DDOT: Resident Only Parking Signs and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The corner of South Carolina and 10th Street features a brand new four way stop, freshly painted crosswalks, and Zone 6 Resident Only Parking signs on both sides of the street. Click to enlarge and zoom in to look at the Zone 6 Resident Only Parking sign with red lettering on the for right.

Resident Parking Only signs went up the last week of August on these streets.

DDOT: Resident Only Parking Signs and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

by Larry Janezich

Like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, DDOT just can’t stop doing the wrong thing on parking signs. The DC Department of Transportation has launched a frenzy of activity in ANC 6D under pressure from CM Charles Allen to restore cross walk markings and from ANC6D to install four way stop as well as Zone 6 Resident Only Parking signs.

Residents of in many parts of ANC 6B04 have objected to the new red-lettered Resident Only Parking signs being put up on both sides of the street in their blocks. In fact, DDOT was supposed to put them on one side only.

The push for one-side-of-the-Street Resident Only parking signs came from constituents of Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg. They were concerned about loss of parking because of the numerous multiunit residential projects and going up in and around Oldenburg’s single member district. Developers often agree to try to keep residents of multiunit buildings from applying for Residential Parking Permits.

Oldenburg, after surveying both her residential and business constituents, obtained support from ANC6B to request the Resident Only Parking signs on one side of the blocks in her district. Oldenburg said the constituents’ requests came initially in March 2018 and it took her until November 2018 to survey her constituents and to get support from the ANC. The signs started going up six months later.

The first incorrect signs showed up in the 1100 block of G Street last July. Oldenburg notified the Department of Transportation they were doing it wrong. A month later in late August, Oldenburg did a block by block survey and sent the information to the Department of Transportation about blocks which had not yet received signage and blocks where it had been done wrong.

Yet, the incorrect placement of signs continued. During the last week of August, Resident Only Parking signs went up north of Pennsylvania Avenue, as shown on the above map.

“What I don’t understand is why it was not immediately corrected,” Oldenburg told CHC, “I talked to Jeff Marootian, Director of DDOT, yesterday, and told him to please figure out how to fix it. He said he would look into it. I’m ready to take a ladder and screwdriver and take down the signs myself. If I had it to do again it would be easier to do key blocks rather than the entire single member district. Constituents and ANC commissioners are frustrated over the process – it took a year and a half, and it’s been a lot of work.”

Neighbors can call the main DDOT number (202) 673-6813 to express concern, which might help speed the process. Residents who have not done so can receive an annual visitor’s parking pass for guests as a temporary fix. See here: https://ddot.dc.gov/page/visitor-parking-pass-program


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7 responses to “DDOT: Resident Only Parking Signs and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

  1. kdc

    This is a complete disaster perpetrated by Commissioner Oldenburg. It should be pointed out that her “survey” was very selective, ignoring those who were against this. Many of us were never contacted. furthermore, there are no businesses that want these restrictions.

    Resident Parking Only, means just that–parking only for residents. So if there is a non-DC car in that space, it is illegal. Non-DC cars can park in the rest of the parking, which is generally labeled Two Hour Parking only.

    This is Capitol Hill’s residents’ Trumpian “Keep out the immigrants” ploy.

    Two hours is not nearly enough time to have a good dining experience at one of our dining establishments, and hardly enough time to just meet friends for drinks. It is not enough time to browse in the bookstore and then shop at Eastern Market. So what do we accomplish with Oldenburg’s Trump moment?

    We kill our businesses by discouraging anyone from the suburbs to come to visit and it even discourages non-Capitol Hill DC residents from coming (eg. from Hillcrest Heights).

    If you want to have a dinner party or cocktail party at your house, you take the chance of most of your off-of-Capitol Hill guests being ticketed, because they only give us one parking pass. Or they will have to leave after 2 hours.

    I am a big believer and user of public transport and walking, but to cut off our neighborhood because the subway isn’t open long enough or the bus does not go near their neighborhood and so they would come by car, is just silly.

    This whole stupid system needs to be re-thought and soon, before we lose many of our businesses and the quality of life we currently enjoy.

    Do you want to live in the unfriendliest neighborhood of DC?

    • SODC

      It’s clear from the article that Commissioner Oldenburg’s intention was to have 50% or less of parking be reserved for local residents, on residential (not commercial) streets. If visitors are having trouble finding parking for a few hours, you can imagine the frustration of residents coming home from their commute.

      In solely listing the limitations of bus routes and the metro hours for visitors, you willfully ignore the prevalent availability of cabs, ubers, and lyft, not to mention biking!

      It would be great if there was ample parking for all, but there’s not, and having been a frequent *visitor* to places with similar but more dense residential/commercial cohabitation (e.g. Hoboken), I’ve experienced the “one side is reserved for residents” and have to admit, it seems fair. Additionally, if developers are creating large numbers of units without adding parking, they need to be held accountable by limiting their residents’ ability to park. Residential parking limits are the only way to do that.

      And if two hours is not enough time to meet your friends for drinks, maybe you shouldn’t be driving there.

      Finally, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to comment, but your multiple attempts to compare this to a Trump policy are cringe worthy.

      • muskellunge

        As has been discussed elsewhere — there is no way to prevent tenants of large apartment buildings from obtaining residential parking permits. The tenants are full-fledged, tax-paying residents, and have all of the privileges and responsibilities of living in DC. As they should.

        That the ANC and building owner come to an agreement to prevent their tenants from getting a RPP, to assuage opposition to the new construction, is a foolish self-deception of both parties. Parking regulations are enforced by DOT without regard to such agreements. Their rules are long established and have not changed. Any resident may apply for a RPP sticker.

      • kdc


        Cringe worthy indeed!
        First you cherry-pick the facts, then you insult.

        So I “willfully” don’t mention cabs, etc and bikes: Is a $30 or more round-trip via taxi//uber/lyft tab worth coming to Capitol Hill for drinks or dinner?–It is certainly not much of an incentive. And are you willing to bike on the streets across town at night? Maybe, but is it very dangerous.

        Cherry-picking when you don’t mention or respond to the two hours not being enough for a dinner or get together, because it clearly isn’t. (At the very least, we should change the hours allowed to 3 or 4 hours).

        Insulting when you assume that anyone driving is drinking–which is not my experience at all with my friends. They use designated drivers.

        The fact is that on Capitol Hill streets with Residential Parking Only on one side and 2 hour parking on the other, the residents typically first fill the 2-hour parking side, leaving spaces in the Residential Parking Only side, which are not available to non-residents. That has been my experience living on a street having this arrangement for at least the last four years.

        We will not have dining and entertainment choices on Capitol Hill if we continue to systematically discourage people from outside our neighborhood from coming and patronizing the businesses.

        And that is what is happening with these poorly thought out, exclusionary parking policies.

      • Gasherbrum

        Me thinks someone doth protest too much … what is so unreasonable about designating one side (half) of a street for resident parking in residential areas? I’m more concerned about how the lack of parking affects the actual residents who come home from work, lugging groceries and kids over some bar owner. And let’s be clear, Parking enforcement rarely enforces the 2 hour limit unless the car in question has been sitting for a few days.

      • kdc

        Methinks that you are being deliberately obtuse: Effectively, both sides are only for residents, except for 2 hour intervals (which, by the way, is not enough time for anyone to do anything). That is unreasonable. Apparently you don’t have more than one guest car at a time, but many people do. So given one parking pass, that just does not work. And I don’t know where you live, but enforcement in my area is super efficient–right up to 9:30 pm.

  2. Kh

    Yeah, not the first disastrous acton by Commissioner Oldenburg…her ‘surveys’ and opinions to serve the Community is largely without real constituent comment and input. She’s already left her permanent mark, it’s time to go!