Tag Archives: Parking

Lively Discussion on Parking Last Night

IMG_1399

 

Last night DDOT hosted a meeting with the community to discuss parking. The meeting came out of a long series of discussions that have been going on for years between representatives of the ANC, CAG, and the BID to address the parking situation in Georgetown.

As expected the meeting was lively and well attended. After a short introduction by DC’s parking Czar Angelo and his colleague Damon Harvey, the crowd of about 40-50 was broken up into three discussion groups to tackle three topics of challenges: residential parking, parking for commercial establishments, and institutional parking.

The bulk of the crowd (and GM) gravitated to the first group, where opinions were strong although not always in agreement.

For instance, early on in the discussion, someone suggested the creation of a ANC2E-only parking permit. Under such a scheme, only those who live in Georgetown or Burleith would get the benefit of unlimited parking in those neighborhoods. As it stands now, anyone who lives in Ward 2–which stretches all the way to the Convention Center and down to Southwest DC–can park without restriction in ANC2E.

Lots of heads nodded in approval for that proposal. But then one member piped up, essentially, “Hey I like parking in Dupont. If our zone is reduced, then I can’t drive and park there unrestricted.” Some other heads then bobbed in approval of that, and cited the distance to the Metro. Others then responded, hey if you want to go to Dupont, take a bus. It’s not like there’s any parking anyway.

And that pretty much set the tone for the evening. Lots of impassioned opinions, with nods of agreement often followed by rebuttals.

Probably the most contentious issue was that of the idea of making the side streets pay-for-parking. Some of the objections to the idea were to the aesthetics of not wanting physical meters on the side streets. That, in fact, is not a likely proposal anyway. Any plan for pay-for-parking in the side streets would involve the use of pay-by-cellphone, which only necessitates the signs be changed.

Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Transportation

Meeting on Parking Tomorrow Night

Photo by Matt Hurst.

Tomorrow night at 6:30 pm at Hardy School, DDOT will be hosting a forum on parking issues for the Georgetown community. GM knows that sounds incredibly dry and boring, but this will actually be interesting! The thing is, the city is taking dramatic steps to address how it manages on street parking throughout DC. And the likely changes it will recommend for Georgetown will be based on the concept of performance parking.

Performance parking is a topic GM has discussed several times before. The basic idea is this: on blocks where there is more demand than supply, the city will add meters and charge high enough rates to discourage enough people from parking on that street in order to always have a few spots open. Residents would be exempt from the meters and residents would be given some means to provide guest parking. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Transportation

No Annual Visitors Passes in Georgetown

Photo by ThisisBossi.

As the Georgetown Patch pointed out the other day, unlike their Ward 3 neighbors, Georgetowners don’t get an annual visitors parking pass. If a Georgetowner has a guest coming, they may obtain a temporary parking pass, but the resident must travel to the police station in Cleveland Park with enough paperwork to secure the pass. But this pass is only good for a maximum of two weeks. The police are known to reject a resident who tries to renew the pass.

With a permanent permit like those issued to Ward 3 residents, the resident doesn’t need to go to the police station, the pass is mailed annually. And it can be used over an over again. And it’s this flexibility that’s why Ward 2 leaders have been wary about extending the annual guest pass program to their ward.

The problem boils down primarily to two concerns. The first is that in many (but not all) sections of Georgetown, parking is short. Making it easier for lots of visitors to park will exacerbate the problem. Secondly, there is a fear that Georgetowners would simply sell their guest parking pass to the highest bidder. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Transportation

The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Dan McQuade.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

Leave a comment

Filed under The Morning Metropolitan

The Morning Metropolitan


Photo by roeyahram.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

Leave a comment

Filed under The Morning Metropolitan

Should There Be A Georgetown-Specific Parking Permit?

Georgetown leaders have been long contemplating bringing performance parking to Georgetown. Part of that proposal would involve setting aside certain blocks of parking for residents only. But such a plan raises an interesting issue, one that applies to our current system as much as it would apply to a performance parking system: should there be a Georgetown-specific residential parking permit?

As it is now, any resident of Ward 2 can get a Zone 2 residential parking permit (an “RPP”). This enables a driver to park for an unlimited amount of time in spaces that would otherwise require you to move your car after two hours. This includes just about every on-street parking space in Georgetown except on the commercial strips.

The vast majority of the parking spaces are probably occupied by Georgetown residents. But there is nothing preventing any Ward 2 resident from parking his or her car in Georgetown all day. And if spots are set aside as resident-only under a new parking scheme, with the permits as they are, it would mean residents of Dupont, Foggy Bottom and downtown would be able to still use those spots. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Parking

Georgetown Businesses and Residents Don’t Support Evans’ Meter Proposal

Today, GM turns over the reins of the Georgetown Metropolitan for a day to his friend and fellow Georgetowner Ken Archer to discuss Jack Evans recent parking proposals:

Councilmember Jack Evans’ proposal to roll back parking meter rates and hours of enforcement in commercial corridors is based, according to Evans, on the complaints and requests of businesses and residents in his ward. However, a survey of organizations representing residents and businesses in Georgetown fails to find anyone asking Evans for his proposal.

His proposal passed out of his committee by a 3-2 vote and Evans frequently points to these complaints in defending the $5.2 million measure.

Evans told the Washington Examiner, “I get consistent complaints about the parking meters everywhere I go in my ward from residents. I can’t go into a restaurant without the owner coming out to complain about the cost of the parking meters.”

Despite this, neither the Georgetown BID nor the largest owner of Georgetown restaurants support the proposal.

The Georgetown ANC and Citizens Association have passed no resolutions and sent no letters to Evans requesting reductions in either meter rates or enforcement hours. In fact, the ANC has been working with DDOT for a couple years to put in place a performance parking pilot that would increase parking turnover and availability by charging market rates at meters. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Transportation

Several Transportation Ideas Proposed Affecting Georgetown

Photo by CascadeFoto.

Recently several DC pols have issued some proposals that could significantly impact Georgetown’s transportation mix. Some of the ideas are good, others bad.

Let’s start with the good.

Up until Chris Ziemann left DDOT last year, Ward 2 had a dedicated DDOT planner. This position can coordinate transportation projects across the ward. Further it can lobby DDOT on the ward’s behalf and bring a unified vision across multiple projects and neighborhoods. Unfortunately since Chris left, the position has remained empty and Mayor Gray recommended it simply be cut completely. Councilmember Tommy Wells, however, proposed that this position–as well as the vacant ward planner positions for Wards 3 and 5–be filled again. This is a good proposal.

Additionally, Wells proposed creating a position titled Parking Czar. This individual would spend all his or her time addressing the parking issue. In particular, this person would bring life back to the stalled effort to bring performance parking to DC. This is something that GM has lobbied to bring to Georgetown for a while. In short: right now we price street parking too low and as a result visitors troll the neighborhood looking for free parking rather than simply driving to the pay garages. This increases traffic, encourages people to leave their car parked for as long as possible and makes it more difficult for residents to find a parking spot near their homes. By raising the price of parking enough that there is always at least 10-15% of the street spaces open, we can encourage more turnover. Plus, the additional parking fees will get plowed back into the neighborhood in the form of streetscape improvements, and the like.

Having a parking czar will make it much more likely that such a policy can come to Georgetown. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Transportation

The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Jim Malone.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Metrocurean rates Dolcezza as a top Hot Chocolate purveyor. GM concurs; their hot chocolate is like a melted chocolate bar; it’s that thick.
  • Where the bus route names, including the G2, came from.
  • In researching for an article that will appear later today, GM came across this cool website that compiles information from pay garages. It’s not real time information, but it gives you daily and monthly rates, which is pretty helpful.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Morning Metropolitan

Raise Parking Fees on Multi-Car Households First

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that as part of his final effort to close the city’s budget gap, Adrian Fenty is considering doubling the fee for residential parking passes. This is actually not a bad idea at all. We charge a laughably small fee for street parking: $15 a year. Only in the world of cars is it considered reasonable that private individuals are able to squat their personal property on 180 square feet of public property and only pay 4 cents a day.

So doubling it does seem like a quick and easy way to raise revenues while spreading the pain pretty thin. But it would be a failed opportunity. Before we consider raising the fee for households with one car, we ought to raise it for houses with two cars, and raising it even more for houses with three or more cars.

See how this would play out in a parking-challenged neighborhood like Georgetown: According to the 2000 Census, there are roughly 4,936 cars in Georgetown. There are only 4,640 households in Georgetown. Of those households here’s how the car ownership breaks down:

  • 20% of households have no car
  • 57% of households have one car
  • 23% of households have more than one car

Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Parking