January 18, 2006

Morning Feed

ANOTHER PARKING BROUHAHA. The DC Council tomorrow will hold a hearing on a proposal to raise residential parking fees. Under the plan proposed by Mayor Williams, the price for "a residential zone sticker" would rise from $15 to $25. A permit for a second car would cost $50 and the third would be $100. The idea is to encourage use of mass transit when going out for brunch, shopping for a party-dress or new suit, meeting a pal for coffee. Whatever.

DC Bubble doesn't really see the hardship associated with such a fee increase. While DC Bubble lauds any effort to increase use of public transit, the proposal seems to be about bringing fees in line with "reality" more than anything else. Charging 50 bucks for a second car will not dissuade folks from having a second car and will not encourage use of Metrorail or Metrobus.

Bottom line though: DC Bubble believes the $15 is ridiculously low. The $15 doesn't even really seem like it would cover the cost of administering the whole program to begin with.

LOGAN PARKING DOUBLE SPEAK. While 11 parking tickets were issued in the area surrounding Logan Circle churches on Jan. 15, many, many double parked and illegally parked cars were unticketed as seen in the photos here.

Sgt. Stuart Emerman with the Metropolitan Police Department told the Washington Times last week "we will start ticketing double-parked cars on Sundays." When asked about all the unticketed cars from the most recent weekend, Emerman told DC Bubble that the MPD will ease into ticketing. Rather than the blanket ticketing policy stated in the Washington Times, Emerman said for now "we are issuing tickets for fire hydrants, crosswalks, etc. on Sundays."

"When the officers are in the area, they are advised to be looking for all kinds violations ... including parking issues," Emerman added. It does not sound like the officers were looking very hard last Sunday considering the number of illegally parked cars.

DC Bubble is not sure we agree with the demanded parking policy change, but when the MPD says it is going to issue tickets it is reasonable to assume it will follow through.

One Liners
STADIUM NEWS. Earliest the DC Council will vote on the stadium is Feb. 7. C'mon boys and girls bring it home for Valentine's Day. Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer was named the mediator between the city and Major League Baseball. Plus Archer is an ally of the Mayor.

BIG TRAIN COMING TO CAPITOL HILL. Starting Jan. 30, Metro will run 8-car trains during the morning rush.

photo by: Ancodia


todd said...

It is worth noting that the "demanded parking policy change" in Logan Circle is actually codified law in the District of Columbia. The DC legislature has prohibited double-parking at all times in all places within the city, without exception. It is more than an issue of inconveniencing residents, which is a valid complaint in and of itself, but rather poses significant safety hazards that could easily be addressed if churh parishoners would simply arrive early enough to use nearby available parking, use public transportation, and/or arrange to rent spaces at local parking facilities. These practices are used by private schools and other religious institutions in the city. It seems fair and reasonable to ask the churches to do the same.

Anonymous said...

typical dc police. who is this sargent. he probably lives in Maryland.

t.s. said...

The residential-parking-permit program surely would pay for itself even if the fee for a sticker were $0, since there is huge revenue in ticketing cars without the stickers at $30/pop. And I have a very, very hard time believing that the marginal expense that they're talking about adding to owning a car -- in the tens of dollars a year -- will affect many people's decisions to keep their car as opposed to rely on Metro. Compare the magnitude of that cost to the expense involved in acquiring, maintaining, operating and insuring the car itself.

No, the only plausible justification for the fee hikes is to soak those with cars for a few more dollars a year.

mark said...

Re parking stickers & fees: If the objective here is to make it easier for residents to park, jacking up the RPP sticker fee isn't going to solve the problem.

The Clarence Williams article in Thursday's WaPo District Extra hit the nail on the head. We have a huge problem with cars that don't have RPP stickers to begin with. Many are out-of-state cars parked overnight (presumably owned by short-term residents), and a lot of the daytime parkers are using illegal visitor passes. (Some visitor passes are forged, but the real problem is that MPD doesn't keep track; I regularly see "visitors" on their 3rd or 4th 30-day permit, despite the legal limits imposed by DCMR.) Hiking the RPP fee ain't gonna do squat about these free riders.

What's driving this behavior, I suspect, is avoidance. The overnighters are ducking DC taxes, higher insurance rates, jury service, etc. ad naus. The visitor permit abusers in my area are a more mixed bag; some are residents avoiding the things above, but others are commuters simply scamming their way to free on-street parking. The way to address it is through enforcement that makes it more expensive to be a scofflaw.