DDOT Fails to Act In Face of Looming Eastern Market Parking Issues

Evian Patterson, DDOT, (center) Was Taken to Task by ANC6B Commissioners on Parking Issues Wednesday Night

Evian Patterson, DDOT, (center) Was Taken to Task by ANC6B Commissioners on Parking Issues Wednesday Night

DDOT Fails to Act on ANC6B Parking Issue Affecting Eastern Market Area Parking

ANC Commissioners Lambaste DDOT Reticence

by Larry Janezich

Wednesday night, ANC6B Commissioners Ivan Frishberg and Dave Garrison took Evian Patterson, Citywide Program Manager, DDOT, to task for his Department’s failure to act on ANC6B’s request to extend the city’s Performance Parking program north of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Patterson appeared before ANC6B’s Transportation Committee last Wednesday night to continue a discussion about protecting resident parking in the near term during demolition and construction of the Hine Project and to explain why DDOT has failed to act on extending the Performance Parking Plan.

Regarding the former, once the Hine project gets underway, it will exacerbate the already serious weekend parking problems for Eastern Market patrons and vendors as well as residents in the surrounding area.  ANC6B has been working with DDOT to get ahead of the problem and that effort continues. Regarding the latter, ANC6B’s effort to address the larger issue of parking around Eastern Market and other congested areas north of Pennsylvania Avenue all the way to East Capitol has been stonewalled by DDOT.  Patterson told the committee that “there is no basis in law for expanding the resident only parking,” and that a policy was being developed.

An annoyed Frishberg told Patterson that the ANC has been trying to get action on this issue for the past 3 and a half years and it has been a “comedy of errors…DDOT has forgotten the ANC…you can’t get this done because you are so caught up in the tools of implementation.”

Commissioner Garrison agreed with Frishberg, saying he was puzzled by an assertion by Patterson that “resident only parking would not solve the issue of overnight parking for residents,” saying the ANC had never raised that issue.  He asked Patterson directly where the Department was on policy.

Patterson said he didn’t make policy, but he has to implement it.  Frishberg pointed out that there is no policy – that by Patterson’s own admission, it is in the process of being developed.  Patterson said he would “ask permission to send you the draft policy,” and went on to say that  the policy doesn’t address the Eastern Market issue.

Frishberg told him, “You don’t have a policy – policy is not the law – you are saying ‘no’ to us on the basis of a policy which doesn’t exist.”  Garrison addressed Patterson, saying, “In this particular geography, you have the authority – I’m confident of that – you made a similar decision around the ball park and you can make it now.  The policy is that DDOT is not going to expand the resident only parking and we don’t understand the basis for this.  It is in your discretion to expand north of Pennsylvania Avenue, and it’s not clear why you’re not.

Patterson said he would go back and find out.

Reached later by CHC to ask his timeline for reporting to the ANC, Patterson responded by email:  “Unfortunately I do not have a timeframe.  This is a matter that I would like to engage legal counsel on and would request the ANC’s consideration for the time to obtain the information.”

DDOT has been the bad boy of the city agencies.  Both ANC6B and ANC6A have expressed frustration numerous times with DDOT’s operations.

CHC has filed 10 stories on this issue since March 10, 2011.  To see all of them, enter Performance Parking” in the search prompt on the home page.  To see the most recent, filed almost exactly one year ago, go here:  http://bit.ly/1jWUZ2T

Editor’s Note:  An earlier version of this posting did not make clear that Pattereson discussed two separate, though related issues with the Transportation Committee.  CHC thanks Commissioner Oldenburg for her clarification in the comment’s section.  


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3 responses to “DDOT Fails to Act In Face of Looming Eastern Market Parking Issues

  1. fresh air

    I presume the ANC has brought this parking situation to the attention of our city council representative. The city council reviews and approves the funding (budget) from the DC departments, including the DDOT, does it not? What interest does our city council representative have addressing this resident parking issue?

  2. Pingback: Charter school ‘cannibalism’? - The Washington Post

  3. This article has conflated two different Eastern Market parking issues that the ANC is working on with DDOT. One: most recently we have started to work with DDOT on the temporary parking problems that will occur DURING Hine construction by squeezing out more on street parking or off street parking for vendors. This, we agreed at the meeting would be a continuing dialog and would be more productive when we have data from the “table top” exercise planned to be executed when Hine is out of the Court of Appeals and can go forward.
    This “during Hine Construction” issue is referenced at the beginning of the article but the rest of the piece is focused on Issue #2: the 2-1/2 year effort by the ANC–with the help of CM Grosso and Wells–to create the same kind of parking scheme that we have south of Pennsylvania east to 11th Street in areas north of Pennsylvania and most specifically in areas near Eastern Market where so many people flock to our neighborhood on weekends causing parking congestion for residents nearby. This (it’s a long saga), DDOT told us finally in April that they cannot implement and Mr. Patterson at the ANC meeting agreed to provide the ANC and Councilmembers with the rationale in writing. I spoke with Mr. Patterson days after the meeting and he told me that DDOT is working on getting us that response.
    Frankly, I do find working with DDOT frustrating but the same goes for many other city agencies. DCRA, anyone?