DRIVING YOU CRAZY: Confusing parking signs in the District


WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Have you ever tried to park in the District, and you just can't figure out the parking sign? Are parking tickets are driving you crazy? We know they're driving Debra Alfarone crazy too. Debra found one stretch of street in NW D.C. where parking signs are confusing, even to a reporter who regularly covers these stories.

MORE: Tell WUSA9 What Drives You Crazy About Parking Tickets

Full disclosure: Debra received a $50 parking ticket for parking on the westbound side of the 1400 block of Wisconsin Avenue. The sign she parked by reads "2 hour parking 9:30am to 4pm Monday through Friday. 7am to 6:30pm Saturday." Then below that, it reads, "No time limit parking, 6:30pm to 10pp Monday through Saturday.

We showed the sign to veteran transportation watchdog John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic. His first response, "The average person wouldn't know what that sign means."

Let's say someone wanted to park near this sign at 4:30 in the afternoon, could they? John studied the sign and conluded, "Yes." Another parker named Tim looked at it and replied, "It's confusing." That's when we met delivery man, comedian and frequent Wisconsin Avenue parker Derrick Chapman, "If you park between 4 and 6:30pm it's rush hour, so you can't park right here." Chapman pointed out another sign, hung higher on the pole, that stated "no stopping 4-6:30pm." We noted that this sign wasn't present on every pole on the street.

We pointed it out to Townsend, "It's head scratchingly confusing and baffling, no layperson would know what this sign means."

We went to the District Department of Transportation and talked to Evian Patterson who manages Parking Programs for the District. He says the sign is not confusing, "We give you time, to educate you like this report that we're doing now. We're actually are doing better signs, so that you know when you can park and when you cannot park." Patterson showed us one of those new signs. But, parker beware, Patterson points out that the signs tell you when you can park, and not when you can't.

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