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DPW proposes overnight parking ticket moratorium
(Published August 14, 2000)
By KATHRYN SINZINGER
Residents of some of the city’s most heavily congested neighborhoods may soon be permitted to break the law during overnight hours so they can more easily park their cars close to their homes.
The Department of Public Works, in consultation with the Metropolitan Police Department, has published a proposed change in the city’s vehicle and traffic regulations that would allow residents of certain designated "high density parking areas" to commit minor parking violations from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. without
The ticketing "moratorium" proposed for specific streets in 18 neighborhoods — primarily located in the city’s northwest quadrant and on Capitol Hill — was originally suggested by a task force Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham put together to study parking and transportation issues in his ward. Ward 1 includes Adams Morgan, where residents constantly compete with nightclub patrons for scarce residential parking space after daytime business hours.
"The overall issue is trying to ease parking congestion over-night. Space is critical," said DPW spokeswoman Linda Grant.
Under the proposed rules, vehicles that have a valid residential parking permit for the designated high-density areas would not be ticketed for:
•parking within 40 feet of an intersection on a two-way street;
•parking within 25 feet of an intersection on a one-way street;
•parking within three feet of another parallel-parked vehicle in a non-metered area;
•parking within 25 feet of "motorists’ courtesy mail boxes."
"A violation of these provisions that results in the blocking of an intersection is not a minor parking violation," according to the proposed rule. Grant said motorists who block intersections will receive tickets.
DPW officials are seeking public comment through Aug. 27 on the proposed new rules, which were published in the D.C. Register on July 28. Grant said officials will review those comments to determine whether any changes need to be made in the proposal before it is implemented.
"DPW parking enforcement officers are not even on the street between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.," Grant said, noting that tickets issued to residents for parking infractions during overnight hours would be issued by police officers.
Neighborhoods with streets designated as high-density parking areas under the proposed rule are
•Yost Place area
In an e-mailed message to his Ward 1 constituents, Graham noted that a recent legislative change now allows residents to petition for a change in the residential parking hours for their block.
He said this change was made to allow residents to extend the restricted parking hours beyond the standard 8:30 p.m. ending time in areas such as Adams Morgan that have a lot of evening visitors.
Graham said residents who live on a street that is not eligible for residential parking due to other parking restrictions — such as "no parking anytime" or a commercial zone — are now eligible to apply for a residential parking permit for use on streets surrounding their own.
Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator