• LCinDC

    Shoulda towed.

    • +1. There is no need to inconvenience yourself if you’ve obeyed all the rules/laws and some fools can’t be bothered to read. Ticket + tow, baby.

      • textdoc


      • Unfortunately, getting a tow for this violation is pretty much impossible. At best, it can take 6-8 hours, at which time your move is done. The only real way to protect a reserved space is to have friends park in it – spool out 800 yards of yellow tape and chalk the sidewalk – and/or sit out the night before and tell people not to park there. Caltrops would be mean, but not totally un-warranted.

        • dcd

          This could not be more accurate. All of it.

        • Something Like Anonanon

          I spent an entire morning last week sitting in three spots telling people they couldn’t park there. I called 311 to get two cars ticketed and then towed. No one ever showed up but fortunately the two car owners came and moved their cars. (Or just went to work. They didn’t seem to notice/care about the signs at all.)

          • Anon

            I had this happen to me a few weeks ago, but I called 911, not 311, and both times they were able to contact the owner and get them to move in a prompt manner. Props to the cops!

        • Steph

          +1,000,000 We have done this twice to move on Saturdays. Once we got a couple cars in the way ticketed, but not towed. It is infuriating b/c you are paying movers $$$ (or otherwise having to tote furniture around cars into a truck) and that one car in the way really, REALLY sucks. Plus you have to go through so much red tape to get the signs and have them verified. What a joke.

        • KenyonDweller

          I once had a guy park in my reserved spot while I was standing on the parking strip next it to talking to a DPW parking enforcement officer! I told him he couldn’t park there. She told him he’d get a ticket, and he did it anyway. He ran into an apartment across the street, came back 10 minutes later, and actually looked annoyed at the ticket. The officer said, “I told you so.”

        • pushygalore

          This statement is nonsense. Getting a tow is pretty easy. You call the cops, the city makes money on idiots who can’t follow the rules and you go on with your life. This whole thing just suggests millennial whining who can’t deal with actually holding people accountable.

          • Anon

            You’re clearly just talking out of your ass here, but don’t let that stop you.

          • 15th

            I’m gonna agree with anon. Have you tried to enforce those parking signs? I have. The city is way more reluctant to enforce than you suggest. I think its because the city has no way of knowing whether the parking sign hanger put them up a full 72 hours in advance as required.

          • niceflipflop

            15TH: Yes they absolutely have a way of knowing. After you post, you have to call the number on the sign. They send out someone to confirm it’s up and then it’s enforceable. This is the system in every major city.

        • niceflipflop

          Shockingly, when this happened to me, the parking official showed up halfway thru my move. But by then, I’d looked at the pics I’d taken the day I put up the signs and realized the car was already there. Yeah, I put them up 72 hours before. But I too would leave my car in spots for several days at a time so I wasn’t going to have a neighbor towed out of spite. If that happened to me, I’d be pissed.
          Plus, as it happens, double parking was way easier for the crew. Bookstore Movers FTW!

          • niceflipflop

            Oh, forgot to mention, the official was slightly annoyed that I didn’t follow thru but ultimately she understood and agreed it wasn’t worth it.

    • Here’s the DC we know and love hahaha

      • LCinDC

        Ha. Just sayin…let’s say the driver didn’t see the signs even. Should the one inconvenienced be the person trying to move in, who had to go through the trouble and costs of posting the signs, or the one who (even if not ill-intended) isn’t actively monitoring for signs when they know this is common in DC? I respect the “kind nature” of the new neighbor, but then I’d almost just not address the issue with a note. I don’t say tow to be an ass, but just to remove the obstruction and go about your moving.

        • I hear you – I certainly wouldn’t have been as kind as the note writer but reading it, their kind nature was nice a departure from past notes we’ve seen.

          • navyard

            Perhaps the kind nature of the note was because the note-writer’s name or contact info is available on the sign.
            If the owner of the emergency no-parking was completely anonymous, maybe she would have been a little less polite.

        • Anon

          I agree. I’ve done that once by accident – didn’t need my car for a few days over a weekend and didn’t see the temporary no parking signs. I would’ve had absolutely no problem with them towing my car. (Which they tried to do, but nobody ever came to ticket/tow.)

      • cd


    • Truxton Thomas

      The discharge fee would have totaled the car.

      • Tony

        underrated comment.

    • Anonymous

      +1 that’s why you get the signs. Why did this person not call a tow truck?

    • Nathan

      How easy is it to get DPW to come out and actually ticket and tow from an emergency parking sign? We had DDOT out paving our street and they couldn’t even get DPW to ticket and tow the one lone car, so they just had to pave around it.

      • b

        This happened to me when I was moving 3 yrs ago. There were cars parked in EVERY space of the stretch that I had blocked off for the moving truck even though I had put up the signs five days in advance. I called 311 and they had someone out there within an hour.

        • Jobe

          Assume this happened on a weekday? If you move on a weekend–when most people do–it’s virtually impossible to get them to actually send a tow truck, and it’s a miracle if anyone even picks up the phone. Not to mention, we were told they wouldn’t tow until the car was first ticketed–so we had to call the police first to issue a ticket, and only then would they send a tow truck (which, obviously, never arrived). Incredibly frustrating system, but unsurprising given the DC government’s general incompetence.

      • Q

        Are you the source of one of my favorite PoPville posts of all time? The one with a picture of a beautiful, newly paved street, except for underneath the one car parked on it? I loved that one.

        • Nathan

          Haha no. This was pretty recently, and I’d guess its a common occurance:)

          • nosey neighbor

            If you’re talking about the spot on Spring Road, I saw it this morning! SMH

          • Q

            I’m not sure. It was a couple of years ago, I think, and my Google-Fu is failing me.

          • OP Anon

            That car was on S Street, right next to Garden District beer garden.
            It was notable because that block was a terrible sh#tshow of potholes for many years.

      • jonah

        I recall from other posts that some people ran into problems where they needed DPW to verify the signs were in place 72 hrs in advance in order to ticket. This isn’t the one I am thinking of but a similar old PoPville article:

        • jonah

          Sorry that should be “in order to tow”

        • Duponter

          I had this issue. I called them well in advance. The instructions on how to make this happen are no longer on the signs and I could not find them anywhere on the DPW or the parking website where you order the signs. I just called every number on there until I got someone who transferred me to someone else. They put it in the system I called, said an officer would verify. I checked the status every day until moving day and it was never verified. Fortunately I managed to block off the spots that morning with trash cans and stood outside until the movers arrived.

          Any other time I have posted these signs, they haven’t worked and no one came to tow or ticket anyone. It’s a huge racket and DC should really end it altogether. They are basically stealing your $55.

          • Sadly, this. Get the signs, but do not expect them to actually deter anyone. You need tape/chairs/cones/bricks whatever to block the space.

          • pushygalore

            This is untrue. It’s a bit more convoluted than it was, but all the instructions are presented to you when you apply for them. You out up the dates and the money, you print them out, you call to have them confirm and then if some fool parks there you have them towed.

        • Duponter

          I should add, I had to print them out twice because someone ripped them down the first time. So that was fun too. I would never bother doing it again.

        • wdc

          My company applied and paid to block the curb for an office move, and a few weeks later, they issued permits for the exact same area, same period, to a construction company, for materials delivery. Our office manager was beside herself. DC admitted no fault, and refused to refund the fee (which was way over $55 because if was for a business not a residence.)

      • KellyKapowski

        Really easy actually. I’m pretty sure they make a bunch of money off of it so they are happy to oblige. At least in my experience, I had to do this once. I felt terrible about it actually but we were desperate – moving out of an apartment right on 18th in Adams Morgan and there were no alleys or anything to pull the truck into.

      • Pixie

        I moved on a weekend and they could not tow the cars that parked in my reserved spaces. I called 311 and an officer came by and ticketed the cars, which made me feel a little better. The moving truck had to park in front of a stop sign.

    • AJSE

      I had a car towed last time I moved, and because you have to put your phone # on your Emergency No Parking signs, I got a very confused (and then very angry) phone call from the person I had towed. Sorry man, the signs were there 4 days prior and were clearly visible. I still do not feel bad about it.

      • Anon

        Come to think of it, I’d buy a burner phone just for this purpose. Once the move is done, toss the phone and don’t worry about anyone harassing you down the road.

  • Northwesterner

    It’s such an inconsiderate thing to do. About two years ago, the same thing happened to me near that very intersection. I was able to get both cars ticketed, but the offenders returned before the tow truck got there. One person arrived while the officer was placing the ticket and started yelling at me. The other person had left a note on their dashboard that they ran out of gas, yet it took them at least 2 hours to get back (starting from the time I arrived). There’s a gas station at 15th and U; they got no sympathy from me.

    • xx

      could have been a lie, but two hours to go buy a gas can and then go get gas? seems reasonable to me.

      • bruno

        Are you sure the cars were not there “before” you put up the signs? I often don’t move my car for a long time….. and if a sign has gone up in the meantime, I am in doodoo.

        • Something Like Anonanon

          But then it is your responsibility to check every couple days to make sure there aren’t signs posted. If the person moving puts the signs up 72 hours in advance and you don’t check on your car in that window and get towed, you wouldn’t really have a right to yell at the person moving. He/she was just following the rules.

          • bruno

            I know that, but I am a human, not a heavenly creature, and I don’t check every day. All of which is to say, it’s not always the case that people park after the sign has been posted, or if they do, that they are aware of it. (Why would you park your car in a no parking zone for long if you knew you were going to be ticked? <— This makes me skeptical).

          • DF

            Bruno, sorry, street parking is public parking, not your own parking spot. You gotta abide by street sweeping, snow emergencies, and things like this.

      • Anon

        You don’t think a gas station would sell you a can?

        • Anonymous

          Do gas stations in DC sell gas cans? I’ve never needed to find out so I’m curious. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they don’t.

          • hmm


      • Northwesterner

        It’s not totally clear from my comment, but there was a gas station less than 4 blocks away and a hardware store a block away from that. I put up the signs 72 hours before and the out-of-gas car wasn’t there. I don’t believe the other car was there either until the morning of.

  • Big Chunky Bubbles

    This happened to me last September — except that I called 4 times over the 6 hour stretch I had the signs reserved for, and they refused to tow the car. I purposely reserved it for longer than I needed for just this reason — in case someone was parked in the area when they shouldn’t be — and it still never got resolved. To put the cherry on top, the woman finally came to move her car just as my movers were finishing up, but not before they had to block traffic for 3+ hours because she was parked directly in the middle of my 4 signs. Enemy for life.

    • PettyParker

      I’m petty and would totally key her car in the future.

      • Big Chunky Bubbles

        I’m so petty, I hold grudges and tend to them like little pets.

        I actually haven’t even seen the woman or her car since, so I have no idea if she even lives in the neighborhood at all.

  • Twincreek

    Once the signs are posted you have to call a number on the signs to get them verified. Once verified then 311 will ticket and tow. You can also report through the 311 app. If the signs are not verified, you didn’t put them up with the correct amount of notice, or they have been ripped down, sorry about your luck. As they will not come at all. We do utility work in DC, if our permit starts on 5/4, they have to be up on 5/1 to be verified. If we cannot get to the job until 5/7 and we do not put them up until 5/4, they will not verify the signs and we cannot get anyone ticketed and towed. For us it is a waste of $105 or more depending on the public inconvenience fees.

  • Let me tell you about towing

    A car parked in my emergency parking spot when I moved in, and I DID tow. But don’t be naive. Everyone saying “shoulda towed” has not tried to go through this process with DC. To get the car towed out of the emergency spot, I had to make at least 4 calls to various DC offices, 311, MPD, etc. MPD had to come out twice, once to ticket, once to tow. The first time they came out they refused to tow, and referred me to 311, who referred me back to MPD. I spent about 2 hours on this while the movers worked around the vehicle. The car was towed, but not until nearly 8 hours later, long after my movers were done.

  • These comments have convinced me that should I ever move, it should be out of DC.

    • Anonymous

      Why so?

      • Anon

        Who cares? More housing for us!

    • Robert

      @2b3s Underrated post. Moving out of the DC to Europe was the best move of our lives and we still read Popville (adblocker on, bithces) for Schadenfreude.

  • Anon

    There is roof work going on at Bruce Monroe Elementary school in Park View lately. They printed and posted emergency no-parking signs on the same day for several weeks worth of work. So much for the same 72 hours notice + sign validation that I had to give for my move.

    Anyway, by the next weekend, most of them had fallen down and several people started to park there. They all got ticketed, even the ones that were several spots down from the remaining signs. I feel bad for those who got the tickets, hopefully they contest them.

    • Sporkles

      I can absolutely attest to the fact that the signs were NOT up 72 hours in advance — in fact, they were put up the very morning the work started. I know this because my security camera faces the property and when it seemed like they were going to tow my neighbor’s car, I screenshot the time and date that the signs weren’t there and then when they were put up. They knocked on everyone’s doors on Newton Pl at 10am on a Monday to get people to move their cars. I hate those lame old lady quotes, but I think it applies: your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part. Insert Kermit the Frog sipping tea jpg here. Sporkles out.

  • ktown

    Happened to me once, too, when I was living on a particularly tricky one-way street. Called the police, who immediately dispatched an officer – and to his great credit, he went around knocking on doors until he found the car’s owner. Got me my reserved parking spot, saved duder a ticket. Everyone won.

    • textdoc

      I had the same thing happen last time I moved (on a Sunday). Very nice cop(s)!

  • bruno

    The day is written before the month (i.e., 17 May) , the seven is crossed — is the OP a European?

    • bruno

      I mean 16 May… oops.

    • d

      Doubtful, since there’s no “u” in neighbor. I don’t think crossing 7s is something only Europeans do (e.g., I do it too), but yes the rest of the world writes day then month instead of vice versa. It’s possible this person works in one of the many jobs in this town that deal with foreign countries or nationals and has grown accustomed to that style (even writing out the month to clarify for Americans, as is done in our passports).

      • Truxton Thomas

        It’s a superior system and should be adopted in the United States. Day, month, year (small, medium, large) without a comma.

        • d


        • textdoc

          Nope — the best style is the kind used in Japan, because you can sort dates chronologically that way:

          • Gregorian

            Unless they use periods such as Heisei, Showa

          • textdoc

            Right, then the reign year replaces the Western year.
            When I lived in Japan, I was so confused before I figured that out — items like milk sometimes had expiration dates of (say) 09.07.28 instead of 1997.07.28.
            There were lots of people outside the main post office on 09.09.09, looking to get postmarks with the date.

    • pushygalore

      Sorry you use a bad system of counting the passage of time. BTW in DOD dates are usually written DDMONYYYY

  • TJ

    Hard to tell for certain from the pick, but the car looks to be in a warehoused state. Probably hasn’t been visited in months.

    • Admiral Yi

      That’s just urban camouflage color scheme

  • stacksp

    Having your car towed really sucks. I do not think I would have had it towed either especially if that was the ONLY car in the way. I would just try to position the moving truck as close to my original spot as possible.


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