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.