The Corner Forum
Sunday, Feb. 2, 2003
Issue #17

Be Careful What You Ask For

By Demetra (Deta) Voyadgis, 1223 E St. NE

In the neighborhood recently, there has been an interest in obtaining Zone 6 Parking Permit status on many of the blocks.

Despite the obvious advantages — such as having parking spaces available upon returning from work (although never a problem on our street) or parking on a residential street near a metro station and taking the metro to work — there are numerous disadvantages that one should weigh when deciding to sign a Zone 6 Parking Permit petition.

The following is a list of the disadvantages that I have encountered in the six months since our block became a Zone 6 designated street:

• When my daughter was too sick to attend school, my sister came to my house to care for her. My sister was ticketed the first time she came to sit. Those caring for a senior citizen would find themselves in a similar situation. In my 11 years of living on the block, I cannot recall too many times when parking tickets were issues (maybe twice). I suspect that the Parking Enforcement employees consider Permit Parking streets a good source of income, and therefore patrol them more often. This would also affect you if you have parked too close to a fire hydrant or an alleyway, or have not moved your car in 24 hours.

• When we had house guests during the week, they were forced to move the car every two hours because we could not get to the DMV for a temporary parking permit.

• When a shotgun blast rendered my old car unreliable, I was forced to buy a new one. This requires a trip downtown to obtain a permit for the new car. Fortunately, my husband works downtown and can do this during a very extended lunch time (his initial visit took three hours). Otherwise, because I work in Ft. Belvoir, I would have to take half a day of vacation time and pay for parking to attend to this matter.

• Several months ago, the windshield of my car cracked. It must be replaced before the car can pass inspection. This too requires a visit to the DMV for a parking sticker for the new windshield.

Permit Parking assures folks who live near tourist attractions, government offices or businesses a reasonable expectation of finding a parking space when they return from work. For neighborhoods where this is a real problem, the aforementioned inconveniences are far outweighed by the daily conveniences.

Our neighborhood does not get tourists nor business parking, therefore Permit Parking designation will not solve any parking problems that may exist. I have observed that in the neighborhood, there has been an increase in the number of families with two cars, and also larger sized vehicles.

I believe that this is what puts a strain on available parking. After all, Henry Ford had just started manufacturing automobiles when our homes were built. People did not expect to have one car, let alone two!

As the saying goes, "Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it." §