Seen Saturday at 11:00 AM:
Another photo and the relevant law after the jump:
As you can see, this car is clearly parked illegally. Or rather, if it were any other car, it would clearly be parked illegally. As a District Councilmember, Jack Evans has the benefit of DC Code Section 50-2201.03, which states, in part:
(c) Members of Congress or the Council may park their vehicles in any available curb space in the District of Columbia, when:
(1) The vehicle is used by the member of Congress or the Council on official business;
(2) The vehicle is displaying a Congressional or Council registration tag issued by the jurisdiction represented by the member; and
(3) The vehicle is not parked in violation of a loading zone, rush hour, firehouse, or fire plug limitation.
So, is Evans’ car parked legally? Is there any way that he’s on “official business” at 11:00 AM on a Saturday one half-block from his house?
Evans’ neighbors have probably seen before his blue Seabring parked where they could not, but maybe they don’t mind. Arguably it opens up another legal space (of course due to the laws of induced demand, that may simply encourage more Virginians and Marylanders to drive to that block looking for a space). But besides potentially opening up another space, isn’t it unsafe for Evans to park like this? The whole reason there isn’t parking between the sign and the corner is for safety (i.e. increased visibility at the crosswalk and intersection). Is Evans willfully putting citizens in danger or has he concluded that the safety concerns are not present in this case?
If Councilmember Evans thinks that in this case safety is not an important enough concern to trump his convenience, shouldn’t he be lobbying to allow parking in this spot all the time? If he hasn’t made that conclusion, it’s it an abuse of his privilege to park like that?
Besides, chances are that this isn’t even an abuse of a privilege, it’s just a plain violation. Unless of course Evans truly had official business to attend to at 11:00 AM Saturday morning, 30 ft. from his house.
What do you think? Abuse of privilege, straight up violation, and/or no big deal?