Monday, March 28, 2011

Parking meter prices going up -- use DCUSA instead?

If you're going to be parking in metered spots in our neighborhood, make sure to bring lots of money. DDOT is thinking of raising rates from $6 to $8.50 for three hours. They're also raising the rates around the Nationals' stadium.

It looks like the city is trying to push people to park in the DCUSA parking garage, which costs the city $2.1 million a year to run and is rarely anywhere near being full -- rates there are only $1.50 $4 for the same amount of time. A DDOT spokesperson also cites the 1300 block of Park Road as an example of why rates should go up -- there are always cars parked outside the Giant, and according to him that block only has 6 legals spots while DDOT has counted up to 45 cars parked there. Six spots can't be correct though, unless they mean 6 outside the Giant -- there are a bunch all along the block -- just look at Google Maps.

Hopefully this won't affect retail in the neighborhood. They'll need to make it well-known that you can park in DCUSA. I would assume it won't affect people in the neighborhood too much, since odds are we won't be driving in.

Photo from DDOT's website


  1. Andrew, if you go back and look at your Google Map link again, but spin around 180 degrees, you'll see a "No parking taxicab stand" sign. There's one illegally parked car. Then, if you move east one step, you'll see a "No parking loading zone" sign. Another illegally parked car. Then if you spin back around towards the firehouse, you'll see a car parked less than 10 feet from the fire hydrant.

    And there's your problem: you have to be eagled-eyed (and, I'll admit, somewhat obsessive) to even notice all the parking restrictions. DC should switch over to a simpler system, like painting curbs red where it's illegal to park.

  2. You said that DCUSA charges $1.50 for the same amount of time (3 hours) but that's not correct. It costs $1.50 for each of the first two hours, then $1 for each hour after that. So 3 hours in the garage is $4--still cheaper than the meters though.

  3. I wouldn't mind parking in DCUSA, but I ride a motorcycle and they prohibit motorcycles from the garage. When I asked the reason why, they flat-out lied and told be it was because the loop sensor couldn't be calibrated to detect bikes [although I've successfully used hundreds of similar parking garages/gates worldwide.]

  4. Parking at DCUSA is great. Easy parking and I don't have to carry 50 pounds of quarters. I feel by pulling in and parking I save gas and time rather than circling the block repeatedly to find a legal space. I can stay as long as I want to and not have to worry about running back and feeding a meter.

  5. The city never did a good job of promoting DCUSA parking. They can easily reach out to those merchants and have them place parking information on "Search for a Location" in the hours/info part of a merchant's website, especially since they are all big box retailers. I just went on Target's site and they don't have this. It's still confusing and irritating to find especially as you're trying to make that left from 14th to Park Road. I also don't see signs at the corner of Park and 14th that say DC USA Parking left arrow 200 feet. Or something along those lines.


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