Parking in Georgetown- and What is ERPP?
How can we use the street parking space that we have – in a fair way? Residents want to park near their homes; businesses want spaces for their customers. How can these competing claims be addressed? This piece is to give you the background to the current discussions, to answer frequently asked questions, and to ask for your support in moving the discussion forward.
Do you have a problem finding a place to park? Some say “no” but many say “yes”. It depends on where you live.
Over ten years ago, a group began meeting with the DDOT (District of Columbia Department of Transportation) as the “Georgetown Community Parking Working Group”, determined to find some fresh options for both residents and businesses regarding parking problems in our area. The group is led by the ANC. During this past decade, Community Meetings have been hosted in our neighborhood by DDOT.
The most recent meeting was in April 2015 when there was strong support for the proposal that Enhanced Residential Parking (ERPP) be introduced (i.e. where parking is currently available on both sides of a residential street, one side would be designated for residents only – with the other side designated as it is currently). “Residents” are those with Zone 2 Parking Permit stickers on their windshields. Those with a Visitor Parking Permit would be treated as residents and could park on either side of the street - as could residents.
DDOT has suggested that some streets in Georgetown that don’t have a parking problem should be untouched.
To maintain a vibrant business district, there need to be spaces available for customers. To provide spaces and encourage turnover, on the first block off each of the main commercial arteries (off Wisconsin Avenue and M Street) paid parking would be available on one side of the street, leaving the other side designated for residents – who could park on either side.
Are there other options? Many options for managing parking space have been on the table for discussion (such as making it easier for residents to get a Visitor Parking Permit, graduated rates on parking meters [so that the first hour or so is a very low cost, but rising over time – to encourage turnover]; shrinking the zone of parking permits from Zone 2 to AN2E – although this would not provide relief uniformly and equitably throughout our community and restrict parking by those who park in other areas of Zone 2 such as Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom but consistently showing up with support from residents is the opportunity for enhanced residential parking (ERPP). In practical terms, this would give residents a higher probability of finding a space near their homes. Currently, some of us routinely walk one, two or three blocks before finding a parking space – a challenge when bringing home groceries.
How would it work? On a street with ERPP, Residents (those with Zone 2 Parking Permits) could park on either side of the street, 24/7, as now. Those visiting, if they have a Visitor Parking Permit, would be treated as residents and could park on either side. Visitors without a Visitor Parking Permit could park on the designated one side of the street, and could stay a maximum of two hours. The current system for non-Zone 2 Permit holders is allowing them to park a maximum of two hours during the day.
How is ERPP working in other parts of the city? Enhanced Residential Parking is a system already in use in various parts of our City (Logan Circle, Kalorama, Barracks Row, Adams Morgan, etc.). Reports from those ANC's chairs are that it works well for both residents and businesses.
These issues were debated at the ANC Meeting on February 26, 2018, and a resolution was approved – namely that DDOT would be asked to provide data on the availability of parking spaces, the potential impact of ERPP, and who is currently parking in our neighborhood. Once information is received a public meeting will be held (ideally hosted or co-hosted by DDOT) to receive citizen input. We will keep you informed.
Hazel Denton (Chair)
CAG Committee on Parking
Click HERE to view the ANC 2E Resolution- Parking Working Proposal passed February 26, 2018.