DDOT Parking Plan Near Barracks Row Likely to Push Non-Ward Six Parking North Of Pennsylvania Avenue – Process Questioned at ANC Meet
by Larry Janezich
At Tuesday night’s ANC6b meeting, Commissioner Dave Garrison summarized what DDOT is proposing extending the Performance Parking Plan to most streets between 8th Street and 11th Street, SE, and Pennsylvania Avenue and I Streets, SE. This would make parking harder for non-Ward Six parkers.
A likely consequence is that non-Ward Six parking will be pushed north into streets where parking rules are more flexible. The problem will become more severe with the opening of The Hill Center this summer, thus setting up a dynamic for extending the parking restrictions further north, possibly to East Capitol.
In an early Sunday morning email to some of the residents in the affected 8 or 9 block area, Commissioner Oldenburg said the new plan would be announced at the March meeting of ANC6b. In a post on her blog on Monday, Oldenburg revised her announcement by adding that “if necessary, I am more than willing to set up a petition process so that blocks can opt in or out of these changes.” It seems likely that any blocks not participating would become sanctuaries for non-Ward 6 parkers.
Ninth Street resident Karl Kindel raised objections to the procedure that was being followed, which he said, presented no options, but only a fait accompli. ANC6b Chair Neil Glick and Commissioners Ivan Frishberg and Brian Pate supported a more transparent and inclusive process than what was apparently being followed in this instance. Imposition of the plan by DDOT would also affect residents who invite guests to their homes – a burden that would have to be addressed by application for temporary parking permits – police-issued multiple one-day and multi-day passes. The new plan would provide for each residence with only a single guest parking pass.
It was not clear at the end of the meeting whether ANC6b would require a stricter degree of consultation with residents before the DDOT plan is effected, but it does seem to be the case that blocks may opt out of the program by majority vote.
The meeting took a contentious turn when Commissioner Oldenburg objected that criticism was aimed at her and Mr. Kindel objected to that and to her characterizing him as “the only negative on this.”
Oldenburg also reported that she was starting discussions with the Marines and with DDOT for parking restrictions for the 800 block of G Street and the 700 block of Ninth Street, SE. Some residents asserted later that there had been no prior notification of this development to the community.
The possibility that residents of a block shared by the Marine Barracks might be excluded from negotiations with the Marines about parking was a special point of concern. Kindel had negotiated what he said was a very satisfactory agreement with the Marines about 12 years ago, and wants resident input to make sure any adjustments do not create other problems.