Greater Greater Washington

Shepherd Park neighbors tell car2go users to stay out

While car2go is mostly limited to the District, more and more users live in surrounding areas, and often leave their cars at the edges of the city. One resident of an adjacent DC neighborhood warned car2go drivers to stay away in this note:


Photo by George Branyan.

Reader Roya Bauman found this handwritten note on a car2go in Shepherd Park, a DC neighborhood that borders Silver Spring. It reads:

This street is NOT a garage for these ugly little cars! Be more considerate. Do not park in front of a private home. It is rude and a breach of residential etiquette. We do not care what the owners of this car company tell you. You Silver Spring transients are ruining our neighborhood.
Car2go users can can park the vehicles anywhere within the "home area," which includes all of the District (except the National Mall) and two small areas outside of DC, at Tysons Corner Center and National Harbor. As a result, many people who live in neighborhoods just across the District line, like Friendship Heights, Silver Spring, and Mount Rainier, often park their cars in DC and walk home.


Map showing car2go vehicles lined up along Eastern Avenue between DC and Silver Spring. Screenshot from the author's phone.

It's not illegal to park in front of someone else's home, but whether it's "rude" varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. In denser parts of the region, where the number of residents exceeds the available parking spaces, cars belonging to other people might constantly occupy the curb in front of one's own home. In low-density areas such as Shepherd Park, on the other hand, many people have come to expect that except for the occasional party, only their own family and visitors will park in front of their own houses.

Residential parking regulations stop residents of Silver Spring and similar border communities from parking private cars for long periods near the border, but car2go creates a new legal use that doesn't fit into the established etiquette as residents of those neighborhoods see it.

The ideal solution would be for car2go to expand its home area to include these surrounding communities. Company representatives have previously said they're planning to expand into Arlington and Alexandria. Expanding to closer-in parts of Maryland as well would allow car2go users to leave the cars in their own neighborhoods, and maybe even in front of their own houses. That's something that neighbors on both sides of Eastern (and Western and Southern) Avenue could agree on.

A planner and architect by training, Dan Reed also writes his own blog, Just Up the Pike, and serves as the Land Use Chair for the Action Committee for Transit. He lives in downtown Silver Spring. 

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Gotta love people anonymously telling other people they're rude. Wonderful cognitive dissonance.

by Jasper on Jul 21, 2014 10:46 am • linkreport

Shepherd Park lost all its class a long time ago when it closed the strip bar at the border.

by NE John on Jul 21, 2014 10:50 am • linkreport

Leave a note on your car that says "I know where you live" with a little smiley face after it!

by Marsh on Jul 21, 2014 10:52 am • linkreport

Sounds a lot like those King Street holdouts in Alexandria trying to assert an entitlement to the free public parking in front of their homes that is provided by the public in the public right of way that they don't own.

by Greenbelt on Jul 21, 2014 10:53 am • linkreport

It is extremely rude to put a note like that on a car. Whomever got it should simply ignore it--assuming they don't own the car. If they do own it, they can put a reply note in the door or the house (not in the mailbox--Federal regulations) that says "This better be the best protected car in the whole state of Maryland. I know where you live and if anything happens to this car while it is parked here, you will be held to account."

by Alan on Jul 21, 2014 10:53 am • linkreport

The "ugly little cars" part makes me think this person would be totally fine with someone parking a limo in the same spot.

I'm starting to believe Ben Ross' theory that NIMBYism is all about people trying to appear as rich as possible.

by BeyondDC on Jul 21, 2014 10:55 am • linkreport

Wow. Entitlement to parking in front of one's house vs parking as a public amenity, homeowners vs "transients", and car ownership vs app based car sharing, and standard sized cars (or bigger) vs "ugly" mini cars. Hits just about all the culture war hot buttons. At least nothing about bikes or street cars this time.

by CrossingBrooklynFerry on Jul 21, 2014 10:59 am • linkreport

Sounds like the HGTV Dream Demographic:

"You are ruining the curb appeal of my house!"

by Lord Baltimore on Jul 21, 2014 10:59 am • linkreport

Ugg I love people who think they own the street in front of their house.

by Richard on Jul 21, 2014 11:00 am • linkreport

Even ruder is when people leave notes like this and sign them in the name of the Civic Association!

by Caroline Petti on Jul 21, 2014 11:03 am • linkreport

My friends, who live in a cul de sac neighborhood in McLean which absolutely does not have a parking problem would get notes on other friends cars for parking on the street.

Not notes about any noise from a party, from a car being in front of their house. And decent cars at that.

People get so irrational about parking.

by drumz on Jul 21, 2014 11:04 am • linkreport

I'm torn about this... On one side, no one owns parking spaces. On the other, we have non-DC residents who are making use of an all-zone DC residential parking permit. It's a head-scratcher.

by recyclist on Jul 21, 2014 11:09 am • linkreport

This is just too funny to be true.

by Frank on Jul 21, 2014 11:14 am • linkreport

It's not illegal to park in front of someone else's home, but whether it's "rude" varies from neighborhood to neighborhood.

I'd like to add something to this. The street in question is actually Zone 4 residential parking. DDOT has striped the road with parking boxes to make sure that people don't block driveways and stop signs, but otherwise, it's public parking.

I cannot imagine how taking a space that DDOT has gone to great care to delineate as public parking could be considered "rude". Some folks are just incapable of thinking logically, and sometimes you just have to leave it at that.

by Scoot on Jul 21, 2014 11:16 am • linkreport

On the other, we have non-DC residents who are making use of an all-zone DC residential parking permit.

I'm a DC resident who regularly parks a C2G on that street to walk across the border, and I doubt I'm the only one.

by Scoot on Jul 21, 2014 11:18 am • linkreport

When I was going to AU and lived nearby, my boyfriend would park one night a week on an unzoned neighborhood block. After a few weeks he got a really nasty note about how it was a "private drive" and he wasn't allowed to park there and the neighbor would get him towed. The road is Glover Dr NW. There is no way he actually wasn't allowed to park there, right?

by Michelle on Jul 21, 2014 11:18 am • linkreport

According to the (incredibly long) discussion thread about this at PoPville, the issue is with people commuting to the very edge of the District, parking, and then walking to Silver Spring. Which leaves like, 4 or 5 Car2Gos on a single block at the same time.

But on the one hand, I get that, but on the other, larger hand...who cares? Jesus, it's parked cars. That's what happens on a street with parking. Good lord. It's already public space being appropriated for private car storage; be grateful it exists at all.

by Low Headways on Jul 21, 2014 11:19 am • linkreport

You can be sure that if you raised RPP rates, homeowners will feel even more strongly they own the spots in front of their houses.

by charlie on Jul 21, 2014 11:24 am • linkreport

But on the one hand, I get that, but on the other, larger hand...who cares?

That's my feeling. Considering that a car2go user likely doesn't own a car I'm inclined to support things that make that choice easier.

I have a hard time imagining a solution to this that isn't worse than the problem itself.

The border is always going to have weird stuff going on. That's what happens when you set down a border. No different than if seats on a bus that starts in DC get taken up by people who choose to walk to that bus stop from Maryland.

by drumz on Jul 21, 2014 11:29 am • linkreport

All vehicles are equal, but some vehicles are more equal than others.

by Bossi on Jul 21, 2014 11:35 am • linkreport

Without car-sharing, there would be a lot more demand for parking -- fewer spaces for this bitter person. They should thank this person for using Car2Go.

http://www.uctc.net/access/38/access38_carsharing_ownership.shtml

"We found that carsharing lowers the total number of vehicles owned by members. Across the sample, households owned 2,968 vehicles before carsharing, which translates to 0.47 vehicles per household. After carsharing, the sample owned 1,507 vehicles, or 0.24 vehicles per household. The difference between these means (–0.23) is statistically significant at the 99 percent confidence level. Notably, much of this shift involved households becoming carless: 80 percent of the sample owned no vehicle after joining carsharing. Most of this shift was the result of one-car households becoming no-car households. A smaller change occurred with two-car households becoming one-car households."

by 202_Cyclist on Jul 21, 2014 11:36 am • linkreport

@Scoot

I cannot imagine how taking a space that DDOT has gone to great care to delineate as public parking could be considered "rude". Some folks are just incapable of thinking logically, and sometimes you just have to leave it at that.

It's not that they're "just incapable of thinking logically," it's that they don't accept the premise that it is truly public parking. They view it as a tacitly understood agreement/social contract that these parking spaces are de facto reserved and prioritized for the use of adjacent homeowners. It's like an entitlement that conveys with the land, akin to school district, 'neighborhood character,' and other attributes that aren't actually legal entitlements but are frequently treated as such.

It's not just Shepherd Park either. Anecdote time:

I live in Forest Hills/Van Ness and drive a car with lots of 'urban camouflage' (it has many dings and dents and generally looks a bit rough). As I usually do when I have occasion to visit Chevy Chase DC, I parked my car on Morrison Street NW and ran various errands, met a friend for lunch at Parthenon, etc.

A few hours later, I get back to my car to find myself getting the evil eye from a resident tending to her law in front of the house by which I had parked.

"I know you're not from around here," she said, looking at the big ol' dent in the back door of my car, "but this street is for residents only."

"I am a resident," I said.

"I know you don't live around here driving that piece of $hit," she escalated.

"I live in Zone 3, which is all you need concern yourself with," I retorted, pointing at my Zone 3 sticker as I put my stuff in the passenger's side front seat.

"They oughta make a law..." she trailed off.

Like I said, people view it as a property entitlement, complete with worry about what kinds of signals the cars parked there might be sending. God forbid my car be parked there during an appraisal - it could easily knock $50k off the value of the home!

by Dizzy on Jul 21, 2014 11:40 am • linkreport

Without car-sharing, there would be a lot more demand for parking -- fewer spaces for this bitter person. They should thank this person for using Car2Go...."We found that carsharing lowers the total number of vehicles owned by members. Across the sample, households owned 2,968 vehicles before carsharing, which translates to 0.47 vehicles per household.

Well, this is a specific pattern of parking behavior -- dropping the car off near the DC line, and then walking outside the home area -- limited to a small number of individuals, and not a large sample of 6000 households across an entire city or region. So it's sort of apples to oranges.

In this case, if someone who actually lives in Silver Spring already owns their own car, then they'll just drive it home and park in MID instead of parking in DC. Assuming the best case, that the car-share enables them to get rid of that car, then the only option given the home area boundary is to park the car in DC and walk across the border. Leading to more cars along the home area boundary, not fewer.

by Scoot on Jul 21, 2014 11:50 am • linkreport

It's not that they're "just incapable of thinking logically," it's that they don't accept the premise that it is truly public parking. They view it as a tacitly understood agreement/social contract that these parking spaces are de facto reserved and prioritized for the use of adjacent homeowners.

Well, they would be wrong. Illogical, ill-informed, not-very-bright-to-begin-with, what have you -- I'm not really sure that the precise characterization matters.

Some folks are just right, and some folks are not. The person who wrote the letter was just wrong. I question why the letter even merits a response. Of all the angry, mis-informed anonymous rants out there, why does this one get its own article?

by Scoot on Jul 21, 2014 12:00 pm • linkreport

I live in a border neighborhood in DC so there are always several c2g parked on my street. But they are never there for very long before it gets rented again.

Yes, it's annoying when someone parks in front of my house but that's just because I've gotten used to the convenience. Parking policy and even c2g range don't need to change, just this person's antisocial attitude.

by Julie Lawson on Jul 21, 2014 12:01 pm • linkreport

Of all the angry, mis-informed anonymous rants out there, why does this one get its own article?

Because it represents a widely-held view among a large number of homeowners. Homeowners who tend to vote and donate money in larger proportion, thereby driving city politics and government decision-making.

Understanding opposing views - or, if one wants to go so far, 'the opposition' - is important.

by Dizzy on Jul 21, 2014 12:03 pm • linkreport

Because it represents a widely-held view among a large number of homeowners.

Are you sure that it does, or that these views are actually driving policy? I've been parking C2G's on this exact block for as long as the program has been in DC and this is the first time I've seen or heard of a letter like this. While certainly not dispositive, it is something. I have not been to any ANC or DDOT meetings in the neighborhood in question, but maybe someone who has can comment on whether this view is actually influencing policy or not. Perhaps someone can contact Muriel Bowser's office to see how many people have lodged these types of complaints.

And I certainly understand the opposing view, but that doesn't mean the opposing view is legitimate or worthy of an intelligent critique.

by Scoot on Jul 21, 2014 12:09 pm • linkreport

Can you park a Car2Go on the north side of Eastern Avenue there? I'm pretty sure the entire street is in DC, but the north side lacks RPP restrictions since there aren't DC residents along it to petition for such restrictions.

by iaom on Jul 21, 2014 12:10 pm • linkreport

@Scoot

I was referring to the notion of "curb spot in front of or around my house as de facto entitlement," rather than the specific issue of car2go. Car2go volume is not widespread enough to be a widespread issue either way (yet).

by Dizzy on Jul 21, 2014 12:38 pm • linkreport

Of all the angry, mis-informed anonymous rants out there, why does this one get its own article?

A pen and ink to write a rant!

It shows that the pen is still mightier than the comment thread!

by kob on Jul 21, 2014 12:54 pm • linkreport

I love to imagine the angry letter writers screwing themselves up in self righteous rage as they address these terrible affronts.

by BTA on Jul 21, 2014 12:59 pm • linkreport

Certainly the note writer was being rude and overreacting. I have no sympathy if the only complaint is that cars are ugly. But I have sympathy for these people if they find parking is more difficult than it used to be. After all, they probably chose to live in this remote area near the border to get away from congestion. Sure, it's public space and there's nothing legally wrong here, but maybe these people find parking in their neighborhood is harder than it used to be, and that would be annoying for them. Again, the note is rude and the ugly car complaint is stupid, but I can see the opposite point of view.

by JR on Jul 21, 2014 1:11 pm • linkreport

A co-worker of mine will block any cars that aren't his that are parked in front of his house by parking his two cars as close as he possibly can to them. He's had people come up to his home on numerous occasions asking him to move his cars. He says once he berates them for parking in his spots they usually don't come back. He'll say something about paying taxes on the land next to the street so the spots are his. It's pretty ridiculous, but he believes he's right.

by UrbanEngineer on Jul 21, 2014 1:15 pm • linkreport

@UrbanEngineer - your coworker sounds like a total jerk. Please publish his address or neighborhood, so that when it happens again, the "offending" parker can simply call the police and then a tow truck to physically move one of your coworker's illegally parked cars. (It's illegal to park your car in a manner that impedes others from using the public right-of-way... including purposefully trapping them in a public parking space.)

by Dave on Jul 21, 2014 1:32 pm • linkreport

@Dave - is it possible to have the police tow a vehicle that has blocked another vehicle in? I know blocking another vehicle is technically illegal, but do you know of any instances where the police have actually responded to something like this?

by Ross on Jul 21, 2014 1:51 pm • linkreport

FWIW, an out-of-zone Parkspot also is an option. That would allow Car2Go users to legally park at a garage in Silver Spring -- and to get cars from there. It works pretty well in other cities, letting Miami users go to downtown Miami Beach, for instance, or Vancouver users get to Ikea and Grouse Mountain.

by Payton Chung on Jul 21, 2014 1:55 pm • linkreport

lol - classic DC snobbishness.

by nativedc on Jul 21, 2014 2:33 pm • linkreport

When I lived in Silver Spring, someone diagonally across the street from us bought a worn-out fixer-upper, fixed it up, and screamed bloody murder at anybody who DARED to park in front of HIS house. Last time I visited a friend in a different part of Silver Spring, I got a nasty note from the friend's neighbor because I parked in front of the neighbor's house. Neither of these places was within a mile of the DC border. I am so glad I live in Greenbelt.

by Greenbelt Gal on Jul 21, 2014 2:52 pm • linkreport

I have a hard time imagining a solution to this that isn't worse than the problem itself.

the solution is for Car2Go to make the border a non-issue by expanding the program into Silver Spring and other near-DC locations.

by ah on Jul 21, 2014 3:07 pm • linkreport

When I was going to AU and lived nearby, my boyfriend would park one night a week on an unzoned neighborhood block. After a few weeks he got a really nasty note about how it was a "private drive" and he wasn't allowed to park there and the neighbor would get him towed. The road is Glover Dr NW. There is no way he actually wasn't allowed to park there, right?

Glover Drive or the little extension of Hawthorne Street??

http://goo.gl/maps/iKdCJ

The latter is private - it's a pipe-stem set of lots.

by ah on Jul 21, 2014 3:09 pm • linkreport

Yes, it's annoying when someone parks in front of my house but that's just because I've gotten used to the convenience.

Why is it annoying? Are these cars preventing you from parking? Is there a shortage of parking spaces that requires better management?

Short of that, I'm struggling to see what the actual problem is.

by Alex B. on Jul 21, 2014 3:20 pm • linkreport

I understand what they're saying. I think most of us have had moments where we were irrationally annoyed by the actions of others. Most of us, most of the time, can recognize our little irrational tendencies and consciously override them. Sometimes, some people let it get the better of them, and you have these obnoxious results.

We are but human, after all.

As someone else alluded to, harmony is often achieved by simply ignoring the irrational, whether from within or from without.

by The Truth™ on Jul 21, 2014 3:35 pm • linkreport

the solution is for Car2Go to make the border a non-issue by expanding the program into Silver Spring and other near-DC locations.

People will still park in residential neighborhoods regardless of where the boundaries are. Whether people from SS are coming into or out of DC is not really the problem here; the person who write the letter just has a problem with cars parked in front of her house. That won't change even if you expand the boundaries so long as someone's final destination is near those homes.

by Scoot on Jul 21, 2014 3:46 pm • linkreport

In low density suburban areas, there really often aren't any particular user of the on street parking other than the residents of the street in question. On a day to day basis quasi-privatization of the space is not necessarily a bad way to live and let live, and it can be relatively functional. Violating that informal arrangement, without asking permission, is a violation of a (funcional) social norm and is thus seen as rude. Its when there is more demand for that resource, whether from car sharing services, people needing to park to access nearby non-residential uses, from bike lanes, etc that the quasi-privatization becomes dysfunctional. It can be hard for some people to realize that their quasi-privatization of public space was never legally recognized for good reason.

by CrossingBrooklynFerry on Jul 21, 2014 3:50 pm • linkreport

@Ross et al. If you have an old car and don't care what your bumper looks like, and have reasonably good parallel parking skills, you can get out of these squeezed-in situations with a back-and-forth until you are out. There will be subtle scratches on the bumper and any bumper stickers will be history.

@AlexB: I don't think JulieL whom you quote is saying that there is a problem, but rather acknowledging/empathizing with the annoyance that one feels. It could be a simple as the cars block one's view of the vegetation on the other side of the street or, more generally, they change the vista that one is accustomed to seeing. Usually when that view is blocked, it is by a friend coming by and you are happier to see that friend, but here is someone who is in some sense invading your own sense of personal space. More generally, what "The Truth tm" just said.

A separate question is whether Car-2-go is paying the full market value of the priviledge that goes along with the car. If so, then a bumper sticket about how the car's owner pays a few thousand dollars a year to DC for parking would go a long way toward making people less upset to see the ugly little car.

by JimT on Jul 21, 2014 3:58 pm • linkreport

I did a google streetview of the area in question, and while I can't claim that it was fully representative of the area or of parking issues at all times of day, but my takeaway was that this is purely a territorial issue. There's plenty of parking. Many houses have driveways. The lots are very wide. Someone parking in front of your house most likely won't even prevent you from parking in front your house, as the lots are wide and there isn't a parking shortage. It is just "you aren't allowed to park in front of my house because."

by Atrios on Jul 21, 2014 4:02 pm • linkreport

@ah : Glover Drive, as street view shows, no RPP sinage, but a DC street sign.

by Michelle on Jul 21, 2014 4:30 pm • linkreport

@JimT - Re: 'the full market value of the privilege' - I'd argue that the relevant 'full market value' in this case should be the cost of a residential parking permit, which is certainly not thousands per year. I'm aware that actual value of a metered space is much higher, but that's not really relevant for this situation. I doubt that Car2Go paying any sum, however, will mollify those upset by this situation.

One interesting wrinkle is this - if homeowner needed the space in front of their house, all they would need to do is become a Car2Go member and shift the car down a few spots. Inconvenient, perhaps, but it would only cost a dollar or two with their pricing structure.

by Ross on Jul 21, 2014 4:32 pm • linkreport

It's not that they're "just incapable of thinking logically," it's that they don't accept the premise that it is truly public parking. They view it as a tacitly understood agreement/social contract that these parking spaces are de facto reserved and prioritized for the use of adjacent homeowners. It's like an entitlement that conveys with the land, akin to school district, 'neighborhood character,' and other attributes that aren't actually legal entitlements but are frequently treated as such.

Spot on. And I agree that this is an angry, mis-informed rant. However . . .

There is significant support here for, when a new property is built, denying the residents access to RPPs if the building does not provide parking. How is this any different? Don't both espouse the same view - that there is "a tacitly understood agreement/social contract that these parking spaces are de facto reserved and prioritized for the use of adjacent homeowners. It's like an entitlement that conveys with the land[.]"

by dcd on Jul 21, 2014 4:33 pm • linkreport

"One interesting wrinkle is this - if homeowner needed the space in front of their house, all they would need to do is become a Car2Go member and shift the car down a few spots. Inconvenient, perhaps, but it would only cost a dollar or two with their pricing structure."

You mean...down a few spots in front of someone else's hose. Well, there ya go.

The fact is that it is kinda rude in some neighborhoods, if it's abused. While it may be a "public" street, parking there ought to be prioritized for the homeowners and visitors there (friends, workmen, pizza delivery, etc.)...and next, for neighbors or visitors to the neighbors -- if they don't have enough space (temporarilyP in front of theirs.

I'll say that at my girlfriends; house, there is a neighbor who is a car dealer and regularly comes home with a car from the lot...which he parks in the circle, in front of her house, rather than clutter his driveway and make it hard for him and his wife to get their own cars in and out. It isn't illegal -- but, it sure is rude. It gets in the way when we're trying to navigate the circle, and it gets worse when the next door neighbor's kid parks his car between the driveway and this other car.

Then, there's this other car on the other side of the house -- on the through street. It's been parked on our side for weeks, even though it surely belongs to one of the other neighbors, either on the circle or, more likely to a neighbor on the other side of the street, who doesn't want it to sit in front of their house for a month or more Perhaps a cue to thieves that no one is home?). Meanwhile, whatever they don't want it front of their house, it's stuck in front of ours, where it makes life just a tad more difficult for me, parking there (our driveway doesn't easily accommodate two cars, and because someone else always parks in the space in front of our house on the circle, I park on the through street along our house.

Are these neighbors being rude, selfish and inconsiderate -- thinking of their convenience much more than anyone else's? You betcha.

So, if suddenly, some of the users of some business that isn't really even there started taking up more of these spaces -- would that p.o. me? You betcha.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Jul 21, 2014 4:57 pm • linkreport

Maybe this is obvious, but I think this non-problem could be solved by improving public transportation options to Silver Spring. I know that I only use Car2go, for the most part, to get to places in the District that are otherwise inconvenient to get to by bus or metro.

by sk on Jul 21, 2014 4:58 pm • linkreport

The other alternative would be actually selling the parking space to the homeowner at say, the market value of parking there continuously for 10 years. (Homeowners like to proclaim their stability) So if that were $2/hour for 50 hours a week, that's $100 per week or about $5,000 per year, or $50,000 for 10 year period, plus a little something for parking value increases.

by Nathan Landau on Jul 21, 2014 5:01 pm • linkreport

I should add -- where I park on the through street -- that's just up from where we have a walkway from the street and the community mailbox -- I try to leave the mailman enough room for easy ingress and egress, but I can't park on the other side of the box because of hydrant. Visitors to houses on the circle often park along our house -- and use that walkway that is entirely on our property, crossing it, going right by our front door, to our driveway. That's also rude. It doesn't make it illegal -- and we don't discourage it in any way -- but it's definitely rude.

Just because it's legal for Car2Go drivers to take up parking space that homeowners might reasonably expect are for their use before heading to their own property on some other street -- that doesn't make it not rude. Whatever you think of Car2Go's utility - it is a commercial enterprise. Normally, one would expect the commercial enterprise to find some way to be a good neighbor -- perhaps even to provide their own private parking for the cars in the fleet. That's what rental car companies do. I get that it's a different model of doing car rentals, making it more convenient for the drivers -- but, what makes it OK for them to take up spaces in someone else's neighborhood, rather than finding space near them? Because someone would have to pay for the parking? Huh. Go figure.

Imagine the nerve of those people who pay property taxes for a property being a little irked when someone parks in front of their house and disappears to a home blocks away!

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Jul 21, 2014 5:12 pm • linkreport

"The other alternative would be actually selling the parking space to the homeowner "

Or, maybe the other alternative is that Car2Go should be paying to have spaces for the parking for its cars.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Jul 21, 2014 5:14 pm • linkreport

@sk: I think this non-problem could be solved by improving public transportation options to Silver Spring.

I don't actually disagree, but it's telling that Metro has gotten so bad that people would rather microrent a car and drive close than attempt to travel via the Red Line.

by LowHeadways on Jul 21, 2014 5:15 pm • linkreport

@Fischy: Uh, they do. As of 2012 they were paying the District $578,000.

by LowHeadways on Jul 21, 2014 5:17 pm • linkreport

I believe car2go pays over a half million dollars a year for its use of spots. I am not sure how that compares to the costs of RPP's. Its possible that both are too low.

by CrossingBrooklynFerry on Jul 21, 2014 5:19 pm • linkreport

"Imagine the nerve of those people who pay property taxes for a property being a little irked when someone parks in front of their house and disappears to a home blocks away!"

They pay property taxes for... their property. The road is not their property, and in fact, they pay just as much for that road as I do, and my car lives in a private garage, not on public property. If I were heading that way and wanted to park in the District, I would not feel bad whatsoever about parking on their street, just like I don't care if they drive down to the ballpark and park on mine. If they want guaranteed private parking, they're welcome to pay for it by building a garage or something.

by JES on Jul 21, 2014 5:24 pm • linkreport

Car2Go has paid DC dearly for the privilege of allowing customers to park nearly everywhere, to the tune of nearly $1500 per vehicle per year according to a 2012 article. More than 40 times the cost of an RPP.

http://www.tbd.com/blogs/tbd-on-foot/2012/05/car2go-paid-d-c-578-000-for-its-meter-proof-parking-agreement-15421.html

by sk on Jul 21, 2014 5:28 pm • linkreport

The note is right. It is a breach of residential etiquette as it has long stood. Just 2 weeks ago, I got a lecture from an old lady in Chevy Chase for parking in front of her house. Even though there was a good 30 feet of alternative open parking right behind my car, also in front of her house.

The younger residents don't have so much of an expectation of this, though. So this will fade over time.

by Crickey7 on Jul 21, 2014 5:31 pm • linkreport

@Lowheadways -- I was responding to the comment that homeowners should pay for spots in front of their own home. I'm suggesting that if its between the homeowners having to pay to reserve their spots or Car2GO, then it's the commercial enterprise -- the one that's making money by having the cars in some convenient spot, that ought to pay for reserved spots.

I'm not saying that Car2Go should do that -- I'm responding to the comment above that suggests the homeowners ought to do that to guarantee their spots. On the other hand, maybe that's how the model ought to develop in the future....that there would be spots reserved for Car2Go where they would not obviously impact homeowners, whose convenience should come first. They didn't buy a condo in the Navy Yard. They bought home on a residential street -- that comes with some reasonable expectations, which are incorporated in the purchase price and value of the house and thus the taxes they pay..

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Jul 21, 2014 5:35 pm • linkreport

If you did have such spaces reserved for car sharing -- or at least designated as available for car sharing vehicles -- that would establish a different etiquette where those spaces are located....and the car-sharing would have the priority there. Etiquette changes according to circumstances and rules. Where there is greater density, the expectation that you will have a space right by your door changes...and you certainly can't expect that others won't take spaces next to your car. All I was saying is that the note writer isn't wrong. It is rude.

Young hipster types might want to laugh at the old fogeys and their quaint irascibility -- but them old codgers ain't wrong about the etiquette on suburban single-home streets. You look at a car parked in front of your house and, if it's not yours, you wonder what the hell it's doing there instead of somewhere else. Maybe there's a good reason, or maybe there's a reason that doesn't seem so good to you. Maybe it seems rude or selfish.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Jul 21, 2014 5:49 pm • linkreport

All I was saying is that the note writer isn't wrong. It is rude.
I'd argue that things not being the way one expects them to be isn't the same thing as rudeness.

The concentration of cars there is due to a quirk of the system. One that really doesn't have a solution at the moment besides expansion of the program beyond the borders of DC.

But any other solution besides that would probably be worse than the original problem and make it less effective which would hurt DC's overall goal of having people rely less on personal vehicles.

by drumz on Jul 21, 2014 5:54 pm • linkreport

As a Car2Go subscriber, I'd be thrilled to find a car ready and waiting outside my front door everyday!

by SilverSpringTransient on Jul 21, 2014 6:34 pm • linkreport

@Ross, @Jim T, Once I parallel parked by squeezing my car in (i'm pretty good at parallel parking). When I came back I had a ticket for the offense of, "parking within 3" of another vehicle". I don't even know if that's a real offense, but I definitely did it. I wondered how the cop knew it was me and not the other drivers at the front and rear who committed the offense.

by Tina on Jul 21, 2014 9:48 pm • linkreport

I lived in east Silver Spring for about a year and a half in the "naughts", in Longbranch. We had a nasty note writing neighbor on this same issue. He lived across the street. Sometimes i parked in front of his house on purpose b/c i knew it would rattle him. (i'm evil). Once I thought his house had been broken into and called the police. I learned that the police knew him well and limited his complaint calls to 3 per year! That piece of information explained a lot.

by Tina on Jul 21, 2014 9:58 pm • linkreport

get that it's a different model of doing car rentals, making it more convenient for the drivers -- but, what makes it OK for them to take up spaces in someone else's neighborhood, rather than finding space near them?

What makes it not OK? The street is zoned for permit parking, and has been so for a long time. If someone doesn't want to risk the chance of people legally parking in front of their home, they don't have to live there.

They bought home on a residential street -- that comes with some reasonable expectations, which are incorporated in the purchase price and value of the house and thus the taxes they pay..

Again, it's a residential street with permit parking that anyone in zone 4 (and by extension any C2G, as well as any driver with a zone 4 guest permit) can legally park on. Where's the reasonable expectation that those spots are reserved for adjacent homeowners? And let's not forget that many homes in this neighborhood have off-street parking.

by Scoot on Jul 21, 2014 10:09 pm • linkreport

They are ugly myopic little twit mobiles.

by Bob on Jul 21, 2014 10:12 pm • linkreport

@Dizzy:

You may not have intended it, but you make a perfect argument why RPP zones should be a lot smaller than their current ward-ward parking eligibility. The purpose of RPP is so that a resident can find parking reasonably near his/her home. It is not intended as a windfall, for example, to permit a Van Ness resident to park "for hours" for free on a residential street in Chevy Chase to patronize restaurants, movies, do errands, etc. That's what transit, commercial parking and meters are for. Similarly, someone it defeats the purpose of RPP when a Spring Valley resident can drive and park all day for free near a Conn. Ave. metro stop, when nearby residents can't find parking. Clearly you were within present legal rights to park for a long time on Morrison St, but I can sort of understand the lady giving you the evil eye -- RPP provides 2 hours parking for a non-resident, and as a non-CC resident, you were taking advantage of the current broad latitude in the program.

by Sally on Jul 21, 2014 11:09 pm • linkreport

@Tina. I had no idea you have to leave 3 feet. I once got a ticket for parking between two cars which were both at meters. I made sure that neither had expired--and I thought I was just making good use of the extra space. But the meter writer did not see it that way.

by JimT on Jul 21, 2014 11:15 pm • linkreport

When you do something that some people might find rude, you do have the option of just doing it and saying to yourself that it's their problem, not yours. Another possibility is to volunteer why you are doing it before anyone even objects. It's amazing how many people value the offer of the explanation.

If this is a common source of tension, it should be possible for Car2go to include an explanation that would satisfy most people and provide the address of the regulatory official responsible for their license to do this.

by JimT on Jul 21, 2014 11:23 pm • linkreport

...I mean 3 inches.

by JimT on Jul 21, 2014 11:24 pm • linkreport

Just because it's legal for Car2Go drivers to take up parking space that homeowners might reasonably expect are for their use before heading to their own property on some other street

And here's where this position falls apart - it's inherently unreasonable for someone - anyone - to expect that a public parking spot is somehow reserved for their use, or that they have a greater right to it than others. Or rather, we have codified what reasonable expectations are in the parking regulations, and getting irritated because people comply with those parking regulations is both unreasonable and silly.

I get that it's a different model of doing car rentals, making it more convenient for the drivers -- but, what makes it OK for them to take up spaces in someone else's neighborhood, rather than finding space near them? Because someone would have to pay for the parking? Huh. Go figure.

Congratulations, I couldn't draft a more perfect example of NIMBYism if I tried. "Don't park in MY neighborhood - what gives you the right? Why don't you find a place to park nearby?" Conveniently ignoring that the place to park nearby is someone else's neighborhood - so go please clutter up their street, but leave mine clear. Classic.

by dcd on Jul 22, 2014 7:29 am • linkreport

It is not so much NIMBY as it is a WhyMe? scenario.

You have a home, why don't you park the car you are using for your personal use over there, rather than in front of my house? Oh, because it's cheaper and more convenient for you to do so? And if your convenience leaves me with inconvenience, that's okay?

Oh, why me? Why me?

Also called a "Kerrigan moment".

by The Truth™ on Jul 22, 2014 7:57 am • linkreport

For which Car2go has an answer. The entire premise of saying "excuse me" is that one probably does have the right to do it, but still acknowledged that the other person had some legitimate expectations as well. Don't you ever say "ecxcuse me" to pedestrians while legally riding a bike on the side walk?

by JimT on Jul 22, 2014 9:02 am • linkreport

Classic Kerrigan reflex.

by The Truth™ on Jul 22, 2014 9:09 am • linkreport

Note to homeowners: you do not own the parking spot in front of your house! There is no "etiquette" rule stating that! And yes, I am a DC homeowner and random cars are always parked in front of my house. I never give it a second thought.

Nothing annoys me more then when I'm trying to park and everyone on the block has orange cones on the street in front of their houses. The only reason I don't move them is that I don't want my car to get keyed.

I agree with Crickey7 that this is some weird thing with older Washingtonians. I have never heard/seen anyone under the age of 55 do this.

Though I DO agree that Car2go should expand across the border, if possible.

by Jamie on Jul 22, 2014 9:47 am • linkreport

There is courtesy needed/ involved in parking, especially if there's snowfall and somebody just spent hours digging a location out.

by asffa on Jul 22, 2014 9:58 am • linkreport

There is courtesy needed/ involved in parking, especially if there's snowfall and somebody just spent hours digging a location out.

I'm gonna hazard a guess and say that this note, received the other day, was not related to someone taking the time to shovel out a parking space.

The houses in this neighborhood are large enough that a Car2Go and a regular-sized car can both park in front of each house. People in other neighborhoods don't expect a parking space directly in front of their house.

by MLD on Jul 22, 2014 10:05 am • linkreport

The prior comments re possible motivations for parking curmudgeons (convenience, concern about perceived neighborhood value) make a lot of sense.

But some Shepherd Park residents don't seem to need any of these semi-understandable tangible motivations to let their rude-and-entitled flag fly. I don't even care that much about the actual parking, but the pointless hostility is what bugs me.

My experience being confronted by a Shepherd Park resident involved parking a brand new car, during summertime, in front of a residence with its own private 2 car driveway (neighboring houses had driveways & garages), on a street with no zone restrictions at that time. The lack of any normal adult restraint in the tantrum was so baffling, my jaw was pretty much on the pavement until she stormed off.

I can only guess some of these elderly Shepherd Park residents find what few jollies they can out of getting ugly and defending their perceived parking privilege from the Silver Spring plebs, and don't necessarily need anything tangible at stake to motivate them. There was definitely a flavor of "yewwww PEOPLE" contempt in the rant.

People up and down that block would also stop and confront joggers and walkers they believed might be from Silver Spring (sometimes they were right and sometimes they were wrong), to aggressively demand whether they'd parked in the area. When zone restrictions were first implemented, they'd phone parking enforcement and stand in their front lawns applauding as the tickets were dealt. Geez, if you're going to be like that, go live in a gated community already.

by MAL on Jul 22, 2014 11:19 am • linkreport

Sometimes we do this ourselves, to go to a restaurant (like the sushi place on East-West Highway), by parking on a street abutting Eastern Ave. and walking up Sligo Mill Road.

... and to go to Parkway Deli on Grubb Road, but parking on a different neighborhood street in DC.

When there was a joint valerie ervin-muriel bowser meeting on parking issues in South Silver Spring/DC I got into an argument with someone about car2go vehicles then.

by Richard Layman on Jul 22, 2014 5:00 pm • linkreport

recyclist -- do you not understand how car2go works? All members have access to the cars? Some might live in Maryland. By there being more members, car2go provides more cars. We've picked up cars in that area, after doing stuff in South Silver Spring.

2. what does it mean when I use a car in San Diego or Seattle, but I live in DC? Should I be banned from using it?

3. When I got in the argument with the Shepherd Park resident, I probably made the point that (1) the cars are a kind of "trust"--networked consumption--for members who are mostly DC residents and (2) that car owners shouldn't have more privilege to use the street spaces and (3) car2go pays far more for access to the street parking than do residents, thereby generating revenue for the city.

wrt the last point, it's why it'll be hard to expand the system beyond DC, because for free movement between all the jurisdictions, likely they'd want equally high payments. It would result in having to triple the fee per minute, to $1.20+

by Richard Layman on Jul 22, 2014 5:05 pm • linkreport

JimT -- great idea about the bumper sticker. It reminds me of the stickers on trucks that say how much they pay in taxes. I can't seem to find a photo example though.

Sally -- the problem you perceive with RPP has long been seen as a benefit by users. I remember a meeting wrt the redistricting of ward 6 and ward 2 in Shaw after the 2010 census and a prominent ANC commissioner complaining that the residents would lose their ability to park in Georgetown.

When I first moved to DC, my little part of H St. was in Ward 2, which meant a permit was good for Dupont Circle and Georgetown, and don't think that people didn't take advantage of it.

your point though about transit etc. is absolutely right, except that we don't have a kind of intra-neighborhood transit system that facilitates such trips.

by Richard Layman on Jul 22, 2014 5:20 pm • linkreport

Hey, if this car2go situation bothers you, try out this scenario: I live on a quaint little street near 16th and U. Recently some neighbors pushed through restricted parking. One side of street is restricted 24/7 to zone 1/2; the other side is restricted to 2 hours up to midnight 7 days per week unless you have the residential permit. They did this because there was not enough parking on the street for residents. Now mind you, most of the residents have rear parking but certain ones like to park on the street and in front of their house in "their" spot. How do I know? I have actually seen at least two of the neighbors take time to go move their cars from a spot adjacent to their house to right in front of their house when the spot opens up. For the life of me I cannot understand this concept but they do think they are entitled to "their" spot even though they have a hassle free spot behind their homes. Go figure.

by Watching You on Jul 22, 2014 10:11 pm • linkreport

I live in DC 2 block from US Capitol and we have our parking foes and I too "resent" outsiders and I too prefer to park in front of my house Heck if I could make a special/private red carpet path from my car to my front entrance I would do it... but it's a city living and NO ONE owns the street so if a car is legally parked (or to the joy of the meter maids ILLEGALLY parked) no one can complain and the person who wrote the note should move to the subs somewhere. BTW while I don't find these car particularly attractive they are fun and eco - friendly. I net the person who wrote this is the same one complaining about climate change and encouraging "green city".
Finally DC is an vibrant - young city (I am a resident for over 20 yrs) we don't need these kind of residents !!

by mm on Jul 23, 2014 9:57 am • linkreport

While putting a nasty note on the windshield may be a bit much I can definitely understand the frustration. I live in a 'border' community and people routinely leave Car2Go vehicles parked in front of my house. While not being able to park my own car in front of my house is frustrating (granted I realize it is not a given 'right' of home ownership) my frustration lies more with the company itself since they will leave the car out there indefinitely. I had to call Car2Go a couple of times after a car was just left out from for over a week since no one needed it. Perhaps if the company made it a point to remove the cars when they realize they're parked in a heavily residential area there'd be less frustration

by crystal on Jul 23, 2014 12:43 pm • linkreport

@Crystal: that makes no sense to me. If it was a random Toyota Corolla, say, with the necessary residential permit, that was on your block for a week, would you feel a need to call someone? How bizarre.

by LowHeadways on Jul 23, 2014 12:48 pm • linkreport

@LowHeadways if it was a car that wasn't any of my neighbors then yes. Like one of the posters mentioned above it's a neighborhood respect thing. I've had neighbors politely ask me to move my car if I'm in front of their house for longer than a day and I'm not offended at all - I completely understand where they're coming from.

by crystal on Jul 23, 2014 1:55 pm • linkreport

I don't even use car2go but after seeing all this, I really want to rent one and just park it in front of some bitchy NIMBY's home just to get my kicks! Seriously what is wrong with these people?! The street in front of your home DOES NOT belong to you, nor do you have any exclusive rights to it! Welcome to life in an ever-expanding urban sprawl! If you want to have a driveway in front of your home, move further out!

by Matt on Jul 23, 2014 2:51 pm • linkreport

@Matt...spoken like a renter with no car. Pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for where you live, plus annual property taxes, and maybe you'll understand what the homeowners above are complaining about.

by Homeowner on Jul 23, 2014 3:03 pm • linkreport

Pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for where you live, plus annual property taxes, and maybe you'll understand what the homeowners above are complaining about. Not having enough money to buy the house next door that has a driveway?

by worthing on Jul 23, 2014 3:55 pm • linkreport

I propose a scientific experiment. Park new BMWs and beat-up Corollas in front of the same houses and see if they get the same number of complaints.

My hypothesis is that "outsiders" driving BMWs get fewer complaints.

by Ben Ross on Jul 23, 2014 4:07 pm • linkreport

@Matt: +1

@Homeowner: it would be cool if I could afford to! But as long as NIMBYs are opposed to "strange" cars on their blocks - much less significantly increasing the supply of housing - I don't know that I'll ever be able to.

by LowHeadways on Jul 23, 2014 4:11 pm • linkreport

If you log onto their website you can see the GPSed locations of the cars. There are none in Shepherd park and only about 3 within a few blocks at the moment. I suspect it's the same thing in other areas. So basically a mountain out of a mole hill.

by BTA on Jul 23, 2014 4:13 pm • linkreport

Also you're ignoring the obvious reason they might be there. You're neighbors that are carless or car light are using them.

by BTA on Jul 23, 2014 4:14 pm • linkreport

OT but some local city neighborhoods have put prohibitions on how much of their yards can be used to create parking.

by asffa on Jul 23, 2014 4:26 pm • linkreport

@Sally (cc: Richard Layman)

You may not have intended it, but you make a perfect argument why RPP zones should be a lot smaller than their current ward-ward parking eligibility. The purpose of RPP is so that a resident can find parking reasonably near his/her home. It is not intended as a windfall, for example, to permit a Van Ness resident to park "for hours" for free on a residential street in Chevy Chase to patronize restaurants, movies, do errands, etc. That's what transit, commercial parking and meters are for. Similarly, someone it defeats the purpose of RPP when a Spring Valley resident can drive and park all day for free near a Conn. Ave. metro stop, when nearby residents can't find parking. Clearly you were within present legal rights to park for a long time on Morrison St, but I can sort of understand the lady giving you the evil eye -- RPP provides 2 hours parking for a non-resident, and as a non-CC resident, you were taking advantage of the current broad latitude in the program.

I mean, I don't necessarily disagree with the notion that parking zones need to be smaller, but this quickly becomes a "No True Scotsman" slippery slope, where the circle of who qualifies as a 'local' entitled to unlimited parking in a particular space shrinks ever-further until we're left with individuals believing they have exclusive right to the curb space adjacent to their house.

So, who gets to park in front of the lady's house on Morrison Street? If "anyone in Ward 3" is too big, should it be only those living in ANC 3/4G? Only those living in 3G05 and 3G06? Or just in the SMD in which the house is located? Or perhaps only those who live on Morrison Street? Or just those on the block?

As Richard points out, many view the wide zone as a feature, not a bug. Certainly many residents enjoy using their RPP to park on the streets near commercial locations; they just dislike it when others in their Ward respond in kind. Live by the broad RPP, die by the broad RPP.

FWIW, I do prefer to take the bus up to Chevy Chase, but L2 headways on weekends are criminally bad.

by Dizzy on Jul 23, 2014 4:41 pm • linkreport

The irony is that the residents of the least crowded parking streets are the most protective. There is a tipping point at which no resident has any reasonable expectation of reserving the parking in front of their house.

by Crickey7 on Jul 23, 2014 5:03 pm • linkreport

On a WPFW talkshow I heard a discussion between several people including an independent candidate for council complaining about the unfairness that as residents of wards 7 and 8, they can not park on U Street even though they are tax-paying residents of the city, while other people who live in that ward can do so. Perhaps it is a bit unfair that people in the favored quarter also get to park their car there while people east of the river can not.

by JimT on Jul 23, 2014 6:17 pm • linkreport

I live Shepherd Park, but not on a block that is affected by this situation. I think the note was pretty rude, but what hasn't been mentioned here is that that part of Eastern Ave was already pretty much besieged by Silver Spring apartment dwellers parking on the DC side of the line "for free". It takes a lot of effort to get MPD to come out and ticket diligently. Now on top of that, you have Silver Spring residents legally parking C2Go vehicles on DC streets. How many times can you come home at night and not be able to find a space anywhere near your home and not have the frustration boil over?

The solution is that C2Go users should be able to park their cars where they live and not just concentrate them all on a few unfortunate blocks.

by hoos30 on Jul 24, 2014 11:03 am • linkreport

It's not entirely accurate that the "home area" is all of DC except the Mall. A large swath of NE DC isn't in the home area.

http://washingtondc.car2go.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/DC_HomeAreaMap_Web.pdf

by LKA on Jul 24, 2014 11:04 am • linkreport

@ hoos30:

You may not be aware of this, but those Shepherd Park people on the DC side of Eastern Ave have their own private driveways that are accessed from the alleyway that runs behind their houses parallel to Eastern Ave. Most if not all of these houses have not one but two parking spaces back there (some have garages and others simply have parking pads.)

by MAL on Jul 24, 2014 11:16 am • linkreport

A few thoughts:
-Hahaha.
-"Get off my lawn!" Except it's not your lawn.
-So glad to not own a car & have to worry about any of this.
-I'd be happy to have a steady supply of Car2Go cars near my place.
-Conventions are not laws, and convenient cheap parking in a transit rich city is not a priority; in fact it's the opposite of what we should be doing.

@LKA,
Those excluded areas are parks. Car2Go doesn't want people parking the vehicles within large parks, where they'd be very hard to access.

by TransitSnob on Jul 24, 2014 11:20 am • linkreport

@Transitsnob - No, they aren't all parks. That area in yellow above and below Benning Road? Those are neighborhoods. That's half of Kingman Park, all of Carver Langston, and part of Trinidad.

by LKA on Jul 24, 2014 11:24 am • linkreport

@MAL:

Some, but not all. I haven't surveyed those blocks on Eastern, but on my block further south, roughly half of the homeowners have parking in the rear of their homes.

by hoos30 on Jul 24, 2014 11:41 am • linkreport

@Homeowner: Non-property-owners have had the franchise in this country for about 200 years. Also, owning is actually cheaper than renting for many people in this city (including myself, speaking as a homeowner). Furthermore, nobody owns street parking -- all of us rent it, so stop any pretense of asserting "ownership" privilege.

Car2Go users, via the service, pay a LOT for the privilege of temporarily parking on city streets. If splashing out lots of capital means that someone "deserves" to use space, then it's Car2Go users, not homeowners who might have inherited a beater car and a rundown shack, who "deserve" that space.

by Payton Chung on Jul 24, 2014 1:21 pm • linkreport

@Homeowner:
I paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for where I live, plus annual property taxes. But, I live on a street where parking is allowed on only one side of the street, and my house is on the no-parking side. So, when I need to park on the street (say, expecting a delivery in my shared driveway), I can't park in front of my house. I often need to park a few houses over in one direction or another. Should I not be allowed to park on the street?

But, I live in "the suburbs" (Takoma Park), not in the even more suburban parts of the District, so maybe my experience isn't relevant. Oh, and just for the record, I don't park Car2Go cars in Shepherd Park...

And speaking of permit parking, Takoma Park has the same number of parking zones as DC, with only, what, 1/30th of the land area? DC's permit zones are absurdly large.

by EMD on Jul 24, 2014 3:54 pm • linkreport

No sympathy. I do not understand their point of view. It is never rude to park legally on a public street. Streets are public space. Nobody deserves a parking space on the street. And no, the "ideal solution" is not expanding the Car 2 Go area; the ideal solution is for rude residents to stop feeling entitled to exclusive use of public space.

by massysett on Jul 25, 2014 3:37 pm • linkreport

@LKA - the large swath of NE to which you refer is the USDA National Arboretum. The home area is practically all of DC except for parkland such as the Arboretum, National Mall, Potomac Park, Fort Dupont Park, and Rock Creek Park.

by massysett on Jul 25, 2014 3:40 pm • linkreport

@massyett. NO IT ISN'T. Lordy day, it's like you people can't read a damn map. Yes, the Arboretum is PART of that yellow swath in NE. But the arboretum stops at M St NE, it does NOT go further south than that, and it certainly doesn't touch Benning Road.

by LKA on Jul 25, 2014 3:56 pm • linkreport

I actually am guilty of doing this. I live in Mount Rainier, and typically park a Car2Go right on the edge (you cant park on Eastern Avenue, so you have to park partially a block in). Beacuse of the way the street is blocked (a quarter miel long bus zone - no kidding) - the last house on the block in DC constantly has 2-4 Car2Gos in front of it. Fortunately it has a driveway, but quite honestly, I would be really irked. Not because out of town residents are parking in my car, but beacuse something that's commercially used has drawn their zone boundaries in such a way that it disordinately puts all the impact RIGHT on a few homeonwners. That's a lot different than buying a house next to a metro station and then complaining about density - it's about a private company's zone policy decisions having an impact that wasnt intended at all.

(there is a DC/MD differential here - but both Mount Rainier, MDand Woodridge, DC are steady, middle class neighborhoods that are mostly homeowners). But most of the Mount Rainier users are those without cars or those making a late night return when bus transit service has dropped off.

by BC on Jul 25, 2014 11:05 pm • linkreport

Take a walk around Shepherd Park, and you'll see that there is no parking shortage. Yes, it is possible that you may not be able to always park in front of your house, but Shepherd Park is not Colombia Heights or other parking-starved parts of the city.

I'm inclined to believe that this person has an issue with people in Silver Spring in general (or young people that don't look exactly like her), and doesn't like the thought of non-residents walking around Shepherd Park. We also hear complaints about people walking dogs through Shepherd Park, as if the streets and side walks aren't public (and in our nation's capital to boot!).

The residents of Shepherd Park tend to be older and less friendly than some other areas, and this note may just be a reflection of that. "What are these new fangled car thingies blocking my view of the street!"

by Patrick Thornton on Jul 26, 2014 11:39 pm • linkreport

Reading all this makes me glad I live on a street (in Fairfax County, so of course it's different from DC) where both sides of the street are fire lanes denoted with yellow curbs, so the issue never arises. I can't help but shake my head at the attitude of entitlement, though. When I was growing up, we regularly visited my relatives in Brooklyn (Bay Ridge; you may know it as the neighborhood where large parts of "Saturday Night Fever" were filmed) and nobody there ever would have dreamed of suggesting you have some sort of "claim" to the space in front of your house. The furthest this sort of thing ever went was that it's accepted practice to stand in a space for a family member who's moving a car up the block. (Now, alternate-side parking etiquette? That's a whole different animal....)

But I have a question regarding driveways. I seem to remember within the past few years the Post had a bunch of articles about DC claiming it's illegal to park a car in the driveway in front of your house. As a general principle I think if you have a garage at the end of that driveway, it's absurd to fill the garage with plastic kids' toys and cardboard boxes while parking a car outside. On the other hand, as long as you don't block the sidewalk, it's no skin off my nose (sidewalk-blocking is a big problem in my neighborhood when people try to park two cars one behind the other in driveways that aren't big enough). Either way, though, if a house has a driveway but no garage (which does happen), and if DC will give someone a ticket for parking in the driveway, then I kind of understand why people would get frustrated with non-residents taking up the on-street parking. Maybe instead of leaving nasty notes directed at people who are parking legally, the aggrieved parties should petition the city to change the permit system!

by Rich on Jul 28, 2014 3:28 pm • linkreport

This all reminds me of the old days when double parking for churches was completely accepted. I'm like, no, just because you are going to church doesn't mean you get to block traffic, or worse, block people in, which happened to me a few times. Seems like the same mind-set.

by dupontred on Jul 29, 2014 5:23 pm • linkreport

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