NEWS: DDOT Officials and Dupont Residents Discuss Parking Issues

The Dupont Circle ANC and residents met at the Dupont Circle Hotel with DDOT  official Damon Harvey the evening of Tuesday, April 3, 2012 to discuss issues related to parking systems for the neighborhood.  Thanks to all who attended!  The following meeting notes are courtesy of Dupont resident Nell Payne, who attended the meeting along with many other residents and commissioners:

The purpose of the meeting was for DDOT to describe what types of parking systems have and have not worked elsewhere in the city, and for Ward 2 residents to explain the parking challenges they face and ask questions about the parking regulation system and what the options are.

Damon Harvey with DDOT (, 202.671.350) described the various ways in which neighborhoods can perfect their residential parking permit (RPP) system.  He urged us to think about a comprehensive approach, so that non-resident parkers don’t simply shift from one block to the next in search of laxer rules.  Attendees described the types of parking problems they encounter, such as spaces being taken by patrons and employees of nearby commercial establishments, and inability of the elderly and handicapped to find parking.

The default RPP option is a 2-hour grace period for non-permit holders 7:30am-8:30pm Monday-Friday.  That can be changed in certain ways by regulation upon the recommendation of the ANC, but other changes would require enactment of a new law by the City Council.  Examples of changes that can be made by regulation include changing the hours of the RPP system, imposition of resident-only parking (that is, no grace period at all) on one side of the street during certain hours/days, and changing the hours and costs of meters.  We should also carefully consider side effects – for example, if resident-only parking is instituted, the city will supply each household with a visitor parking pass, but there is danger that those passes can be counterfeited and sold.  DDOT works hard to prevent that, by monitoring Craigslist and EBay and using water marks on the permits, but it could be an issue.  Could be less of an issue if DDOT is successful in development and rollout of an internet-based system for visitor passes.

One option that was discussed would be to have RPP in place during the day, say from 8:00am to 4:00pm, then resident-only from 4:00pm to midnight.  This would allow guests, tradesmen and deliverymen to park for up to two hours during the day, then give residents priority by the time they come home from work.

There are more nuances than many of us realized.  For example, an RPP system that operates until 6:00pm, after which anyone can park for any length of time, really only limits parking until 4:00pm, because a non-resident can park at 4:00pm, stay for the 2-hour grace period until 6:00pm and stay further overnight until the RPP kicks in again the following morning.

[Comissioner] Mike Feldstein will organize a second meeting in a month or so, which will be devoted to discussion of issues specific to Ward 2, and suggestions by DDOT as to how to address them.