Here's the text of a letter sent from Councilmember Charles Allen to DC Department of Transportation Director Lott:
August 18, 2021
Director Everett Lott
District Department of Transportation 250 M Street, S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Director Lott:
I am writing today to express concerns I have heard from residents about implementation of the ParkDC online system for visitor parking permits. While I agree that, in the long-run, moving toward an online system will be more efficient, I think that, at least in the short-term, the District Department of Transportation (“DDOT”) needs to extend the Annual Visitor Parking Pass through the end of this calendar year and offer an alternative for residents who are unable to navigate the pilot system.
As I have heard from residents in Ward 6 who have been part of the ParkDC pilot and who are now trying to navigate the permanent system, they have raised two main concerns. First, and most importantly, not everyone has a printer at home, which raises real equity concerns. I understand there are some options to print in public spaces, like libraries and the kiosks at police stations, but many residents don’t have time to go to these locations. Second, the ParkDC system, for those who, per my first point, can’t easily print a permit, makes it difficult for residents who need to provide a visitor pass for friends and family visiting on short notice. The annual hard copy visitor pass is much more convenient for those short-notice visits, and for guests like contractors or home health aides or any other visitor who may come for a portion of a day on a regular schedule.
Given these concerns, I urge DDOT to consider alternatives to the ParkDC online system as your staff continues to iron out implementation. I believe that for many residents the new system may be easier to navigate and more convenient, but that will not be true for all residents. While I appreciate that DDOT has allowed 2020 annual visitor parking permits to be effective until September 30, 2021 as DDOT transitioned to the ParkDC online system, I recommend that DDOT consider extending those permits through the end of the calendar year. I also believe DDOT should consider whether some residents could request a hard copy annual visitor parking pass for one more year.
I would welcome an opportunity to discuss this further with you or your staff. Please feel free to reach out to me or my Chief of Staff Laura Marks at any time to schedule a time for additional discussion.
Councilmember Charles Allen, Ward 6
Chairperson, Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety Co-Chairperson, Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery
cc: Councilmember Mary M. Cheh—Chair, Committee on Transportation and the Environment Commissioner Amber Gove—Chair, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6A
Commissioner Brian Ready—Chair, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B
Commissioner Karen Wirt—Chair, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C
Commissioner Edward Daniels—Chair, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D Commissioner Rachelle Nigro—Chair, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6E