Guest Parking in DC

I guess it’s a sign that state and local governments are just that strapped for cash.  Parking in DC – both meters and zoned – truly has become a farce.   If you’re lucky enough to have a roll of quarters, as opposed to change you scraped up from the bottom of your purse or under the car seat, each one gets the meter to tick up something like 7 minutes.  Two hours = $4.00 or 16 quarters.  Of course, parking tickets are what it’s really about …

As our Thanksgiving guests from South Carolina learned … when they were greeted with a parking ticket at ~7:30 am on Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving.  Welcome to the District, folks!  Enjoy your stay! Never mind that two hour parking starts at 7 am, so really, the first ticket one can (legitimately) acquire would be at 9:01 am … But time flies when you’re having fun!

In the past, DC residents went to the police station on 17th and V Streets and obtained a guest parking pass.  The police checked a huge ledger – think phone book (how arcane is that reference!) – to make sure you hadn’t exceeded your allocation of requests (whatever that number was).  You gave them the car’s tag number.  You got the temporary pass.  So off G went on Wednesday afternoon, armed with his trusty DC license.

Turns out, now you need to show the registration for the car. Oh-kay.

So Thanksgiving morning, we set out – DCers, former DCers-turned South Carolinians and dogs – for a jaunt to the police station.  You know, strength in numbers …

So two trips to the police station and a (contested) parking ticket later, we were set.  And we gave thanks.

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