Parking, some people say, is one of six reasons why you shouldn’t drive around Washington, D.C… Parking meters line the limited parking areas in major attractions and metro stations, even harder in the latter part of the day. With a land area of just 61 square miles and an estimated population of 632,323, it’s no surprise that parking is an issue in the capital.
As if parking isn’t difficult enough, Martin Di Caro for American University Radio says it’s about to get even more difficult. In a proposal to rewrite the city’s zoning code, the Office of Planning recommends a reduction of parking spaces along transit corridors by half. As a compromise, the proposal suggests the elimination of the mandatory minimum number of parking spaces for new buildings in downtown.
“We feel it is the right balance,” said Joel Lawson, the associate director for development review, the number three official at the Office of Planning. “We went through this long, long process of meeting with the public, doing research, contacting other cities on what they’ve done. It’s also consistent with the direction we got from the Zoning Commission early in this process.”
Given that nearly 40 percent of households in D.C. don’t own a car, the reduction in parking seems justified. Those that originally opposed the mandatory minimum policy argued that the city had more parking than necessary. The parking spaces can be used for other functions such as Sunday service, where Lawson believes they’ll remain empty for the rest of the week.
Opponents of mandatory minimums counter the regulation has forced developers to build more parking than is necessary in a city with excellent public transit options and nearly 40 percent of households are car-free already, pointing to the D.C. USA shopping development in Columbia Heights as an example. Located next to a Metro station and between the 14th Street NW and 16th Street NW bus corridors, hundreds of parking spaces go unused at D.C. USA, the location of a Target and other large retailers.
Need to Ride
Nevertheless, walking from the Jefferson Memorial to RFK Stadium for the big game isn’t exactly your ideal walking distance. You want to be at the stadium in time for the first inning.
Investing in a good DC limo service eliminates the need to worry about parking and answers the need for a fast dash across the city. The limo won’t be around to watch the game with you, let alone wait for you outside the venue. However, they’re often a call away should you need to be picked up after your favorite team wins.
Travel anywhere in the city in style with a DC limo from providers like Skyhawk Limousine. While the reduction in parking is still a proposal, having to worry about parking is stress in itself.
(Article image and excerpt from “Proposed D.C. Zoning Code Rewrite Could Shape Parking Patterns In Future,” WAMU 88.5, July 31, 2013)