“I am in a bit of a parking pickle because of this snow (aren’t we all) and am looking for advice.”

by Prince Of Petworth January 27, 2016 at 1:00 pm 60 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend not the same sign – just using to illustrate

“Dear PoPville,

I am in a bit of a parking pickle because of this snow (aren’t we all) and am looking for advice.

Someone’s put up emergency no parking signs across four/five car lengths to make room for a moving truck this weekend. Parking is already tough as it is and this snow has made it a bigger nightmare. There are still piles taller than I am.

My car is parked within the no parking zone, but it is right across the street from my apartment AND I’m leaving the country on Monday and will need to bring down very heavy luggage to put in it. I am willing to incur a ticket if it means leaving my car where it is. Luckily I’m the very last car within the blocked zone and not right in the middle of it.

Worth flouting the sign? Will I get towed? Do you know of any exceptions DCPW is making in light of the snow? Enforcement is so hit or miss with these things. Hate to be a bad neighbor to these new transplants but honestly this week is inconvenient for everyone involved.

I forgot to mention that 99% of the cars on my street are still walled in by snow and the piles on the sidewalk are at least four feet tall. Which would make maneuvering a moving truck and lifting furniture next to impossible.”



  • parking

    park at dc usa? park at a metro station where the gate goes up at night so its free?

    • textdoc

      These are good ideas.

  • Anon

    When I have put up those signs, I have gleefully towed people who parked there. The signs are there for a reason. Yes, it’s all made worse by the snow. I get it. We all get it. But the signs are there for a reason, and at least one local moving company encourages people to tow in these situations.

    So you’ve got a real good chance of being towed.

    • textdoc

      +1. Don’t be a bad neighbor to the people moving in.

    • pjl35

      Completely agree. You’re much more likely to get towed for staying there than just getting a ticket as you state in your original post. If the movers are actually moving this weekend, why not move your car somewhere else that you can find to park and then move it back into the space it’s at once the movers have left…which they should if you’re not leaving until Monday.

    • dcd

      Yeah, I second this. I get that it’s inconvenient for you, but think about it from the other side – there are people who have planned a move for months, need to be out of their prior living space (so probably have little flexibility) and now have to deal with getting moved while there’ still snow everywhere – and you don’t want to move your car because you have a good spot, and you will have heavy luggage on Monday? The word entitled is thrown around and misused far too often, but it fits well here. You have no problem hosing your new neighbor because it’s inconvenient for you. I’m getting angry just thinking about it. FFS, move your car.

    • em

      Agreed. It may seem ruthless, but if the person has gone to the trouble of getting the correct permits and signs, they’ll have no problem with calling in violators to be towed. When this situation happened to me, I had to pay the movers about $100 dollars extra because they arrived and had nowhere to park, so had to pull up further down and spend a lot of extra time hauling. And it sounds like you don’t even need your car there over the weekend – if you aren’t leaving until Monday, move your car for now then bring it back when it is time for your trip.

    • Word

      Yes, move or expect a ticket+tow. Also, Monday is still a fair bit off – streets will be more clear by then and you might be able to find a not-so-bad spot to park.

  • Shaw

    Might be worth contacting the agency that approves these permits- I think it’s perhaps not appropriate for them to issue such a permit until they’ve actually cleared the roads :)

    • womp

      it’s likely the permit was issued well before #Snowzilla came to town

    • Jojo

      Tell that to the people who have to move that day.

  • womp

    When I moved this summer, I was told that tickets/towing wouldn’t be enforced unless I (the permit holder) called to enforce it. I can’t quite make out the contact info on the sign, but if it’s a person (or even if it’s not), I would call the number to see if I could find out any more details re: moving truck/pod arrival, etc. It might be worth discussing with whomever since these are out of the ordinary circumstances and they may be willing and able to be flexible with you.

    • womp

      oops. i missed that this isn’t actually the sign, but my point is still valid. (and i’ll learn to read eventually :) )

  • madmonk28

    Forget about whether or not you get a ticket or get towed. One of your neighbors is trying to either move in or move out. Do the decent thing and don’t make his/her life more stressful; just like you would hope that your neighbors would do for you. Do unto others something, something, something.

  • anon

    If you were moving this weekend and had reserved spaces for your moving truck would you want someone parking in your spot?

  • anon

    why don’t you just call the contact number and see if they’re reasonable?

  • lrds

    Or, you could call the number listed and ask if they would mind letting you stay where you are. DC does not, to my knowledge, proactively ticket/tow those parked in such zones unless the person who put up the signs calls to request it.

  • Shawnnnnnn

    Please do not park there. Imagine the poor people who have to deal with moving in the middle of this snowstorm. Do you really think your need for proximity to bring down some suitcases is greater? Move your car to a paid garage (which will be cheaper than the ticket and tow you will incur if you do not), then drive up when you need to on Monday morning, put on your hazards, and run up and grab your luggage. This does not seem like a particularly difficult situation to resolve to accommodate your neighbor (and to follow the law).

  • pjl35

    I’m assuming this picture isn’t of the actual signs? Because that would mean they blocked off the spots for Monday, January 25…

  • siz

    yeah if the signs are up legally and it’s all legit, please don’t park there anyway. that really really blows if you need the space for your truck and you’ve gone through the correct process to ensure it can park there. if it were me i’d call the tow.

    • siz

      i mean if it’s THAT DIRE maybe you could put your phone number in the window or something with a note, asking the neighbors to call you when to need to move your car? but i also find it tough to believe you can’t find ANY other parking around.

  • accendo

    Plan to be around this weekend during the posted timeframe and communicate with the incoming/outgoing neighbors to see if they don’t mind you staying there if it’s not too much trouble?

  • Anon

    By this weekend you may be pleasantly surprised at how much snow has melted… maybe other nearby spaces will open up between now and then that you could move to. But I would move… you will get ticketed and/or towed. And it’s the right thing to do.

  • Logan

    You have a choice to make: 1) Disregard the sign, inconvenience your new neighbors who followed the correct procedure and paid $75+ to reserve the spaces, and risk a ticket/tow. Or 2) Move you car, and when Monday morning comes around, pull up in front of your house, put on your flashers, and run upstairs to get your suitcase.

  • Looks like it might be moot – from twitter https://twitter.com/CommuteSafeDC/status/692410243133755392

    • anon

      They got back to you fast. Guess that solves it from a towing perspective…. OP should probably should still try to work something out with the new neighbors.

    • textdoc

      See my comment below — the person who posted is not a spokesman for DDOT, but rather for a “permit expediter” company.

    • ET

      I would recommend to the person who asked the question to print out a copy of the suspension and put it in the window of the car so that it is known that they can still be there.

  • DC1

    That person had to pay for those signs. Please don’t make their move more miserable than it already is! By Monday the snow emergency would long gone, so there should be no sympathy if you decide to leave your car there.

  • anon

    Call the number to see if you can reach a compromise, but also, more snow will be melting in the next day or two – it’s good to think ahead as you are, but more spaces may open up in the next couple days and over the weekend, so you may be able to move your car, and just deal with carrying your luggage a little further. It’s really not cool to purposely block spaces intended for a moving truck, moving is already difficult enough, and this person went through the correct process to ensure they could have a parking spot for their moving truck.

  • DDOT just suspended most public space permits through 31 Jan. See our posts at facebook.com/accupermit or twitter.com/commutesafedc

    DPW enforces the no parking signs, but don’t count on them to not enforce the no parking even if the permit is invalid. I’m sure if your car is towed or ticketed you could dispute the charges and win. Good luck!

  • anon

    FYI – I posted a moving sign like this one time, and someone on my block called to make sure the truck wouldn’t be in the way of an upcoming street party. It really isn’t that big a deal to speak with people on the phone, though some seem to be afraid of it these days.

  • Anon

    We all understand that your need for the spot is Very Important. But, it’s their spot, they paid to reserve it. If you needed to park right there on X day, there is a reservation system available that you have not availed yourself of. I would gleefully do my best to get you ticketed and towed simply for the lack of respect. There is a phone number on the sign, no? Why don’t you call and try to work something out? Or pay someone to drag your bag a bit farther down the road if you’re unable. It’d probably cost far less than the tow fee, and you wouldn’t be acting like a self important jerk to boot.

  • anonymous

    Park somewhere else, then bring your car to your building in the moments before you need to load the heavy suitcases into it (have your bags in the lobby if there’s no place for you to pull over). Or if the parking is reserved for the weekend, you could move your car into the space on Sunday night when they’re done.
    It seems like you’re fabricating some drama where there really isn’t any, but for the love of god, don’t create drama for the person trying to move in this stuff. Their movers are already going to have to haul things further than usual because of snowbanks, don’t make it even harder for them.

  • anon

    I was supposed to move yesterday and rescheduled to Monday since no one has plowed my street yet. Unless significant melting happens I’m not sure where the truck will go even if they get around to plowing, but I cannot delay any further. I hope my neighbors are understanding if the truck blocks our small one-way side street for about an hour or two – i have no other options and have already spent $110 on these signs which aren’t going to do me any good. Its a pickle.

  • AmyM

    Might as well pile on. I’m moving this weekend, and under normal circumstances, I would unapologetically have your car towed if I had a permit to block off that area. We’re not under normal circumstances, and the city has indeed suspended permits (as one enterprising commenter pointed out above) but the fact that you took the time to write an email lamenting your impending inconvenience tells me that you know exactly what sort of person sees that their neighbor is moving *during a snow emergency* and still flips them the bird, parks a car where the truck needs to go, and walks away.

  • Anonymous

    Just curious – Based on several posts above it seems clear that this no parking sign will not be enforceable this weekend. So the continued advice for the OP to move his or her car rather than flout the rules is inapplicable.
    Are the people still chiming in saying that he or she should move the car anyway out of courtesy?

    • dcd

      I certainly am. It would take a special kind of person to intentionally screw up someone’s move because it’s inconvenient to move the car, and (s)he plans on having some heavy luggage. On Monday, no less – at least 12hours, and more likely 36, after the move is planned.

    • Anonymous

      Moving the car would be the neighborly thing to do, but the OP doesn’t sound like a decent neighbor. So I doubt he or she will move their car.
      Getting away with something you shouldn’t do on the basis of a technicality is the American way.

    • Timebomb

      I’ll take it a step further and say this is dumb policy on DDOT’s part. It should honor the permits it issued, provided the permit-holders manage to clear the space accordingly. The inconvenience of having to park your car in a garage or somewhere far from home for a few days doesn’t equate with having to delay a move.

    • TJ

      Yes, you move your car for neighhbors who have hired a moving truck, no matter what the situation with the permits might be. If it were me I would touch base with the neighbor, find out if the truck is coming, then coordinate vehicle movement with them if possible. Otherwise I would just move. And, if I were to ever be so silly as to pack heavy luggage I couldn’t handle under existing conditions, I would get another packing plan.

  • kolis001

    I am one of the unlucky few who has a move scheduled this weekend and cannot put it off, as my lease at my current home is up as of 2/1. We just called DDOT and asked whether we should just try to park our moving truck wherever we can…the response: “If you want a hefty fine!” We said we recognized it’s not DC’s fault a snow storm happened but we also can’t help that this is our move date… the response: sucks for you, more or less.

    DC, always so helpful and accommodating! I guess at this point we just park where we can and hope to avoid a ticket.

    • Anonymous

      At this point, I would probably try to reserve an adjacent spot with objects and ropes on the morning of your move. Shovel out the space and get a friend to sit there to keep other people from parking in spot(s). If possible, keep the signs….I bet most people won’t realize that the towing will not be enforced.
      My condolences….that really really really SUCKS.

      • textdoc

        And/or try to park your own car(s) there, if you have one/two, and then move it/them once the truck shows up.

        • anon

          yeah, keep the signs and put them out anyway – a bet most people won’t know that they aren’t going to enforce.

  • ES

    I am one of those poor souls moving this weekend and I am unable to delay the move. I called the DC transportation office and they put me in touch with someone to process my refund for the permits I paid for. Fingers crossed I get my money back with out any hiccups and that I find a decent place to park my uhaul truck for a few hours and don’t get a ticket. UGH.

  • I have to say I’m astounded by OP. Some poor soul is going to show up with everything he/she owns in a truck to find the space blocked, but that’s OK, because the parking space “is right across the street from my apartment” AND OP needs to bring down “very heavy luggage” ON A DIFFERENT DAY. What if OP’s new parking spot after the person moves in isn’t so sweet. But hey, that’s much more important than the people trying to move – I’m sure all their furniture and belongings aren’t as heavy as your luggage, so no biggie if they have to park somewhere else – or sleep in the truck with all their stuff because there’s no way to get it in.

    Congratulations on being the kind of person you want to be. May it work out as you deserve.

    • TJ

      Gosh, I overlooked that reference. Hopefully just poor command of English at work. We are all transplants.

  • Unlucky

    I had the unfortunate experience of getting approved for a moving truck parking permit for this Saturday THIS MORNING, without realizing this suspension was occurring and without being told by the DDOT permit office that this suspension was in place. The person who approved me must have missed the memo. I got all the signs printed, posted, and even a Parking Enforcement Officer checked and verified my signs were posted. And lo and behold, I find out from this post that this permit won’t even be enforced this weekend! I totally understand the reason behind this decision but I can’t believe DDOT’s own employees didn’t know this. Thank you Popville for spreading the word! I checked with the office and thankfully I’m getting a refund. But still, moving this weekend will be tough! Unfortunately, there’s no way around this.

    • anonymous

      Hang the signs anyway, you’ve really got nothing to lose. You may not have the recourse to get anyone towed, but people may not realize they aren’t being enforced, or may think, “Moving is a bitch, I’ll park a block further away this one time and help them out.”

  • parking

    It would be helpful for the DC government to advise people that have to move this weekend (since leases are up Feb 1st) on what they should do with their truck. It seems ridiculous that they are unable to get permits, but then be subject to parking tickets because switching the moving date in unavoidable. Has DDOT actually said anything constructive for those people who are moving this weekend and can’t get permits?

  • movingthisweekendtoo

    ah this is so annoying. I had permits posted too. Everything with this move has been such a cluster. Hopefully our movers are super fast and neighbors understand us blocking a one way for a bit? Or should I just keep the signs posted and post handwritten signs asking people to please not park there Saturday morning?

  • Park your car somewhere else and take an Uber / taxi / Super Shuttle to the airport. It will be cheaper than a tow or ticket.

  • PetworthAdam

    Pack less stuff.


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