Residents frustrated by parking tickets, project

Photo by The Georgetown Dish
No parking signs line blocks in Georgetown
No parking signs line blocks in Georgetown

Georgetown residents are up in arms over a street repaving project that has eliminated hundreds of parking spaces, hit residents with thousands of dollars in what they say are illegitimate parking fines, and turned the neighborhood into an obstacle course with unused machinery scattered like junked cars, causing safety concerns.

No parking on this block of 33rd Street, despite no construction over the weekend. (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) No parking on this block of 33rd Street, despite no construction over the weekend.
“This is truly so frustrating and disorganized,” said Elizabeth Miller of 33rd Street. Her block has been blanketed with no parking signs, preventing residents from parking even when no construction is occurring. Other times, she said, “no parking” signs have been posted early in the morning near residents’ cars that were parked legally the night before. Ticket writers are not far behind.

The long-planned project to replace trolley tracks and other infrastructure on cobblestone blocks of O & P Streets between Wisconsin Ave. and 37th St. is expected to continue through next summer.

“My husband parked at night in a legitimate parking space. The next morning he got to the car at 8:30 and had a ticket. They put the signs up at 7:00,” Miller said. “It’s completely outrageous. There is no communication with the residents.”

“I parked in a spot on 33rd Street over the weekend where there were no signs. I return to get my car Monday morning to find a sign effective that morning and a ticket on my car,” wrote resident Angie Bradshaw.

“The attitude seems to be, let's just slap up no parking notices where we can, whether we're going to be working there or not,” said Martin Evans, a Georgetown University economics professor who has lived on P Street for 16 years. “They started by confining their activity to a few places, but now it has spread out of control.”

In addition to the street repaving project, Washington Gas has started major repairs in the area involving trench-digging and line work. "One neighbor said she hasn't slept in two weeks" due to the sound of cars running xylophone-like over metal planks covering the trenches, Miller said.

The entrances to houses along 33rd Street blocked by yellow tape over the weekend. (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) The entrances to houses along 33rd Street blocked by yellow tape over the weekend.
Residents say no alternatives for parking have been offered, despite a project that involved over 10 years of planning. Temporary resident-only parking zones promised by authorities have not materialized, so the remainder of available parking spaces are shared by cars from the suburbs and elsewhere. “It’s like residents are kind of a nuisance and let's just ignore them as much as possible,” said Evans of the project management's approach.

“Heavy construction equipment is parked all over the place for weeks,” Evans continued. “There is no attempt to contain the impact, to minimize the machinery that is around. It’s symptomatic of the whole way the project is being run.”

Councilmember Jack Evans said he understands the concerns. “I’m well aware of it and have contacted [the agency directors],” he said. “If anybody feels that they have been unfairly ticketed they should contact my office. Residents need to let us know.” Evans' office is reachable at (202) 724-8058.

“In Georgetown there’s a lack of parking spaces in the best of times,” he added. “There has never been an alternative. These construction projects are enormous, greatly needed and very inconvenient.”

Miller suggested a daily email or Tweet to residents alerting them to parking restrictions for the day. “In an age of listserv and Twitter,” she said, “this is not rocket science.”

“There seems no reason why there isn't a daily update listing the day's work area and a preview of the following day including specific blocks and recommended alternative parking,” added Bradshaw.

“I'm sick and tired of picking up asphalt from my floor,” wrote Miller in an email to authorities.  “AHHHH. Please try to help us.”

 

0 Comments For This Article

Maddie Grant

Agreed, but there is a daily update - http://fixingoandpstreets.com/

Leslie

That website is NOT updated daily and is not accurate as of today.

Anonymous

Its hardly "daily". The last website posting is Sept 20'th.

Also, I could help but notice from the website that

"plans are in the works for more ‘Zone 2’ only parking signs to be put in place to assist with resident parking challenges. A separate email and website posting showing a map of these locations is forthcoming."

PLANS, PLANS...... Only now are they making plans to deal with parking!!!! This project has been in the works for about a decade and they are just getting round to a parking plan.

Ken Archer

It's not true that no alternatives for parking have been offered. The affected blocks now have resident-only parking on one side of each block. Jeff Jones, the ANC Commissioner for this area, has been very responsive to neighbor concerns.

Anonymous

Good. Make these disgustingly rich neighbors pay their fair share.

Anonymous

I received 3 illegitimate tickets and PAID them. I just called Jack Evans' office where I was informed that I should consider my payment a "donation to the city" as the streets will look "fantastic when their done."

WTF

Anonymous

DDOT is currentley providing resident parking on one side of the street adjacent to the blocks they are occupying. Though not in the books DDOT is bending backward to accomodate. Just go out and check those signs, I saw them myself.

Anon33

Let's blame Jack Evans, huh Beth? Seems to be your mantra these days!

Liz

I called Jack Evans' office about my tickets and they could not have been more helpful. I provided the ticket numbers and they are working with DDOT to have them dismissed.

I hardly think anyone in that office would tell you that the tickets were a "donation to the city." Did you give them the ticket #s?

Herb Lerner

I just received a notice of dismissal of a ticket we had received for parking where the construction/no parking sign was enforced within 24 hours of the posting. Under DC rules, the posting is not supposed to be enforceable for 72 hours after posting, unless there is an emergency.

To void the ticket I had to take a photo of the sign, showing the date of posting and then referred to the date and time of the ticket in my protest mailing to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Three months later, the DMV office of Adjudication Services sent me a card indicating the dismissal of the ticket.