D.C. parking summit: Residents share parking frustrations

About a 100 people came out to a "parking summit" hosted by the District Department of Transportation Tuesday night, and many of them say the city is making it too hard to find street parking.

"The city is doing it everything it can to make sure people like longer have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of living in the city," said Northwest resident Larry Werner.

Werner and a number of other people who came out feel the city is catering to newer, younger residents at the expense of longtime and older residents.

D.C.'s government is trying to encourage more people to walk, bike and take public transportation instead of drive.

Officials say the city is seeing 1,100 new residents a month, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to accommodate newcomers with cars.

"We can't continue to grow and be successful as a city if everybody's only option is to drive," said Sam Zimbabwe, DDOT's Associate Director for Policy and Planning.

In some cases, the city has removed parking spaces, such as on a portion of L Street, NW. Many were taken away to create a bike lane.

In other cases, the district is making it harder to park in some neighborhoods without a residential parking permit sticker. But some visitors and residents complain that makes it tough to park and visit places like churches.

"It is not possible for everyone to ride bicycles," said Greater First Baptist Church member Jacqueline Paulletta McQuillar, who walks with a cane. "The Metro is not an option for many people who have handicaps."

City council is considering adding more meters for people with disabilities to park.