DDOT adopts idiotic visitor parking policy

August 9, 2013

Those of you who read the Georgetown Metropolitan regularly may remember a series of meetings held earlier this year about parking. The intent of these meetings was to suss out what problems Georgetowners have with parking and to then design possible solutions.

Some ideas were batted around. They included requiring visitors to Georgetown to pay to park even on the side streets. The idea was that people drive up and down our streets looking for street parking because its free. Put a price on it, and people may choose garages instead, thus cutting down on traffic and making it easier for residents to find parking. Other proposals wouldn’t require any payment to park on the side streets, but would require visitors to use a system like Park Mobile to “check in” so that ticket enforcement for time would be easier.

One key element to any proposal like this was the need for some sort of a visitor parking permit. This way the guests of residents would not be subject to the new fees or restrictions.

Other parts of the city, like Ward 3, already have a system like this. Every year, every resident with his or her own residential parking permit gets a visitor parking pass (VPP). When displayed in a car, that car gets treated like a resident’s car. So far, so good for residents, right? In less dense neighborhoods, that’s probably true. But in a neighborhood like Georgetown, that is a recipe for widespread abuse.

What is the value of a VPP to employees who work in Georgetown? Considering that monthly garage rates can be hundreds of dollars, a VPP could be worth as much as $1,000. It’s inevitable that VPPs will be sold and abused this way.

[Continue reading Topher Mathews' post here at The Georgetown Metropolitan.]

Topher Mathews blogs at The Georgetown Metropolitan . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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Norman Leahy · August 9, 2013