The Gripe: Out-of-state drivers hog parking spots in D.C.’s Zone 6

April 25, 2013

It appears that few things rankle D.C. residents quite as much as out-of-state drivers hogging resident parking. (Yes, that includes you, Maryland and Virginia. )

According to the citizen reporting Web site SeeClickFix, a Washington Post partner site, one of the more common complaints in the District is that out-of-state drivers park their cars in resident-only zones. This issue is especially pervasive, gripers report, in Zone 6.

“Out of state car is taking up parking space from tax paying dc citizens,” complained one SeeClickFix user. “Parked in zone 6, no zone 6 sticker,” wrote another.

Zone 6 includes parts of downtown and Penn Quarter in Northwest Washington, the Southwest Waterfront, the Capitol Riverfront near Nationals Park, and Capitol Hill. The city describes this as the “heart of Washington, D.C.,” which explains why parking spots are at such a premium.

But who, exactly, is allowed to park on zoned streets? Are out-of-towners in the wrong? Or are residents overly territorial in their neighborhoods?

The Gripe: You vent. We get some answers.

The answer: It depends. As Dr. Gridlock explained last year, “it’s very easy for a driver to misunderstand the signs” in D.C. Even well-intentioned drivers looking for a legitimate spot near Eastern Market or Nats Park may end up violating parking laws, risking a ticket and ticking off neighbors.

That being said, it’s important to read signs carefully. If you’re a visitor parking in a zoned spot, make sure to move your car after the time limit.

And if you’re a resident, you can log complaints with SeeClickFix at The Gripe. The free service works directly with city and state agencies to resolve parking and other civic issues, such as problems with trash pickup, potholes, graffiti, busted traffic lights, or wasps at your local park. We will continue to report on the problems you share.

Tell us: Are out-of-state drivers hogging zoned spots in your neighborhood? Share your experiences in the comments below or with SeeClickFix.

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