Washington, DC

“Dear PoPville,

How many emergency no parking signs do you need to cover a full block?

Example: On the 900 block of 1st St SE, there are two emergency no parking signs at the north end of the block (denoted with an “S” in the attached image) that claim they reserve all the spaces on the entire block. I was towed today from the other end of the block (the spot denoted with a C in the attached) for allegedly violating those signs. It seems nuts that a sign 150-200 feet away from my car could properly serve as notice that I can’t park there – but I don’t know what the actual threshold is.

Bonus Q: After I discovered my car was gone, I called 311 and went through the process to see if the city knew where I’d been towed to. They had no record of me being towed, and the only way I was able to find my car was a post on the neighborhood FB group from someone who noticed that cars on a nearby block were being towed by a particular private towing company. I contacted that company and was told where they had moved those other cars, and found my car among them several blocks away. But If my eagle-eyed neighbor hadn’t thought to share that info with the FB group, it seems I would have had no way to locate the (improperly, IMO) towed car.

Who’s fault is this? I presume it is incumbent on the towing company to report to DPW and it seems like they didn’t, but I don’t know for sure. I’m glad to have my car back, but I’m really worried someone is gonna lose their car like this some day. Just like this fiasco from 2018.”


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