City Desk

Neighborhood Watch: Adams Morgan Partiers Collateral Damage in Cab Driver Strike

TaxisThe Issue: This weekend, anyone in Adams Morgan between 1 and 4 a.m., (read: drunk college students) will be walking home—DC cab drivers have decided to boycott the area north of U Street, south of Harvard Street, west of 16th street, and east of Connecticut Avenue. Frat boys are the latest casualties in the ongoing cabbie-vs.-Ward 1 War, which had its latest battle in Freedom Plaza yesterday.

The headline-snatching councilmember, Jim Graham, angered cabbies by proposing to instate a district medallion system, which would charge taxis a monthly fee to operate, and also aim to cap the district’s 8,000 cab drivers. According to the Washington Post, Graham pulled the bill on Wednesday, a decision that reportedly has “nothing to do” with the arrest of his chief of staff. So why are the cabbies still honking?

Metro It: Cab drivers hope to send a message to Ward 1 residents that the medallion system needs to be shoved off the table: John Porterfield of the Dominion of Cab Drivers told City Desk, “We want to motivate business owners in Adams Morgan that DC cab drivers are an integral part of business. They can’t just do what they’ve done to us and not have any retribution…it’s time for you people to throw Jim Graham under the bus.”

Cab It: The legislation has been discarded—and it’s unclear how many drivers will actually boycott the area, and how many will just hike up fares. And of course, the stranded wasted college students affected by the strike can’t actually vote in Ward 1.

Next Step: The taxicab hearing has been postponed to later this month, but keep track of the ongoing saga before penciling it into your calendar...

Photo by Thomas Hawk, Creative Commons Attribution License

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