Wednesday, September 8, 2010

People are holding parking spaces with cones again. Don't!

Photo from the blizzard
Uh oh. Back during the Snowpocalypse people were putting cones, chairs and other foreign objects in the road to hold their parking spot open, which is illegal. I hadn't noticed it much since, thankfully.

Today however, there's a message on the Columbia Heights Yahoo list saying that folks are doing it again, specifically near the 3400 block of 14th (around Monroe and Newton).

MPD has said that you can't save spaces, and any objects placed in the road can be moved. Of course, if you really need to save a space, say for moving or construction, you can get a permit from the city.

But if you're just doing it for convenience, don't.


  1. The problem with obtaining city permits is that many drivers don't respect the permits. I moved in August and obtained permits and noticeably posted them multiple times on the 3-4 street spaces I'd need for a moving truck.

    Result? No one cared, and I had to haul all my crap down a long block to even get to my building.

  2. in that case couldn't the cars parked there technically be towed for violating the temporary parking ban? Also, I'm sure if you have a permit, you can put a cone or something in the spot to reinforce it

  3. I have noticed the cones at 14th and Newton; in front of Bacon Funeral Home. It would seem legitimate to save a spot if necessary for a funeral; otherwise I agree that spots should not be held by cones.

    @Anonymous - welcome to DC; the city temporary no parking signs are pretty much useless.

  4. Moving in is not really an emergency anyway, and probably shouldn't even get issued no parking signs. If you have legal no parking signs, and cars are parked, the MPD can and do issue $50 tickets. The problem is that the DC doesn't seem to know when they have issued signs. In late August, my one block narrow street had two sets of no parking signs posted, and one of those big storage boxes parked.

  5. @Anonymous, while that is true, there's a reason why: because most of the time permits are posted without the required advance notice, and most of the time nobody shows up.

    In the last year, parking for large stretches of my block has been banned for days at a time for construction that never happens.

    I've also been ticketed twice for signs posted by someone moving that actually had the same date of issue as the in-effect date - why would they even issue signs for the same day? It's not allowed!

    I'm not saying that people should ignore the signs, and you should have called the police. The last time this happened to me, a cop actually knocked on my door at 7 AM to inform me that he'd written me a ticket for the sign that my new neighbor had posted probably 15 minutes prior. That was awesome! Even though I pointed the dates out to the cop he didn't have much sympathy for me. But the point is the police will actually do stuff like this for you, which I have no problem with if your signs were posted properly.


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