The District or Columbia government is considering a special force of parking ticket writers to deal with one of the most persistent rush-hour problems: illegally parked cars blocking the bus lane next to the curb.
The ticket writers, and perhaps even tow trucks, might not be part of the police department as they are now, under a concept tried elsewhere and briefly outlined by Douglas Schneider, director of the D.C. Department of Transportation.
Schneider said that a plan to tighten enforcement of rush-hour parking violations was being discussed by his department, the police, the corporation counsel and the courts. "It will be about a month before we have it firmed up," Schneider said.
Traffic engineers nationwide feel that they do not get good enforcement from ploicemen on rush-hour parking violations because policemen don't like to get involved with traffic problems.
Schneider said that his department was considering a program under which the ticket writers would work for city's Department of Transportation instead of the police department. Such a plan has been used successfully in Harrisburg, Pa.
Deputy Police Chief Ernest Prete, in charge of traffic enforcement, said he had seen the Schneider proposal and "had some problems" with the concept.