Major parking changes loom in Ward 1

Residents and visitors in the central part of the District are about to see some big changes to on-street parking in several popular neighborhoods.

In a move that redefines city parking rules, the D.C. Department of Transportation is limiting non-resident parking during weekdays on 550 blocks in Ward 1 in Northwest.


D.C. Council member Jim Graham (Mark Gail/WASHINGTON POST)

Visitors will only be allowed to park on one side of the street, so more space is available for residents who have Ward 1 residential parking permits.

The changes, similar to rules already in place in parts of Capitol Hill, could make it harder for non-residents to park in Columbia Heights, LeDroit Park, Adams Morgan and the U Street corridor.

Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) said the council authorized the change several years ago but it is only now being implemented as city leaders step up efforts to control vehicles and parking in congested areas of the city.

Starting Saturday, DDOT will begin installing signs designating one side of the street of each block as “Enhanced Residential Parking.”

In those areas, only residents with Ward 1 residential parking permits will be permitted to park from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Violators could be towed, DDOT Warns.

On the opposite side of the street, non-permitted motorists will be allowed to park their vehicles, but will still be expected to abide by two-hour time limits where applicable.

Residents with permits can also park on that side of the street but will not have to abide by two-hour time limits.

“Visitors will still have half of every block, but it’s intended to protect the parking of residents,” said Graham, who fought for the new law.

The new rules will take affect across Ward 1, with the exception of the areas governed by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1D in Mount Pleasant.

About 2,500 new signs are being installed throughout Ward 1 to explain the changes.

The restrictions come as the D.C. Council and Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s (D) administration grapple with the limited supply of the parking in city. Several years ago, similar parking policies were enacted in Capitol Hill and in parts of Columbia Heights.

On Dec. 4, DDOT will hold a “parking summit” at Judiciary Square to solicit public input on how best to manage parking in the District.

Tim Craig is The Post’s bureau chief in Pakistan. He has also covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and within the District of Columbia government.

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