As Snow Melts and Offices Reopen, Parking Wars Heat Up

by Sean Meehan January 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm 2 Comments

Snow covered cars parked on the Hill (Photo by Jessica Estepa)With schools and government offices open today for the first time this week, the battle over savesies – blocking or reserving a street parking space that you dug out – is starting to get uglier in the Capitol Hill area.

Hill resident Nathan Bergman stoked the flames of the age-old savesies debate with a 96-word note he left on a spot in front of his home. In the note, Bergman explained the work he put in to clear the space and vowed to bury any space-stealers with the snow that he removed.

Responses to Bergman’s note were varied. Some pointed to Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s comments that saving parking spaces is not allowed in the District. However, judging by the amount of lawn chairs and empty trash cans parked around the Capitol Hill area, a lot of people disagree with the law.

ANC 6B commissioner Denise Krepp shared a photo this morning of another sign in Hill East asking people not to park in a cleared spot. The sign was posted on a target practice sheet in a possible attempt to intimidate potential parkers. Krepp removed the sign and implored residents to dig out peacefully.

The debate isn’t only playing out on Capitol Hill streets – Washington City Paper ran a pro-savesies story today, arguing that District residents should respect “dibs.” The Washington Post took a more neutral approach, talking to residents whose dibs weren’t honored and noting that elsewhere on the East Coast, the battle over parking often gets much nastier than it is here.

Drivers aren’t the only people trying to return to normalcy as the snow melts, though. Capital Bikeshare crews have been working to clear stations around the Capitol Hill area and the rest of the District.

DC Water is also attempting to make conditions better, or at least drier, for pedestrians by urging residents to clear catch basins and drains along streets so that melting snow and slush doesn’t pool along sidewalks.

However, there are still some areas around the Hill that haven’t been cleared at all. This morning, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen tweeted that many parks on Capitol Hill are federal lands owned by the National Park Service. Allen said he has urged NPS to clear the parks multiple times with no response and is now asking the DC volunteer snow team if it can help.



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