City Desk

Backlash Over Parking Meters In Petworth

Petworthies takes note of new parking meters outside of the Yes! Organic Market at Georgia Avenue and Taylor Street NW.

It’s apparently part of a citywide move to install 1,150 solar-powered single-space meters in areas that are picked for their high-turnover (read: revenue generating) potential — although the Taylor Street spots are not highlighted on the PDF map attached to DDOT’s announcement.

The DDOT, as announced on their sporadically updated blog, had to walk back a recent meter installation in Anacostia because the community wasn’t given notice. We checked with former ANC chairman Joe Martin, and he couldn’t recall DDOT presenting this to the commission.  Nor were we able to locate any written notice of this move on the Petworth listserv or in any constituent mailings from Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser, but we’ll keep checking.

The new meters mean anyone running in to the Yes! will have to pay to park during their errand if they park on the street. As Adam Mazmanian writes, this is in the wake of a kerfuffle in Anacostia over (busted-looking) meters being installed along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue with no notice. DDOT apologized and removed the meters within 24 hours.

On the Petworth email list, a number of residents are unhappy, though Ward 4 councilmember Muriel Bowser writes:

As I recall, we had two meetings on Petworth parking where this was discussed, including the residents of 4100 Georgia Avenue and Yes and other businesses in the immediate area.  The changes are meant to turn over parking in commercial areas, but also addressed ensuring nearby free and unrestricted parking. We had similar discussions around the area near the Metro station. Implementation of the plan was to occur with Great Streets.  I can't remember if the DDOT presented to the ANC, but ANC members were included in the meetings. We'll ask DDot to post to the website.

DDOT spokesperson John Lisle says "at some point there were meters there" and that reinstalling meters doesn't require an advance announcement.

While the agency isn't sure exactly when the meters were there, they suspect the machines were removed when the building housing the Yes! Organic Market was built. Still, Lisle says, "we do like to give people notice." And, Lisle adds, in the neighborhood, more parking meters are coming—though in areas that haven't had them before, residents will be notified.

Photo by Wayan Vota via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License

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  • tom veil

    Oh, boo hoo. If you want to park your car on private property, you pay the landowner. If you want to park your car on public property, you pay the government.

  • Paul

    Parking spots aren't free to build or maintain. What is the big deal with asking people to pay fifty cents an hour to run into the store?

  • IMGoph

    What is it with all of these NIMBYs who want a free ride?

    You gotta pay to have nice things, people. Somalia is that-a-way if you want to live in a libertarian paradise.

  • Rob Mandle

    YES! has free parking in the back that is almost always available.

  • @SamuelMoore

    Either way, this is a good example of something that should have been presented to the ANC...

  • Richard Layman

    Transportation policy for the city is not something that should be devolved to the neighborhoods.