older woman was standing in it, and told me that she was saving it for a friend that was on her way. Super annoyed by it but not much to do besides try and find somewhere else to park.


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