Logan Circle Parking Problems

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

Monday, May 01, 2006

Statement from ANC 2f Chairman Charles Reed

The ANC 2f Chairman Charles Reed answered our questions about the Logan Circle parking problem (please see previous post). To better inform the reader, here are the questions asked:

1) Do you support ticketing illegal parkers regardless of religion?
2) Do you agree with the Logan Circle solution to the church parking problem?
3) Do you agree with the Mayors stay on the Logan parking plan?
4) Would you state publicly that church members shouldnt double park and that the Mayor should reinstate the Logan parking plan?

Here is his statement, unedited, with no comments from us:
I don’t know who sent this to me, but I am happy to let anyone know my views. First, I believe that the writer has no reason to fear expressing his/her views publicly. The rally was, as I saw it (I was there) was hardly something to fear. There was some overstatement, misunderstanding, and demagoguery. There is typically an extremist element on virtually in any issue of importance. But there was also a main stream _expression of concern that the churches not be damaged by lack of parking, and those same speakers clearly acknowledged the need for the churches not to injure the residents either. I am aware that the rally was a reaction to an intemperate letter circulated on the other side of the issue.

Second, as I have said before (see the Chairman’s page on the ANC2F web site) it is important to understand the parking issue from both sides. Residents are justifiably angry at having their cars blocked in and exposing themselves to safety hazards by an apparently unconcerned and even hostile appearing set of mainly out of town parishioners. Church leaders and their parishioners often see the issue in totally different frames of reference. To them, it is nostalgia for their traditional church, it is umbrage at the rapid gentrification that has both pushed less affluent, mainly minority, residents out of an area that had been theirs for several generations. And to some, there is a Constitutional right of free exercise of religion issue.

Third, it is equally important for everybody to understand that no responsible person is urging that the parking laws not be enforced. This includes the church leaders. Their issue is only how and when, and the when becomes significant only to avoid a flight out of the churches by their distant parishioners. The residents are prepared to make reasonable accommodations to the churches, but they will not agree to a continuation of the sort of inundation that is taking place. Fortunately, in our area, this is not an insoluble problem. The church leaders at the rally—at least those that were not simply making political statements—are aware of this.

Fourth, the ANC has been very active and a constructive force in reaching solutions. Perhaps not everyone knows that the Mayor had authorized a change in the long standing tradition to avoid ticketing churchgoers cars in the area. This was the direct result of the ANC’s working with church, community and government groups. A carefully laid out plan, fully approved by the working group of which the ANC (represented by me and Commissioner Chris Dyer) was a leading member, was forged which involved (1) dedication of some 193 new parking spaces which we got DDOT to arrange by adjusting parking configurations, (2) instituting strict parking enforcement after a reasonable warning period, and (3) ongoing efforts to improve parking for the whole area, such as extending the Metro cross town connector, better bus schedules, and innovative ideas like off-duty use of government and business parking spots in the areas, etc.

Now the ANC will continue its efforts, and I believe we will succeed in greatly improving the situation. It takes patience, understanding and skill. I know that some in the community think I am not aggressive enough, or that I would be more aggressive if my own parking were not involved. Of course, my parking is involved. I have lived for the past 30 years next to the Kingman Boys and Girls Club and have the same ongoing problems with blocked cars, and more than my share of frustrations. I have no apologies for appearing less aggressive. There is a limit to the practical use of aggression. There are problems—and this is one of them—that will not be solved by power plays (from either side, despite the strong rhetoric and threats of political action last Sunday).

So, to answer the questions: 1. Yes, 2. Yes, and that solution is an ongoing one, 3. No, I would have preferred that the Mayor stick with the plan, but I understand that a part of the problem is that the enforcement action was not only scheduled for Logan Circle but for the city as a whole. Other communities were not as well prepared as we were.4. I personally am not opposed to double parking where it can be controlled and does not pose safety and convenience problems for residents, but otherwise, I certainly agree that double parking should not be permitted—by anybody. By the way, nothing has stopped the implementation of the plan to increase spaces; I think the Mayor should resume full enforcement, period.

Charles Reed


At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles Reed seems to have put himself right on the fence again. I've come to expect no less of him. So "controlled" double parking is ok otherwise it's not. Controlled by whom? Is God gonna get into the valet parking biz and make sure his/her church-goers only block each other in? Will we have the churches (fox) monitor the parking (hen-house)? Will we stretch MPD's resources or expend city-dollars via DPW/Parking Enforcement payroll to allow a private entity special parking priviledges?

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't he just write short answers to this questions? Yes, no kind of deal.

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it is umbrage at the rapid gentrification that has both pushed less affluent, mainly minority, residents out of an area that had been theirs for several generations"

Excuse me but what the District did with the landowners in SE who were in the way of the Stadium can be considered pushing. No one forced the previous inhabitants of Logan Circle out and many were paid quite handsomely. They sold themselves out in a free-market economy. That's America and it's sour grapes on their part now that they see what their ancestral stomping grounds has become.

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous loganeer said...

Emails and calls to Jack Evans caused him to grow some balls--perhaps it will work for easily replacable Reed.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually do give him some credit for answering the questions unlike some public officials

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes, what a ridiculous answer. The Constitutional right to free exercise of religion???????? What does double parking have to do with the U.S. Constitution? Does he really think people are that dumb? Vote him OUT.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reed is a bum. Guy thinks because he is a layer he knows something about constitutional law. Most lawyers know crap about the majority of legal fields except the one they practice in.


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