Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DCUSA parking shenanigans

Looks like DCUSA is making news about its parking garage. Greater Greater Washington makes the case that the garage has way too many spots and is usually almost empty (they say about 50 cars out of 1000 spots), something that ANC commissioner and neighborhood activist William Jordan has been saying for a long time. GGW is looking for ideas on what to do with the garage, which is costing the city $2.1 million this year.

Some of the ideas are interesting - monthly parking, parking for Adams Morgan or U Street, churches, the Zoo, etc. Target insisted on having so many spaces in the garage, sort of a suburban model, but since most people Metro, bus or walk to DCUSA, it's a waste.

The city also refuses to put more bike racks in the garage, which are usually pretty full. I've followed up about this, but haven't gotten a response.

And to make it more complicated, some motorcyclists are angry because motorcycles are banned from the garage - parking staff claim bikers would drive around the gate to avoid paying the parking fee. Weird.


  1. Mt Pleasant sometimes argues CH takes business - maybe valet spot for restaurants in the area?

    Allegro condos has fewer spots than apartments - maybe they can work out a deal there.

    My favorite idea - skate park. Portland OR has burnside, DC should have a skate park!

  2. If the only way Target was coming to DC USA was with a 1,000-space garage (something I have heard Jim Graham say), then perhaps Target can help with that $2 million?

    Also -- it is possible to offer monthly parking for local residents even without 24-hour staffing; there are some downtown parking garages that do exactly that using access cards (for which cardholders pay a monthly fee plus a security deposit). Is that another possibility?

  3. why park there for $$ when you can park accross the street at the Giant lot for free (as long as you buy something in giant)?

    I'm sure the spaces will fill up as CH gets more gentrified. Monthly parking there might be a good solution.

  4. It's even more aggravating since one of the reasons the Whole Foods deal fell through was because they couldn't secure enough 'dedicate' parking spaces at DC USA...

  5. I've also heard the parking lot at Highland Park is incredibly empty too. Seems like mostly young folks living there who don't need a car with the metro at their doorstep.

  6. Ditto to what @anon said above about Whole Foods. Has anyone contacted them about relocating to DCUSA? Now that Richmond-based Elwood Thompson's is most likely not coming to Columbia Heights it's a perfect time to engage with the Whole Foods crowd. Since WFM's main problem with DCUSA was the lack of parking DCUSA was willing to dedicate to WFM, one would think that concern could mostly be assuaged by the vacant spots. Would DCUSA agree to give target its needed 1000 spots? I sure hope they would at least consider it. "Hey Whole Foods, please come!"

  7. "why park there for $$ when you can park accross the street at the Giant lot for free (as long as you buy something in giant)?"

    I for one is willing to pay $1.00 if I can avoid having to stand in the 30 minute lines at Giant!


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