This is one of those bad news/good news stories. The bad news is for commuters into Washington, who are having about 150 all-day parking spaces in West Potomac Park taken away from them. The good news is for tourists, the taxpayers who pay the government salaries for many of the commuters, who will be allowed to park in those spaces.
The National Capital Parks office of the National Park Service announced yesterday that the affected spaces are on Ohio Drive and on Basin Drive, which runs along the western edge of the Tidal Basin.
Spaces along the section of Ohio Drive where two-way traffic is permitted will have a two-hour parking limit, 24 hours a day, according to parks spokeswoman Sandra Alley. On Basin Drive, no daytime parking will be permitted until 9 a.m., when most government already are scheduled to be at work.
Commuter parking will continue to be allowed on the one-way section of Ohio Drive near the Tidal Basin inlet bridge.
On Sept. 30, after the tourist season is over, all commuter parking will be restored, Alley said.
Prematurely, she said, U.S. Park Police began issuing tickets yesterday to commuters. Anyone who got one should call the police at 426-6710 to arrange for its cancellation. Real tickets will be issued starting late next week.