Friday, November 27, 2009

? the new visitor parking permits program -- ripe for abuse?

Recall this recent item from ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti?


Some months ago, we discussed on the listserv problems some neighbors have had with having visitors over, but then their visitors getting ticketed for being in the zone parking for more than two hours. As one way to address that problem, I raised the idea of each household getting one permanent visitor parking permit, which is being done already in Ward 4. Many neighbors were very enthusiastic about having such a permit. So I brought the issue to the attention of DDOT and wrote and got passed a resolution from ANC 5C in support of such a program. Well, between that effort and the need for more flexible parking options throughout the city, the Visitor Parking Permit Program is about to expand from its pilot phase. Starting in January 2010, all households will receive a mailing from DDOT describing the program. Permits themselves are to be distributed starting in February.

This is great news for all of us. Although this one change will not solve our parking problems in Bloomingdale, it will help.

See this response from a W Street NW resident:

Parking problems and unregistered cars

DC requires that all residents register their car within 30 days of moving into the district.

I see too many cars parked on the street with out of state license tags and I know that the owners live here. I presume that these residents will be able to use the new visitor street parking pass to avoid getting a $100 ticket for not registering their car….?

How does this visitor parking permits program described by John Salatti help alleviate the parking problem, especially for those of us who paid to register our cars in DC? This program is ripe for abuse.


  1. Just to clarify some of this "problem" that the W Street resident has:

    I live with a hill rat and he is allowed to keep his native state's plates and tags because he works for a senator from that state. Every other person that works on the hill in such a capacity, also gets this same reciprocity. Meaning, yes, you will see an awful lot of out of state plates in the neighborhood, and they are all perfectly legal and registered and are not an "abuse." With the thousands of people employed in such a similar fashion, it isn't unthinkable at all that more than a few of these people may live in our neighborhood with their out of state tags. And yes, they do live there. And yes they are registered.

    While I am sure this doesn't account for everyone, it probably is more than you think considering the massive amount of staffers used by politicians outside of the District.

    Erik on 2nd

  2. Sorry, should have included this in the last post, but I am multi-tasking and lost my train of thought:

    The District is also more than capable at finding people that currently "abuse" the visitor parking permits that people can get while they're getting their car registered and all of that fun stuff. My girlfriend, due to not being able to take off work during normal business hours, took longer than the thirty days to get her DC tags and used a visitor permit to try to buy more time.

    This attempt was futile as the parking enforcement must run tags it sees often parking in the same rough neighborhood. She was still ticketed (for a crazy high sum) for not getting her tags within in the 30 days.

    I would think a similar system would be set up for the visitor pass as well.

    Erik on 2nd

  3. Also, students who are in D.C. to attend school are not required to get D.C. tags, just a permit.

  4. Hold on. Why exactly do you care that someone has or has not registered a car in D.C.?

  5. The current visitor parking permit program is abused alot by pepole who do not live in the district, but work here. They go to the police station get a visitor parking permit, which they are not allowed to do but because it is poorly regulated by the police they still get one, then they park in DC zoned areas. The biggest problem is McKinley High school, teachers get a visitor pass and then park in the residents parking which makes finding parking for residents very hard. Southwest DC implemented a very good program, their zone parking was 24 hours a day, absolutely nobody could park in a zoned area unless they had proper RPP. Then they added areas that were metered on surrounding streets. It was implemented to reduce crime coming into the area. And let me tell you, within months the crime dramatically dropped, it was unbelievable. These are our streets for residents, not out of state people, if you they want to park here they should live here, and if your friends want to park here, pay at the meter. Dont let our area be taken over by out of state people who dont care about the area, and will trash it and disrespect it since they dont live here.

  6. Amanda brings up another great point: Howard University (and any other students) do not have to get DC tags either. Another example of how just seeing out of state tags does not equally equate to "abusers" who are ruining our neighborhood because they don't live here. I think it's a pretty elitist attitude to assume that anyone without DC tags is going to destroy our neighborhood.

    Erik on 2nd

  7. are we supposed to get these parking passes again this year? mine expired on july 31, 2011. i found it to be very useful. thanks.


  8. jeff,
    i received one in the mail last week or so. vaguely junk mail looking envelope.