Apollo Gonzales, a Capitol Hill listserv poster is upset his neighborhood wasn’t warned that a portion of 18th Street SE would be lined with “No Parking” signs come inauguration-time.

Upon first spotting the signs on Jan. 16, Gonzales was completely perplexed:

“Can someone explain to me why Emergency No Parking signs went up today on both sides of 18th SE north of Mass and south of Independence? They are randomly placed up and down both sides of the street. Does this mean that from today until the 23rd, when the city is more crowded than ever in history, I’m gonna have to go somewhere else to find parking?”

The resident soon figured out that despite 18th St. SE not being mentioned on a DC government Web page that spells out parking restrictions and road closures for the inaug…yes, he would have to find alternative parking. He writes in another post:

“I called 311 and they say there is nothing that can be done at this point, and that there will be need for charter bus space, [so] those signs will likely be enforced. I’m pretty upset that the neighborhood was never notified…”

Replying, poster Sarah Becker wondered if “DDOT messed up and put the signs on the wrong streets?”

The question of whether a mistake had been made was put to rest once Ward 6 Outreach and Service Specialist Chris Taylor joined the conversation. He told the listserv: “This was a street just added by Secret Service, not in the original plan. I apologize for the inconvenience.”

Gonzales fired back:

“Chris, I know you are just doing your job, but the best you can do is say you apologize for the inconvenience? Do you know how many cars park on that street from Potomac to East Capitol Hill where signs were put up? Why don’t you walk down that street and count. Do you know how many residents this impacts? From people who park close to home because of their disabilities to the folks who left their cars parked and left town to avoid the next few days. It is outrageous that residents were not provided with any warning, and are now reading in the paper that cars will be ticket[ed] and towed! With all the other street closures in the neighborhood where do you propose we move our cars?You are putting the interests of commercial charter bus services before the NEEDS of the citizens on this city and neighborhood.”

Another poster, Frank Zampatori, offered that Taylor shouldn’t worry, the parking conflict was already being creatively resolved:

“On Sunday evening I noticed some folks (I believe residents or maybe Secret Service employees or maybe employees from EOM or maybe employees from [D]DOT) tearing down some of the emergency no parking signs on 18th St. SE. No need to trouble yourself Mr. Taylor…”

Gonzales says that as of tonight there are still cars parked on the street.

Photo by Aaron Escobar