Logan Circle Parking Problems

A Blog designed to bring to the attention of our political leaders the problems of illegal church parking

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Logan Circle Residents Ask Why the Delay?

Mr. Mayor:

We understand that you have once again delayed enforcement of parking regulations against church parishioners for 4 months while a new task force studies the issue, thereby once again breaking the city's promises to local residents and providing greater benefits to out-of-town parishioners and tax-exempt organizations than your local constituents (tax-paying DC residnets).

In this regard, we would like to ask the following:

1) Why is the city creating a new task force when the issue has already been studied for 4 months by a task force of city officials (including police, ANC members and DDOT), church leaders, and residents? Isn't this a blatant disregard of the work and agreements of that task force? Given that your office and the acting DDOT director have gone out of your way to meet on many occasions with local church leaders to discuss this issue but have refused every request to meet with local residents or even have the courtesy to respond to our December 2005 petition that initially raised the issue, will the task force take into account the views of and include participation by affected local residents ... or are the views of churches your only concern?

2) Isn't your office and the Executive Branch violating separation of powers requirements by disregarding lawfully enacted regulations by the DC legislature?

3) Isn't your office violating the separation of church and state requirements and engaging in blatant discrimination by providing this benefit (the right to literally disregard lawfully enacted parking regulations) to a single, select religious group (churches) while actively ticketing and enforcing these same regulations around synagogues, temples and other non-church religious institutions in the city?

4) How do you justify allowing parishioners at Logan churches ... approximately 80% of whom are admittedly not DC residents ... to disregard parking regulations afer residents, DDOT and church leaders have created over 150 new parking spaces in the community for use by parishioners, have extended the DC Circulator, and have begun making arrangements for the use of a local high school's parking lot by parishioners? How is this justified when this morning over 50 "sunday-only" parking spaces sat completely vacant just 2 blocks away from these churches while parishioners continued to park illegally?

5) How do you justify disregard of the safety and welfare of local residents created by the blocking of fire hydrants, intersections, cross-walks, driveways, and so forth by parishioners? Is convenient parking less than 2 blocks from church more important than the health and safety of your constituents?

6) This morning, Dee Hunter -- a neighboring ANC commissioner -- parked his car (DC license plate 338) on a striped, no parking zone (right below a large no-parking sign) at the corner of 12th Street and Vermont Avenue and then placed an "Official Government Business" sign in his window before going to church services. This area just before the intersection is clearly marked as a no-parking zone to provide safety and allow a clear line of sight for on-coming traffic from the intersecting roadway. The fact that a government official would blatantly disregard the safety of our residents and misuse his government status to find closer parking for a personal activity such as going to church is unjustifiable. The fact that he would do this when he sat on the ad-hoc committee addressing this problem and is therefore well aware that parking is legal and plentiful only 2 blocks away is shameful! Is it the policy of your administration that government officials may disregard city laws and abuse their power while engaging in personal activities?

Your prompt response will be greatly appreciated.

Logan Residents for Equitable Enforcement of Parking Regulations

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