How Much Parking Is There at the Capitol?
The public isn't allowed to know.
Seriously: After taking note of the many expanses of concrete available for Hill staffers across the Capitol complex, I asked the Committee on House Administration how many parking spaces it oversees, and how many permits it hands out (each office gets a certain number to divvy up). Apparently, that information would imperil the security of...I'm not sure what exactly. But something.
My suspicion is that it's a big number. Along with infamous Capitol South metro lot, the U.S. of A. also owns parking lots west and south of the Spirit of Justice park, under the Rayburn building, and below Massachusetts Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets NE. Some of that would be difficult to build on because of existing rail infrastructure. Most of it, of course, is a massive waste of good land served by some of the most robust transit links in the city.
UPDATE, Monday July 11: I have found the answer! Partly. Via this Congress for the New Urbanism award for a Wallace Roberts & Todd design from a couple years ago, the House side Capitol Complex has 5,772 parking spaces, 2,180 of which are underneath the Rayburn Building. The Senate has its own parking. More on the subject in this week's column.
If anything terrible happens as a result of the dissemination of this information, I accept full responsibility.