The ink was hardly dry on Metro Scene on Sunday when, according to D.C. parking enforcement chief Frederic R. Caponiti, the car that had sprouted 11 tickets for illegal parking and other violations on 16th Street NW near M Street was towed.
After reading the column, "My towing manager went out on Sunday morning and towed it," Caponiti said yesterday. "We messed up" previously, Caponiti said. The violation "was called in to the towing dispatchers by a parking enforcement agent a couple of times, but the cranes never got there."
You'll recall that the violating car, a 1973 Mercury station wagon, had been parked in an all-day no-parking zone near Scott Circle since mid-November. A neighbor wrote to Metro Scene calling attention to it.
Of the tickets on the windshield, roughly half were issued by Caponiti's parking enforcement bureau in the D.C. Public Works Department and half by the D.C. police. Under local law, they share responsibility for enforcement.
Our reader who flagged the incident, Joseph A. Pappano, suggested that new guidelines are needed for the on-street enforcers.
But Caponiti said that isn't needed. His bureau's agent "did call it in" twice to the towing dispatcher, he said, but unfortunately did not stress that it was a repeat request.
Please put such things into perspective, Caponiti asked: About 2,000 cars a day are eligible for towing in the District, but only 70 of the most urgent get that treatment. Most are in areas where traffic movement is blocked. "We tow the worst of the cases," and he said this car didn't fit.
In any event, Caponiti said, it is illegal to park a car anywhere in the District in one space for more than 72 hours -- that is, three consecutive days.
Caponiti said one of his agents did figuratively blow the whistle on another car parked in the 1400 block of K Street NW a few days ago. After it was left alongside an expired meter for three days, the car was towed away, thanks to the agent's vigilance. There Goes the Neighborhood?
Oh, no! Another of my favorite Washington spots has been spotlighted by the national media which, if we aren't lucky, will turn it into a local version of the Boston pub that is the model for TV's "Cheers."
The current Cosmopolitan rates Bullfeathers on Capitol Hill among the "Hot Spots: Bars in 10 Major Cities."
It's perhaps the only pub in the nation where C-Span proceedings in the House of Representatives or a presidential news conference will draw patrons to the television set. But, after all, says Cosmo writer Ralph Gardner Jr., "very few bars are two blocks actually about three from the Capitol dome."
Bullfeathers, on First Street SE, "is where Capitol Hill's movers and shakers come for a relaxing retreat from their own rhetoric. Despite its reputation as a gin mill for distinguished newsmakers, the majority of congressional staffers there are under 30 . . . . "
And their cheddar cheeseburgers are great.