We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Outraged motorists have often compared the city’s parking-ticket writers to an army of occupation. Now, le resistance. The District of Columbia Drivers Association (DCDA) is hoping to unite the ticketed populace into a political lobby that will pressure the city for more and cheaper parking spaces. As an alternative to moaning and paying, DCDA also offers a hot line with tips on beating tickets and a lawyer on retainer to handle major cases. But those benefits are available only to members, who pay $15 a year (to DCDA, P.O. Box 53119, Washington, DC 20009). To recruit members, DCDA uses a familiar technique—the pink slip under the windshield wiper. “THIS IS NOT A PARKING TICKET” read the flyers, which look just like the real thing. The pamphlets exaggerate the size of the enemy: DCDA claims that “two hundred or so” ticket writers work the street (actually, it’s fewer than 100); DCDA says the city earns $110 million in parking-ticket revenue annually (real figure: about $60 million); DCDA claims that “almost six million” parking tickets are written each year (in truth, around 2.3 million). This exaggeration may scare more drivers into DCDA’s camp, but is it necessary? There are plenty of victims already.