The Issue: How far should the city go to keep mourners from worrying about parking tickets? A bill before the D.C. Council proposes a five-hour window in which funeral attendees cannot be ticketed in residential zones – as well as the creation of designated funeral zones non-attendees can’t park in during that same time slot. But in neighborhoods like Shaw, which has more than three dozen houses of worship, some fear the legislation is impractical and could hurt business.

Mourning Should Be Exempt: Supporters say slapping parking tickets on funeralgoers’ cars is unnecessary – not to mention mean-spirited – and the bill already has a number of cosponsors. At-Large Councilman Michael Brown, who introduced the legislation, toldthe Washington Examiner: “To have to run out in the middle of a service or have to leave the service early in fear of receiving a parking violation is insensitive to this sacred event.”

But Everyone Else Still Needs to Park: “Outrageous, shocking and wacky” are the words Shaw advisory neighborhood commissioner Alex Padro uses to describe the bill. He told City Deskthat allotting five hours during the day is simply unrealistic: “People who live on the block won’t be able to park for the better part of a business day, because parking will be restricted only to the funeral. What happens [in neighborhoods like Shaw] when there’s five or six at a time?”

Next Step: Although Padro doesn’t believe the legislation will pass in its current form, he says he will be talking to other commissioners to formulate a response. He might support reducing the time window to one hour. The hearing for the legislation has not yet been scheduled.

Photo of the parking sign on Feb. 24, 2009 by Aldrin Muya, Creative Commons Attribution License