Greater Greater Washington

Parking


Churches work out pay parking deal in Columbia Heights

A solution to the chronic parking problems some Columbia Heights churchgoers face could be at hand. The Current reports (mammoth PDF) that the Washington Interfaith Network worked out a deal with the District government to let church patrons use the underfilled DC USA parking garage for a discount rate.


Photo by squidpants on Flickr.

Columbia Heights has a lot of churches with many congregants who lived in the neighborhood long ago. Many have taken advantage of better economic circumstances for themselves, or the rising value of their property in Columbia Heights, to move to houses in the suburbs which they desired. Others were pushed out by rising rents. Many of these former residents still drive back to the old church on Sundays.

At the same time, the population of the neighborhood has swelled. That means much fiercer competition for limited parking spaces on the street. As the Current story explains, parking rules in the area are suspended on Sundays, but only until 2 pm, which is too early for many who want to stay longer at church.

During a citywide "parking summit," members of many nearby church congregations asked DDOT for exemptions from the parking restrictions so they could continue to park for free, for unlimited lengths of time. Instead of more free parking, this deal will give churchgoers a $2 discount to park at the DC USA garage. The garage is never completely filled, as Target insisted on far more parking spaces than turned out to be necessary.

A key point here is that the churchgoers, who need parking, were willing to work out a deal with city officials without the promise of unlimited, unrestricted, free parking. In fact, the very fact that parking was not so available, thanks to greater demand and new restrictions, likely made people willing to think creatively.

It may indeed be worthwhile to subsidize, to some extent, parking for certain groups based on political necessity. What's important is not to subsidize it to the point of being completely free. When people share in the cost of parking, they might choose to carpool, or ride transit if it's available. They have a stake in keeping the total parking demand manageable. There's a reason not to drive, and take up a scarce space, completely unnecessarily.

Not all neighborhoods have a big, underutilized garage, but there are other solutions as well. Some areas have office building or hotel garages which don't fill up on Sundays, or other ways to procure some short-term parking. These can give churches an opportunity to satisfy their congregation's legitimate parking needs.

But first, it takes a city not willing to succumb to the first temptation, to just give out free on-street parking willy-nilly and create problems for others. If leaders resist this, many opportunities open up to solve the parking needs for churches and many other organizations which have a real place in a community, but not the right to monopolize all parking to the exclusion of others.

Update: negotiated with the city on behalf of the congregations to work out this deal.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

Comments

Add a comment »

Great solution. I doubt DCUSA ever fills its garage and certainly not Sunday morning. I think paying for parking, even at nominal rates sends the right message as well. I'd even say they might go as far as reserving a certain number of spots for churches on Sundays in the garage.

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 12:16 pm • linkreport

Those pesky parking minimums. Real shame. If we just had killed the parking at DCUSA we could have gotten rid of the churches and their congregants. And we would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those damn kids.

by charlie on Jan 25, 2013 12:17 pm • linkreport

This is going to sound really harsh, but the truth is that a lot of these churchgoers are overweight and lazy, and are not going to be happy parking blocks away in a garage, when they were able to get away with double-parking and blocking crosswalks and fire hydrants previously. At least this is/was the case in other neighborhoods. I don't know if the same sort of behavior has been tolerated in Columbia Heights.

by Ron on Jan 25, 2013 12:35 pm • linkreport

My experience is just with one church (I'm virtually next door to it) - but while it's certainly tougher to find parking from 10-5 on Sundays, I haven't seen the kind of lawlessness routinely complained about in other neighborhoods. I can't remember ever seeing someone blocked in and I rarely see a car parked in front of a hydrant. Yes, sometimes people park in spots that aren't strictly legal, but rarely if ever is it a safety hazard or really inconsiderate act.

Frankly, the problem is just as much (if not more) the people shopping at DCUSA and taking advantage of the suspension or parking enforcement. In my mind, though, it's a small price to pay to live less than a block from a metro.

by dcd on Jan 25, 2013 12:45 pm • linkreport

Ron, I haven't ever really seen any atrocious behavior having spent most of the last 6 years in the area. My guess is that if anything the problem is further up or down 16th st. Most of the nearby churches still seem "local" to me.

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 1:07 pm • linkreport

"This is going to sound really harsh, but the truth is that a lot of these churchgoers are overweight and lazy, "
-----

And many of them are elderly or disabled and can neither walk very far or see where they're going.

Guess what - it's not all about you. You know what else? You won't be young and strong forever. One day, you'll be in the same shape as those churchgoers you now disdain - if you're lucky enough to live that long.

Meanwhile, learn to acquire the grace of empathy. I'll pray for you.

by ceefer66 on Jan 25, 2013 1:08 pm • linkreport

You won't be young and strong forever. One day, you'll be in the same shape as those churchgoers you now disdain

And, when that day arrives, I'll limit myself to places that are car-accessible. Just like people without cars limit themselves to places that are transit-accessible. It's impossible to make every place both car and transit accessible.

So, does this privilege extend to all non-profits or just religious ones? For example, Bloombars (which is a nonprofit, not a bar) hosts a lot of meditation sessions that are spiritual in nature....would it qualify?

Also, why is this only on Sunday? Are there no synagogues or other religious organizations in Columbia Heights?

by Falls Church on Jan 25, 2013 1:33 pm • linkreport

@Falls Church: Are there no synagogues or other religious organizations in Columbia Heights?

No. There are only six synagogues in DC, none in Columbia Heights.

by goldfish on Jan 25, 2013 1:37 pm • linkreport

ceefer,

I agree with you in part, however, that doesnt excuse any potential bad behavior on their part either. Maybe the congregation should take it upon themselves to care for their fellow man and give those people in need a lift?

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 1:39 pm • linkreport

Wow, sad to see racial stereotypes continue to thrive on internet discussion boards.

"This is going to sound really harsh, but the truth is that a lot of these churchgoers are overweight and lazy,"

by Paul on Jan 25, 2013 1:44 pm • linkreport

So, occasionally on weekends I drive to DCUSA to shop. Does that mean I can get a discount parking rate as well?

by That Guy in DC on Jan 25, 2013 1:44 pm • linkreport

It may indeed be worthwhile to subsidize, to some extent, parking for certain groups based on political necessity.

I agree. But in this case, it sounds as if this is a case of a large group negotiating a better deal for the group than its individual members could achieve for themselves, rather than a subsidy.

The rub will come if other large groups want to negotiate the same terms for parking on days when the facility otherwise has excess capacity. Under the 1st amendment, the city will be oblioged to provide such groups the same terms.

by JimT on Jan 25, 2013 1:49 pm • linkreport

Paul, explain how that was racial?

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 1:51 pm • linkreport

To Alan B. -- Ron's comments about overweight and lazy is also referring to a population that is primarily african american. There are tensions between the younger, "less diverse", and sometimes more economically prosperous people who have moved in to the neighborhood and the people who were there BEFORE them and were involved in these churches. That is "racial".

by Tom M on Jan 25, 2013 1:56 pm • linkreport

I think you are being way oversensitive and reading way into it to be honest. You're the one that is choosing to make it racial.

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 2:10 pm • linkreport

"It's impossible to make every place both car and transit accessible."

Why?

There are many areas, including Columbia Heights, that are accessible to both cars and transit. What is happening in the case of Columbia Heights is an effort by newcomers to limit car access for purely selfish motives. It has nothing to do with so-called "livability". It's an effort to keep people who drive out of the neighborhood.

"So, does this privilege extend to all non-profits or just religious ones? For example, Bloombars (which is a nonprofit, not a bar) hosts a lot of meditation sessions that are spiritual in nature....would it qualify?"

That is, quite frankly, a rather silly straw man. I won't bother to turn it into a debate.

"Also, why is this only on Sunday? Are there no synagogues or other religious organizations in Columbia Heights?"

If there is, do they have parking issues?

One could flip this and ask why only parking at mostly-black Christian churches is being singled out as causing a problem - a problem which BTW NEVER existed prior to newcomers making it an issue. You see where we're going with this?

by ceefer66 on Jan 25, 2013 2:11 pm • linkreport

Oh yeah newcomers, lovely. Can we just accept that you don't have more claim over an area because you used to live there. People move all the time, its a fundamental right of all Americans to live where they want. If you want to get historical, most of those churches were built before cars were even prevalent and people actually used to walk or take transit to get to them (which is why they dont have parking lots.

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 2:14 pm • linkreport

Alan,

Tom M makes a good point about underlying racial tensions in the neighborhood.

As to the stereotyping, that enters the picture when the churchgoers are referred to as being lazy - a common negative stereotype of blacks.

by Paul on Jan 25, 2013 2:14 pm • linkreport

Well when the churchgoers are protesting because they dont want to take the readily accessible transit how would you describe them? Walking-averse?

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 2:17 pm • linkreport

If there are folks who are unable to walk from the parking garage to their church (regardless of reason) this is an opportunity for the church (or some local entrepreneur) to provide valet service between the two.

I'm surprised valet isn't brought up more frequently in urbanist circles. Often, the problem isn't lack of parking (as is the case here); it's lack of parking DIRECTLY in front of whatever the destination is.

by Rob P on Jan 25, 2013 2:19 pm • linkreport

Alan -- I moved from capitol hill to an area in NW dc that had a large contingent of very long time, older residents. Some have moved and come back to participate in various activities or visit friends. It seems appropriate to offer understanding and respect as attributes that make for good communities, neighbors, and a more vibrant network of people. Do "newcomers" owe something to people who used to live there as you put it? In my mind, the answer is definitely yes. And those are my reasons why i believe it to be a good/necessary approach.

by Tom M on Jan 25, 2013 2:21 pm • linkreport

Tom, so people who move to the suburban town I'm from owe me special consideration when I visit now? Or are you saying that white people who move the city owe black people something. Because I really feel like that is what you're saying. I'm sick and tired about people making everything about race in this damn city.

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 2:25 pm • linkreport

And many of them are elderly or disabled and can neither walk very far or see where they're going.

Guess what - it's not all about you. You know what else? You won't be young and strong forever. One day, you'll be in the same shape as those churchgoers you now disdain - if you're lucky enough to live that long.

I hope that when I am too old to walk very far or see where I'm going (presumably I would not be driving myself in that condition), I would be dropped off and picked up in front of the church by a loved one, friend, or private shuttle. I hope I would have the grace to recognize that I don't deserve the government making an unreasonable accommodation to let me park wherever I wanted for free. But who knows?

One could flip this and ask why only parking at mostly-black Christian churches is being singled out as causing a problem - a problem which BTW NEVER existed prior to newcomers making it an issue. You see where we're going with this?

Couldn't anyone say that about anything? Smoking while pregnant, driving without a seatbelt, eating tons of trans fats, etc? Things are never a problem until their negative consequences begin to come to light. And then they become problems.

by Scoot on Jan 25, 2013 2:27 pm • linkreport

Alan -- What does a good neighbor do? What happens in a good, healthy, vibrant community? Finding ways to understand each others point of view and to accommodate sometimes seeminly conflicting needs/desires seems important to me. Calling people names that have hurtful impact and racist pasts -- overweight, lazy, playing the race card all the time? That doesnt' seem helpful.

by Tom M on Jan 25, 2013 2:32 pm • linkreport

There are only six synagogues in DC, none in Columbia Heights.

A quick google search indicates that Moishe House is few blocks from DCUSA. While not a synagogue, it is a nonprofit religious organization.

There are many areas, including Columbia Heights, that are accessible to both cars and transit. What is happening in the case of Columbia Heights is an effort by newcomers to limit car access for purely selfish motives. It has nothing to do with so-called "livability". It's an effort to keep people who drive out of the neighborhood

By creating more space for cars, you crowd out space for things that make a place more walkable. While it's not entirely zero sum, there's pretty much a tradeoff between how easy a place is to get around by car vs. foot/bike. You can't give priority to both drivers and peds/bikers...that would go against the definition of "priority".

That is, quite frankly, a rather silly straw man. I won't bother to turn it into a debate.

Why is giving Bloombars the same parking privileges as a church a silly strawman? Is it because you don't think meditation is a legitimate spiritual activity or because Bloombars has cultural events in addition to spiritual ones?

by Falls Church on Jan 25, 2013 2:32 pm • linkreport

One could flip this and ask why only parking at mostly-black Christian churches is being singled out as causing a problem - a problem which BTW NEVER existed prior to newcomers making it an issue.

Parking at black Christian churches isn't a problem as long as those churchgoers follow the same rules that everyone else follows -- that is, as long as the obey the parking laws. Why should black Christian churchgoers be exempt from following rules that people from other races or religions have to follow.

If there is, do they have parking issues?

Parking at Bloombars for their Wednesday evening meditation is definitely an issue.

by Falls Church on Jan 25, 2013 2:40 pm • linkreport

Sorry, you're right Tom. But I get really tired of people treating me like an outsider in the community. I've been in DC for 12 years yet I still get very hostile attitudes from some "locals".

That said I just want to clarify that I did not nor would I use racial or insulting language myself. And I don't accept that any time a white person complains about something people who happen to be non-white are doing it constitutes playing the race card. That's a double standard and it's unfair.

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 2:42 pm • linkreport

Alan -- That feeling of real tiredness for being treated as an outsider is a something BOTH sides in this instance may be sharing. People with historic roots in the area may harbor suspicions, stereotypes of the "new locals". As long as everyone stays in their silos, the resentments get deeper in both camps. BTW - I've only been in DC for 30 years and some still consider me "not local". Down in a rural, mostly white region of VA, you are "not from here" unless you were BORN there. I know a 90 year old who lived in region for 70 years. He's considered "from up north."

by Tom M on Jan 25, 2013 2:52 pm • linkreport

I also think it's annoying that people make every urban squabble racial though. My generation/circle of friends is I think more diverse in our mentality and we just don't make a big deal about race. It feels like we inherited all these old race issues when we just want to get along with our lives like everyone else.

by Alan B. on Jan 25, 2013 3:08 pm • linkreport

Do you think the people who left the city in the 50's and 60's were given this special treatment when they tried to go back to their places of worship that were still in DC? Or did they synagogues in Bethesda and Rockville and new churches in Springfield?

Whenever a LongtimeResident tries to pull any of the "you're less of a citizen of DC than me," I just ask them where their grandparents were born - 9/10 times it ain't DC.

by MJB on Jan 25, 2013 3:12 pm • linkreport

On the subject of "newcomers," I think it's worthwhile to point out that Marion Barry, Vincent Orange, Phil Mendelson, Linda Cropp, Jack Evans, Walter Washington, and other prominent DC leaders, were all born elsewhere.

by thm on Jan 25, 2013 4:24 pm • linkreport

Will the same suspension of parking rules and discounted garage rates be offered around synagogues on Saturdays, around mosques on Fridays and at whatever time and place local atheist groups choose to hold their meetings? Otherwise, this is blatant first amendment violation which can (and probably should) result in a costly lawsuit against the city. Subsidizing churchgoers may indeed be politically expedient but favoring one religion over other (and over no religion) is still unconstitutional.

by Jacob on Jan 25, 2013 4:43 pm • linkreport

I don't consider Columbia Heights to be a "car accessible" neighborhood. Between the proliferation of rush hour restrictions, "enhanced RPP," general overcrowding, and inexplicably awful configuration of the intersection at 14th & Park, I don't consider it a great place to drive to or through.

...which is unfortunate, because I find the transit connections in Columbia Heights to be surprisingly bad, especially if you're coming from the Capitol Hill area. There's one frequent East-West transit link from the neighborhood, and it goes to Brookland. All the others require long and awkward transfers (can I keep repeating how badly the headways on the 90/92 line suck, the absurd number of stops on the line, and and how Florida Ave is set up as a traffic sewer?)

by andrew on Jan 25, 2013 4:49 pm • linkreport

I had an awesome schadenfreude moment last weekend, when I encountered the churchgoers in my neighborhood returning to their illegally-parked cars to find that the city had finally decided to write them tickets for boldly parking in front of hydrants, driveways, crosswalks, and intersections.

In the 3 years I've lived on the street, I'd never seen a single ticket written, and the indignant rage from the churchgoers last weekend was just something else entirely... I heard more than one person utter "Do they know who we are?!"

The hilarious irony is that there's a ton of perfectly legal free parking just two blocks away. It's 50 times worse during funerals, when people apparently think that it's okay to double and triple-park. I even see police cars drive by these situations without addressing them. The church on my street also has a particularly bad habit of posting the 'No Parking' signs the day of the funeral, and calling to tow all of the residents' cars.

I'm not sure that I'm such a fan of churches getting special treatment, but it's definitely a step in the right direction if we're going to actually start enforcing parking laws on Sunday mornings.

by andrew on Jan 25, 2013 4:54 pm • linkreport

"What is happening in the case of Columbia Heights is an effort by newcomers to limit car access for purely selfish motives."

C'mon, that's ridiculous. No one's talking about prohibiting church-goers from parking. There were more cars than spots, which caused illegal parking and frustration all around - from residents and church-goers alike. A solution was to offer subsidized parking and a huge, underused lot in the center of the area. There's no uiverse where that constitutes "an effort to limit car access." It's hyperbole like this that typically turns the discussion sideways.

by dcd on Jan 25, 2013 5:05 pm • linkreport

I would also not that a lack of enforcement of parking contributes to the lack of transit availability. Someone commented that transit isn't great to columbia heights on Sunday, if more people had to experience this, then they might be willing to support more funding for transit to make it better. Since they don't, and they can just park illegally, why do they care if transit is improved?

by nathaniel on Jan 25, 2013 5:17 pm • linkreport

Subsidizing churchgoers may indeed be politically expedient but favoring one religion over other (and over no religion) is still unconstitutional.

This parking deal was proposed by a large interfaith group and is is available to basically any nearby non-profits or community groups who want to participate.

by Scoot on Jan 25, 2013 5:19 pm • linkreport

This may sound naive, but why don't those churches who need the parking take the initiative? Coordinate pick up locations for their flock in spots where parking is easier to find, or at Metro stations or bus stops, and bus them to the DCUSA garage. They can schedule what vans go where when and the congregation can decide when to go. But, if the reason for discounted parking is that people want to drive and park, well times and cities change.

by M!Lk on Jan 25, 2013 11:50 pm • linkreport

@MLK

I would call that naive. Up until now, the burden of their parking has been borne solely by the community. The illegal parkers park whereever they like, blocking driveways and hydrants, or double parking, and there has been no reason for them not to continue this. Hopefully the ticketing continues, and this problem will take care of itself within a month.

by Kyle-w on Jan 26, 2013 8:44 am • linkreport

The entire thing is a plain nonsense. If people park illegally, ticket and tow them. If there is no parking near the church you attend, park further away or go to a different church.

by bajin on Jan 26, 2013 10:07 am • linkreport

@Kyle-w. It's actually "M!Lk". and "Up until now, the burden of their parking has been borne solely by the community." If these goers are actually driving back to old churches it's not the community that's the burden on parking, it would be them.

by M!Lk on Jan 26, 2013 12:24 pm • linkreport

David wrote:
A key point here is that the churchgoers, who need parking, were willing to work out a deal with city officials without the promise of unlimited, unrestricted, free parking.

That may be true, but I don't see any evidence that the churchgoers were willing to come to the table, rather than this being a unilateral proposal from the city. I used to live in Shaw, and when I lived there there churches were absolutely, unequivocally unwilling to discuss the issue of parking with their neighbors. And why would they? They had nothing to gain, everything to lose. I remember back in the 90's there was a similar proposal in Shaw to open the Reeves Center on Sundays, but it went nowhere -- why walk a few blocks when there are no consequences for just stopping your car and turning the engine off wherever is most convenient for you?

by contrarian on Jan 26, 2013 12:44 pm • linkreport

contrarian: According to the Current article, the Washington Interfaith Network was talking to the city about how to deal with the issue, and worked out this arrangement. It doesn't appear to be a unilateral proposal at all.

by David Alpert on Jan 26, 2013 12:47 pm • linkreport

I want to make sure I am getting this right. People like me who earn a salary and pay taxes that help to build DCUSA are charged a full rate.... while these Maryland based homophobes get a discount so they can come into the city park their cars, pollute our air, donate to hateful churches and then leave and go to Maryland. Gotcha.

When did separation between church and state mean these cults get city supported parking. UGH!

by Michael Rogers on Jan 26, 2013 2:32 pm • linkreport

As andrew (@4:49) says, it's not necessarily convenient to get to Columbia Heights by transit. This is especially true on the weekends, given all the track work. Some destinations can be easily transit accessible during the week (at least til 8pm) but not on Saturdays and Sundays.

by Liz B on Jan 26, 2013 2:34 pm • linkreport

David: I guess I'm skeptical as to whether WIN is really speaking for the churchgoers in this case. It's all well and good for the city to arrange the parking, everyone gets together and does a press release and declares "Mission Accomplished," but are people really going to use it?

I know that a lot of urban planning is about small, incremental incentives nudging behavior, but the difference between $3 and $5 to park at DCUSA just seems pretty minuscule. Are there really significant numbers of people for whom the only thing keeping them from parking in the garage was that it was two dollars more than they were willing to pay?

If this deal was coupled with a move on the part of the city to tighten enforcement -- maybe saying, OK, it's Sunday morning, traffic is light, we're not going to enforce resident parking, loading zones, bus zones, etc., but things that impact safety or other people, like blocking crosswalks or intersections or double-parking people in get a ticket-- then I would be more optimistic.

by contrarian on Jan 26, 2013 2:34 pm • linkreport

What about me? I am an atheist and every day of my life is very important to me. What about my special needs?

by NE John on Jan 26, 2013 4:36 pm • linkreport

I did not read all the comments, but I wish there was a city owned parking lot that is underutilized in Shaw so we could get the church goers off the streets. The only way they will get off the streets is to enforce parking regulations on Sunday mornings, something no police or elected official will endorse. I have done volunteer work for non profits and have NEVER had a discounted parking rate nor have I been able to park illegally and get away with it. If we care about equality, why are churches getting away with subsidized parking?

by Nick the Greek on Jan 27, 2013 8:33 am • linkreport

Since 1999 there has been free parking at the Reeves Center on Sundays for church goers. Any time a religious organization has an event or need for parking, they are allowed info so free of charge at the Reeves. Being a part of a community is more than having an address there. After reading the majority of the previous comments, it is easy to see why older residents of DC feel threatened by the more recent wave of newcomers. Illegal parking on Sundays in inner city neighborhoods is not a "new" practice. It is a necessity that has always been tolerated in these neighborhoods. What is new, are residents who feel that they are separate from these institutions and their congregations.

by Parking on Jan 27, 2013 9:13 am • linkreport

@parking

It is certainly not a necessity. That is ridiculous. This is people who choose not to follow the rules, because they know there are no consequences, plain and simple. Just because it was tolerated in the 90's doesn't mean it should be now. Dealing crack was also relatively tolerated in the 90's and certainly isn't now. Cities change, and this parking entitlement should be in the dumpster yesterday.

by Kyle-w on Jan 27, 2013 10:25 am • linkreport

This is by far one of the more ridiculous threads I've read on this site...are people really complaining about a well attended church in their community...a church that was there when you "chose" to move to Columbia Heights.
This is commonly called moving to the nuisance. Next time do a little research before you signing the lease.
I can't even address the comparing church parking to crack usage with a straight face...That's just the sort of neighborly disposition that every community desperately needs.

by Hill hound on Jan 27, 2013 3:34 pm • linkreport

Illegal parking on Sundays in inner city neighborhoods is not a "new" practice. It is a necessity that has always been tolerated in these neighborhoods. What is new, are residents who feel that they are separate from these institutions and their congregations.

I've lived in DC since it was a "new" practice -- the early 90's. It hasn't always been tolerated -- the neighbors have always been annoyed, but powerless to do anything about it.

by contrarian on Jan 27, 2013 5:36 pm • linkreport

@Hill hound. OK, so you were able to dispense with the thoughts. But the one thing you have failed to address is why a religious institution should be given special treatment in a facility that has been built with substantial tax incentives. It seems to me that there are a number of parking options in the area (Giant, DCUSA, etc.) that people who need it can pay for it.

These religious institutions are already tax exempt and cost the city money (e.g. police, fire, snow removal) and they do little in terms of real economic impact. But shoppers, on the other hand, spend money, put tax dollars in the city's coffers, prop up neighborhoods and create retail and customer service jobs.

Wouldn't it make as much sense to give shoppers the same rate as the churchgoers? At least there are some real benefits to the city.

by Michael Rogers on Jan 27, 2013 7:21 pm • linkreport

@Hill Hound

I wasn't comparing them, just using it as an example of how neighborhoods change. Just because it was allowed in the 90's, doesn't mean it is okay in 2013. They are both breaking laws (one, the crack usage, about 13 magnitudes worse of course) but they are both breaking laws. The idea that because you are attending church, you are allowed to break the law is absolutely ridiculous.

No one here is complaining about church attendence. Just the entitled lawbreaking that these church goers often practice.

by Kyle-w on Jan 27, 2013 8:01 pm • linkreport

I have NO problem with the churches or their people using legal parking spaces. It is unbelievable to me that you are supporting the brazen disregard of the law as moving to a nuisance. Seriously? 15 years ago would you have claimed "Well, you really have no right to complain and ask for law enforcement. Everyone knows that Columbia Heights has a lot of mugging," would you have been taken seriously?

@parking: Where is my parking for my events? If the Reeves Center is given to churches on Sundays, what about to people who actually live in DC and pay taxes? Can I use it as a parking lot for a fundraiser I want to throw for city parks?

Speaking of the Reeves Center, last year a proposal was submitted by a non-profit community organization and another, for the same space, by a for profit restaurant. The for-profit group got the space because they promised the city more money than the community serving organization.

I wonder when they built the Reeves Center what the answer to his question would have been the supporters of construction: "So, if in 20-30 years from now a building space opens up and is bid on by a restaurant or a community org and the restaurant will pay more, who gets the space?"

"Ohhhhh, noooooo, we would never give priority to a for profit over this taxpayer funded building. No, never." Or, would they have said, "well, you see, we may be building this DC building for government, but non-profits serving the community will be behind for-profit restaurants."

No one builds anything alone, they just screw over the taxpayers in the process. Oh, taxpayers... remember them? they are NOT driving to these churches. MARYLANDERS are driving to the churches.

My suggestion? Sell the buildings and move them to where you live. Or pay the regular parking rate when I shop. Only difference, I'm paying sales tax while these people are exempt from them.

by Michael Rogers on Jan 29, 2013 11:16 am • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.

or

Support Us

How can our region be greater?

DC Maryland Virginia Arlington Alexandria Montgomery Prince George's Fairfax Charles Prince William Loudoun Howard Anne Arundel Frederick Tysons Corner Baltimore Falls Church Fairfax City
CC BY-NC