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Bicycle Lanes and Sunday, Funeral Parking

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.

"Parking"

AME Zion Church at 14th and Corcoran Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

At the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle meeting last week the Rev. Vernon A. Shannon of the John Wesley AME Zion Church (14th and Corcoran Streets NW) asked for the commission to support a shift of the northbound 14th Street bicycle lane as it passes by the church building.

Members of the church, he said, were getting ticketed when they double-parked in the bicycle lanes while preparing to depart in funeral processions. The Rev. Shannon previously brought this problem to the ANC’s attention during its March community forum on Sunday parking. There is a long tradition in DC of churchgoers double parking near churches.

Although the church and DC Department of Transportation have worked around the issue, a solution is still to be reached.

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McAuley currently teaches English as a Second Language at the International Center for Language Studies in south Borderstan. He has been a Foreign Service husband for 27 years. He lived in Bulgaria, Thailand, Laos, Moldova, Romania, England, and exotic Arlington, Virginia, before moving to Borderstan in 2012. Make his day by liking his book reviews on Goodreads. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.

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13 Responses to “Bicycle Lanes and Sunday, Funeral Parking”

  1. Member says:

    This church is hardly run down. It has recently been renovated and is quite beautiful inside and out. Reality is that there is not enough parking in the city. Many of the spaces have been taken up by Zip Cars and Loading Zones. Additionally, one whole side of the street near the church has been recently changed to Zoned permit parking only. It is clear to us that the neighbors do not want this church in their neighborhood even though it was there before they moved in.

  2. Will says:

    How about as a courtesy, DPW could forego ticketing drivers who have the funeral placard in their window. Church leaders and funeral directors usually have these to give out to the procession, it can also be an orange cone with magnets on it that sticks to the roof or hood. Seems reasonable, and then you won’t have people clammoring to take out a bike lane for their temporary use.

  3. tory says:

    I have never understood why church goers in DC seem to feel that they have a god-given right to double park so they can avoid walking a few blocks to church. When I lived on C NE near 6th, I was routinely parked in by these people on Sunday. When I called MPD, they suggested I go into the church and have the parker paged and ask him to move the car so I could get my car out.

    But frankly, I’m not sure why I needed to do that when I wanted to move my car which was legally parked.

    And I don’t think you need an exception for funerals. Truly, they will just use that to justify continuing their Sunday abuse.

    • Zapped says:

      That is why you require them to get advanced permission and otherwise they get ticketed. I think the doubleparking generally issue and the funeral issue are two different issues.

      I suppose if the herse can’t get close to the door, you expect it to park down the street and the pall bearers can just carry the coffin a block or two. No big deal.

  4. Lisa says:

    No double parking. It makes everything for difficult for other cars, for bikes, for pedestrians. When you bought your car, you should have noticed that it didn’t come with an “I can park wherever I feel like it” accessory.

  5. Walker, DC Ranger says:

    This church especially really has some nerve – it’s the most run-down building on 14th south of Columbia Heights.

    • Zapped says:

      That is hardly the most run down building on 14th street. I actually love that church and think it’s quite beautiful. The parishioners might be a pain but the structure itself is nice.

  6. 7r3y3r says:

    @ron525i – +1

    I can’t imagine there are that many funerals where there needs to be a blanket exception or change to the bike lane. Seems to me the church can request an exception each and every time there’s a funeral for that very limited amount of time the cars are lining up for the procession.

  7. turtleshell says:

    I’m pretty sure there were no special elite parking privileges for the chosen few at Jesus’s funeral.

  8. ron525i says:

    This seems like an ploy to get the lane moved so that parishioners can double park on Sundays.

  9. Zapped says:

    Well, I would normally agree here and I used to live right on that block of Corcoran and absolutely hated the doubleparking that took place. But for a funeral? Come on. I think as long as the double parking is related to the exit of the family members for the funeral and is set up, in advance, with the MPD, then that is fine. To me it is comparable to seeing cops directing funeral traffic in more rural areas. But it should definitely be the exception and not the rule.

  10. David says:

    The solution is: don’t double park. Going to church, for whatever reason, does not exempt you from obeying the law.

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