Dupont Circle ANC Hosts Public Forum on Resident Parking Regs

by April 5, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,496 3 Comments

"Borderstan""Parking Signs"

ANC 2B hosted a forum on residential parking regulations. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT] You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B (ANC 2B) in Dupont Circle hosted the first of two public forums Tuesday night to discuss issues surrounding DC’s residential parking program (RPP). ANC Commissioner Mike Feldstein hosted the event and invited Damon Harvey of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to lead the discussion. (See related posts at bottom, including ANC 2F Votes to Support New Parking Regs Benefiting Residents.)

About 20 people attended the forum including ANC2B Commissioners Mike Feldstein (2B01), Jack Jacobson (2B04), Ramon Estrada (2B09) and Mike Silverstein (2B06). DDOT’s Harvey wowed the attendees with his extensive knowledge and anecdotes about resident parking throughout DC and repeatedly mentioned that he and DDOT will really listen and respond to residents concerns about the scarcity of parking.

David Alpert was also featured prominently in the forum. Alpert, founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington and a resident of ANC 2B, wrote an overview of some of the challenges of parking in the neighborhood and offered a few options in his article and during the forum. A few of the major concerns were quickly identified early on. Residents are frustrated with lack of curbside parking near their homes, especially in the evenings.

There is concern that Logan Circle’s plan to test an “enhanced residential parking program” will have a spillover effect in Dupont as visitors scout for spots there since fewer will be available to them in Logan. Comments also surrounded the  growing popularity of Dupont and Logan Circle as a nightlife destination and its impact on parking.

The discussion on nightlife brought up Mayor Gray’s recent budget proposal to generate more revenue through extending the hours that bars can operate. Commissioner Mike Silverstein, who is also a member of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, pointed out how the Mayor’s proposal has the potential to put considerable pressure on parking.

Silverstein explained that by extending bar hours, DC’s closing time will be later than both Maryland and Virginia bars, making DC appealing for late-night entertainment. However, Metro will not be open to accommodate riders’ returns home at the later hours, forcing visitors to drive to DC rather than use public transportation.

Attention then shifted to some options to provide relief. The enforcement period for RPP could be extended to later in the evening — currently a visitor could legally park on the street at 6:30 pm and remain until the next morning. Dupont could adopt the program that will be tested in Logan in which one side of the street will be reserved for residents of the zone; note that parking zones and DC ward boundaries are the same. Another idea suggested is implementation of performance parking, in which visitors pay-by-cell for parking on residential streets.

As the forum drew to a close Damon Harvey offered some welcome news; DDOT is working toward moving the visitor parking permit process online. So the trip to the police station when you have out of town visitors should be eliminated in the future. The date of the next public forum has not been set. That meeting should firm up some of the conclusions and recommendations before moving to the ANC agenda for action.

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