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Liz should send the information (badge # and whatnot) to Commander Kalperin, DCPS 1st District. He's very responsive to constituent input.

Instances of this could fill a website. I can't think of the last time I've seen a parking enforcement vehicle that bothered moving out of traffic.

So you want parking enforcement to issue tickets (which is apparently what she was doing). The question is, where exactly do you want them to park? There is no parallel parking visible in that photo.

We've decided as a city to swarm the streets with parking enforcement. The Council likes the money it provides. Citizens (like you)like it because they are enforcing the parking/traffic laws. The consequence of that decision is lots of extremely short term double parking.

Really, how long was she parking in the bike lane? 30 seconds...a minute?

You (and all cyclists) have the option of taking the full traffic lane. The alternative was that she park in the car lane, forcing the cars to drive in the bike lane which I would think would be far more dangerous to a cyclist.

This is really a non-issue.

And while she may have reacted a bit beyond rational, I would challenge anyone to act differently if they all of a sudden had some random person taking photos of them and their car without announcing what or why they were doing it.

Nookie, it looks as if there might be parallel parking right in front of the blue car. Not saying there is or isn't, but it's not self-evident. Whether there is or not, I have never seen parking enforcement pull all the way over when there has been abundant room to do so.

I wouldn't say it's a non-issue, but I'd agree that it's a non-story. They don't do this because they're traffic enforcement, they do it because they're DC drivers, just like the rest of 'em. They just happen to be in city vehicles a the time.

Additionally, I think I can meet your challenge and not act like that to someone taking my picture. It's one thing to expect that someone might react like an asshole, another to be an apologist for 'em.

A photo of someone, anyone, parking in the bike lane is kind of a dog bites man story at this point.

But having them freak out about the photo taking is a man bites dog story.

The other day I took a photo of a car in the 15th St bike lane. Not unusual except that it had an exceptionally low DC plate number.

Does this signify a car belonging to a "VIP"?

I know the CEO of my company was "rewarded" by the state of Virginia for moving some of the company's operations there with a special VA plate for his truck. Translation - immunity from normal traffic stops.

I agree that it's really a non-issue. I (and probably most DC cyclists) are so used to going around people parked in the bike lanes that I don't even think about it anymore.

It's interesting for simple documentation maybe, but nothing major.

If it is a "non-issue", maybe we should ENCOURAGE parking in bike lanes.

@JeffB: was it 3-4 digits in a red box? I've wondered about those as well. Def noticed they tend to be lax with traffic laws.

Unless we are hiring only disabled people, I guess that most DC parking officers have two legs and could park somewhere, and WALK.


On Sunday there were 2 SUV's parked in the 15th St bike lane directly in front of the Washington Post building. I did see several open spots nearby.

The first SUV had plates that read DC XXX where XXX was a very low number.

The second SUV had a handicap tag hanging from the mirror.

I came back an hour later and not only were both SUVs still there but 2 more had joined them. Effectively the entire bike lane on the block was gone.

Seems to me that in many parts of the city the most efficient way to conduct parking enforcement would be on a bicycle. It would be easier to spot violators (especially if the ticket writer needs to be able to look at the vehicle for evidence of a valid neighborhood parking sticker or registration). It would be quicker and offer more flexibility than writing tickets while on foot. And of course, the ticket writer would not need to park their car or block a lane of traffic in order to write a ticket.

I had a Uniformed Secret Service officer attempt to "pull me over" to have a discussion on the sidewalk earlier this week.

Thinking (for reasons I've detailed elsewhere) that there was something irregular about this incident I asked to see his ID and if I could have his business card.

His answer, "I don't have 'em, and I wouldn't show you anyway" is why I rode off without continuing the discussion.

What's this meeting tomorrow about again?

@Casey - absolutely. It's a winner from every perspective. Except, I'm pretty sure, the perspective of parking enforcement folks themselves.

The low number DC plates can be bought from the city, and you have to pay a regular fee to keep them. Of course, the lower numbers are more expensive: all this from a colleague of mine who bought one. One day I noticed our garage was full of low number DC tags, and knew that there was some big meeting going on in the adjacent building (Nancy Pelosi's condo).

I think the city should give the parking enforcers bikes to ride instead of cars. It is a perfect job to do on a bike.

There are already a number of parking enforcement officers I've seen who are using Segways, in addition to other police officers who ride bicycles.

Actually, if anyone reading knows of jurisdictions that use parking enforcement staff with bikes, please sent a note to my initials at blacknell.net.

Plates under 1250 are given out by the Mayor and Council. For more than you ever wanted to know about low-number plates:

If it is a "non-issue", maybe we should ENCOURAGE parking in bike lanes.

I agree that parking in bike lanes is a non-issue for most experienced cyclists. I kind of prefer riding in the main traffic lane anyway. Bike lanes are as much (if not more) of a perk for drivers than cyclists anyway, since they benefit from the segregation to substandard facilities.

On the other hand, as we've discussed here and elsewhere, parking in a contraflow bike lane *is* a big deal, and should be dealt with by immediate towing--just like you would if someone parked a bread truck in the left-hand lane of the Outer Loop of the Beltway.

Ever see Parking Wars on cable? Philly Parking Enforcement does their thing on foot. Wouldn't hurt most of the DC folks.

The bike lane on 6th St is nice since there are repeated stops and signals between the SE/SW freeway and... well... everywhere to the north. The bike lane lets you skip all those queues and get to the head of the line. Not to mention it's generally uphill from the SE/SW freeway so many cyclists are traveling slowly. I almost always ride it in when I'm on that road.

When the bike lanes were under consideration, I wonder whether DDOT assumed (a) its parking enforcement officers would continue to (double)park there once bike lanes were created, (b) they would have to park elsewhere, or (c) DDOT didn't even think about it.

If they had thought about it, I bet they would have said (a) park in the bike lane as before--but stay out any contra-flow lanes or 2-way cycletracks.

I would hope that DDOT has issued guidance to its officers on where/when they may park illegally (assuming they have not published a regulation). Anyone who thinks this is an important issue should ask for (or ask Council to obtain) the guidance. If employees have never been given any guidance, that would be a story.

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