Wednesday, February 3, 2010

DCUSA parking garage to be used by commuters?

Interesting news from the Washington Business Journal, via DCist, that the DCUSA parking garage may soon be open to commuters, as sort of a park-and-ride lot. There's been a lot written about the garage, which usually is filled way below capacity and costs the city $100,000 a month to maintain.

I sort of like this idea, in that at least the garage would get some use and the city would make some money back. Having the big garage in the first place was a dumb idea, as these retailers didn't seem to realize that this isn't your typical car-driven suburban shopping center.

The article notes that 350 spaces would be available for monthly contracts and daily parking. It would cost $6 to park in the garage, and folks must be in by 9 and out by 7. However, there's also the possibility that it could make traffic in the area worse, although at least they'd mostly be outbound. That intersection is not fun during rush hour already (though maybe the streetscape improvements will help that).


Photo by Mr. T in DC


  1. I think its a good idea. I think CH will profit from having more people coming through the neighborhood.

  2. I think it's a good idea, but I was also wondering about the prospect of keeping it as permanent parking. I think I'm going to have to move to an area in dc that is more conducive to keeping a car on the street, even though I love the area and don't really want to leave. I am starting school in the fall and need to drive there. I would probably pay a lot for a permanent spot for the convenience and not having the worry everyday of whether my car got towed. I guess there are all sorts of legal issues with this. On that note, any suggestions for permanent parking in the area sans having a driveway?

  3. Megan, some the apartment and condo buildings on 14th rent spots. Try them -- and let me know if you have any luck!

  4. While it will help to fill up an unused and unneeded parking garage, renting spaces for commuters will only create further traffic chaos in the area. Yes Target will pick up some extra business, but otherwise I don't think it will have much positive economic impact on the hood. Is there some way that the ANC/community associations can negotiate a way for the neighborhood to get a cut of the income for neighborhood improvements and use?

  5. NOOOOOOOOO BAD IDEA I support the city wanting to get their money back but I live on that block of Park Rd and it's a traffic disaster already. The last thing we need is more cars. There is always a traffic jam where the cars are trying to get in and out of the lot and pedestrians are trying to walk down that side of the street. I'm sorry the city wasted their money but that shouldn't place a burden on those of us who live in the neighborhood. I also agree that folks wont stop at any neighborhood stores, (Maybe Starbucks) and just bring more traffic that we don't need.

  6. what should happen is...

    Target use the garage for a Tire and Lube center as most Walmarts have. I think that would bring revenue to Target and the city would get a cut for each tire disposal tax and it would provide a useful service to the residents and give us a reliable place to get the car maintenance basics done.

    The un-used space can be used for whatever...

  7. the unused space would be great for all-night rave parties!

    Megan, people are always looking to rent out their spots. Just keep an eye on Craigslist.

    Finally, yes Park Road is a hideous clusterf999, but nothing that couldn't be solved with better traffic engineering and vigourous parking enforcement.

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  9. I think it's a terrible idea. Now that I live across from it, I realize what a nightmare it can be to navigate around DCUSA. I live in terror of having an emergency during rush hour and dying before an ambulance can wade through Irving st's abominable traffic. Tiny one-way streets, existent rush hour gridlock and now they want to bring MORE cars to this area? All of which would be exiting during peak traffic times in to the morass which already barely moves? Oh, please, no.

    Commuters drive in, park, get on the metro and that's it. I doubt that they're going to be enriching the neighborhood with their presence or their wallets to such a degree that it compensates for the poorer air quality, worsening traffic gridlock and lower quality of life which those of us who live here will be forced to endure. I prefer Megan's idea-- much like the parking garage under the Shops at Georgetown (Wisconsin Ave, just below M) has private/monthly parkers, so could this.

  10. I wonder how long it takes to do a lap around DCUSA at rush hour?

    14th to Park to 16th to Irving.

    That'd be an interesting experiment for the blog.

    I think Park is the worst section.

  11. This garage is terrible. The payment machines are currently out of order for taking credit cards (small note hand-pasted to the machines noticeable only once you're in the garage) yet the money-grabbing parking company expects everyone to pay cash. If the parking mgmt can't keep its machines working, it should lift all the gates until they're fixed.


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