If you’re looking to free up a few parking spaces to do some construction work, getting official “Emergency No Parking” signs is no big deal. You head on down to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) headquarters at the Reeves Center a few days beforehand, fill out a few forms, and walk out with your placards.
Apparently, that’s still too much hassle for somebody in Foggy Bottom.
Temporary no-parking signs on the 1100 block of 24th Street NW have been changed by construction crews, says Michael Malloy, editor of a neighborhood newsletter. “They’ve been doing it for a while,” he says, “but now it’s just getting out of control.” Malloy says the signs are put up on short notice—less than the required 72 hours—and altered whenever construction crews deem it necessary. “It’s probably just a construction crew saying, ‘No one will complain,’” Malloy says, discussing a sign that was originally marked to expire June 25 and has been changed to June 30.
Just exactly who’s doing the creative editing, though, remains unclear. An employee of Bovis Lend Lease who operates a construction site on the block, says his crew isn’t the problem. He blames the city, the Department of Public Works (DPW) in particular, for the altered signs—and a big hassle. Though Bovis workers can’t park vehicles on the east side of the street, no maintenance is currently being done. “The signs have been up for three days and no trucks have been there,” he says.
“I haven’t heard anything about the issue,” says DPW spokesperson Mary Myers. She points out that her agency does not handle any sidewalks or street maintenance and referred questions about the signs to DDOT, which could not respond to an inquiry by press time*. “DPW does not issue any signs, ‘No Parking’ or otherwise.…[People] say DPW, but they mean DDOT.”
Malloy isn’t buying the excuses, either. “I’m 90 percent sure it’s not a city crew,” he says.
ADDENDUM, 6/29, 1:05 P.M.: Late yesterday, DDOT spokesperson Erik Linden said that his agency had not placed the signs. Linden said that Washington Gas was working in the area and might be the culprit. However, a Washington Gas spokesperson, Janet Davis, also denied responsibility. “As far as I know, we have no scheduled work in that area,” she said.