D.C. council to vote on residential parking proposal

A vote that could come down from D.C. Council as early as Tuesday could make parking in the District a little more difficult for residents.

"...a war on motorists, a war on cars, a war on the urban lifestyle," AAA's John Townsend exclaimed.

The parking proposal would allow developers to build housing without the promise of parking and even let the city deny those new residents a zoned residential parking permit, which allows drivers to park longer than the two hours posted on signs.

Townsend said, "This is not the right approach. It's wrong headed, it's ridiculous, and in a lot of ways, it's mean spirited."

"We pay taxes to D.C., and I think it's our right to park there," added D.C. resident Catherine Thompson.

With more high density construction breaking ground in the city, the influx of people is forcing the District to further examine growth issues like parking, which could mean those $35 a year residential parking permits will become more expensive, street parking rates may vary by demand and guest parking passes could come with a fee.

According to officials, D.C.'s population is growing by about 1000 people per month, but car registrations have remained flat. Transit options, like Metro and bike share, are responsible, in part, for that statistic.

D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells, (D) Ward 6, said, "If we are going to grow at the rate we are growing and everyone owns cars, you won't be able to go one inch in the District in an hour."

The city planning department says only 65 percent of homes in D.C. have a car, and requiring space for parking at a new construction project makes homes more expensive.

"If you want to pay for parking, you want to have a car, you can absolutely have that, but you aren't forced to subsidize the parking space if you don't have a car," D.C. Panning Director Harriet Tregoning explained.

Meaning the D.C. of the future could be pay to park.