“I’d also love to know why DDOT even allows these to be printed so late, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”

by Prince Of Petworth September 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm 15 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user John M

“Dear PoPville,

I have a question regarding Emergency No Parking signs and DDOT’s rules (and enforcement).

I live in Mt. Pleasant (18th St.) and I walked out of my house this morning to a bunch of orange cones surrounding my car (among others) and a construction crew or something getting ready to set up for work. I looked at the sign, which was dated for today and had a print date of yesterday (9/26). The cones definitely weren’t up with 24 hours notice — I left in the morning to no sign, and I came back around noon to work from home to other no sign there. I’ve moved my car, though I admit it’s not even clear if moved up it’ll be safe given how they were setting up.

My reading of DDOT’s website is that anyone who gets the signs must post them at least 72 hours in advance in non-metered areas. These folks have even violated the 24 hour rule. Does anyone know of any exceptions to this policy? Do contractors have more leeway? And if something happens to my car (ticket or whatever – though I hope not), do I have recourse? I’d also love to know why DDOT even allows these to be printed so late, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”

  • WrongSideOfTheRoad

    Perhaps it was related to some kind of emergency repair? At any rate, if you did get ticketed, I would think it would be easy to get out of because they didn’t follow the 72 hours rule.

    • Anon

      I suspect I know the section of 18th Street you’re referring to and, if I’m correct, it was emergency pipework.

  • hunkydory

    A friend of mine who works in construction told me he keeps a blank stack of those “emergency no parking” signs handy and just uses them whenever needed. If the signs are just filled out with marker, I’m pretty sure it’s just the construction crew/manager posting them up without actual DDOT knowledge or authority.

  • Ampersand

    Because very few people working for the DC government give a crap?

  • Tsar of Truxton

    It’s not enforceable, but they put them up and you moved your car, so I guess it was effective.

    • west_egg

      Here’s your answer.

  • Duke of Columbia Heights

    As everyone has noted – you must post these 72 hours in advance and send proof to the police to make them enforceable via a tow – you could have easily laughed at this crew and refused to move your car and they can’t do squat

    I work for a moving company – we post these 3-4 days in advance and people still ignore them (as a special group of DC residents use street parking as long term parking) – it’s a nightmare

  • anon

    I imagine they have to allow you to print signs past the 72 hour deadline in case posted signs get ripped and need to be replaced…

  • Sandbagger

    Don’t bother, these signs are never enforced.

    • Duke of Columbia Heights

      Not True – my company tows people on the regular – don’t mess with a stressed out family on Moving Day

      • When we moved into our house 15 years ago (also in Mt. Pleasant, btw), two cars ignored the signs in front of our new house and parked where our moving van was supposed to go. We were VERY not happy and absolutely had them ticketed, and got one of them towed before the owner got back.

  • eb

    Its funny you bring this topic up this week! A Popville post on Monday highlighted a leaking hydrant at 15th and U streets NW that was so bad the sidewalk was growing algae. https://www.popville.com/2016/09/in-the-system-pending-repairs-but-this-mustve-been-leaking-a-loooong-time/

    I live nearby and my car happened to be parked along that block a few feet away from the hydrant. On Monday evening I walked by after work and saw cones and signs instructing people to move their cars by 8:00 AM Tuesday morning. It was lucky I saw it because I wouldn’t have passed my car if I had taken the 16th street bus. The signs were definitely not there Monday AM when I left for work.

  • Shaw

    If it’s an emergency repair, you will get “courtesy towed” to another legal spot within a few blocks, and you won’t be charged for it. If it’s just a regular no parking restriction, call 311 and report the signs were not up in time. It is now the responsibility of the person posting the signs to not only post them, but also to call and have the parking enforcement folks come out and VERIFY that they are clearly posted in advance of the 24/72 hour applicable timeframe. If the signs were not verified, any tickets issued to them are not valid.

  • AMS3032

    I fought and won a $50 ticket for parking in an Emergency No Parking Zone.

    When I parked it was not part of a no parking zone but a mere 45 minutes later when I returned to my car, a crew was setting up to do water pipe repairs and had set cones with Emergency No Parking signs taped to them around my car AND I had the ticket. The parking authority gentleman was still there and I said that the construction workers just placed those cones next to my car. He denied that and said to fight it if I disagreed. I did and won.

  • Anon

    This is the OP. Thanks for posting and for the responses. I totally understand an emergency repair need (if that’s what this was, though I’ve seen signs go up late even for a move and these guys clearly had the time to go and get something printed the day before), and I thankfully didn’t get ticketed.


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