The magic number is 86,193.

The D.C. Council began the process of redividing the residents of D.C. into eight wards in late September. A subcommittee made up of at-large councilmembers Elissa Silverman, Anita Bonds, and Christina Henderson will draw lines to get as close to 86,000 people into each ward as possible (plus or minus five percent). The biggest takeaway is Ward 6 will be condensed while Wards 7 and 8 will be expanded to hit the magic number. But many of those 86,000 D.C. residents come with a car. How will the new boundaries affect parking?

Henderson has submitted a bill to address this problem. She announced Wednesday that she and Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto have submitted the Rightsizing Residential Permit Parking Regulation Amendment Act of 2021. 

Under Henderson’s plan, permits would be distributed by Advisory Neighborhood Commission boundaries, rather than by ward, creating “smaller but more consistently sized zones,” she says in a statement. 

Henderson aims to take the example set by neighborhoods in Wards 1 and 4 and plan to establish 41 smaller parking zones throughout D.C. Her statement cites a study done in seven cities which found this method led to “less congestion on neighborhood streets and [keeps] enforcement consistent across a larger geographic area.”

Even though D.C. is one of the least car dependent places in the country, parking is still one of the hottest topics locally. And because parking permits are tied to ward boundaries, the redistricting process inevitably devolves into a debate about parking. During the previous redistricting process in 2011, for example, a Ward 6 neighborhood received their own Ward 6 parking privileges despite being absorbed into Ward 7.

“The redistricting process prompts a rightsizing of our wards, and it is time to do the same for our residential parking permit zones,” Henderson said in a statement. “This legislation will continue to support the purpose of the residential permit parking program—enabling residents to park near their homes—while creating a more equitable parking system for the District.” 

Traffic safety weighs heavy on the minds of elected officials and residents after four children were hit by cars this month. As of fiscal year 2019, over 358,000 cars were registered in the District—an upward trend over the past decade. With D.C.’s urban density and a focus on alternate transportation, there aren’t a lot of places to put them. 

Henderson’s plan does have equity in mind though. Her statement says following ANC rather than ward boundaries will also “strive for more focused conversations on the task at hand when it comes to redistricting—delivering equal & fair access to political representation.”

Regardless of whether you’re on the side of the gas guzzlers or the car anarchists, a balance has to be struck. D.C. may be able to call itself a carless city, but it’s still in a car dependent country. Per-usual, there isn’t an auto-solution.

Bailey Vogt (tips? bvogt@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Courtesy of Laura Waters HInson

Street Reporter Chronicles the Work and Experience of a Street Sense Photojournalist

On Monday, a bulldozer at a NoMA encampment clearing picked up a man who was […]

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus dashboard.
  • The photographer who Woody Harrelson punched at the Watergate Hotel could face charges based on witness accounts that point to the photographer as the aggressor. [NBC4]
  • One man from the District and two from Virginia will serve time in prison after running a dog fighting ring. The network of training, selling, fighting, and killing these dogs extended across the DMV and New Jersey. [WUSA9]
  • The District awards its first of eight $25,000 college scholarships to a girl in Ward 7 as part of its lottery vaccination incentive program focused on communities with high rates of vaccine hesitancy. [Post]

By Ambar Castillo and Bailey Vogt (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com and bvogt@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the public emergency to 2022. [WTOP]
  • DCHA board chair Neil Albert directed contracts to an unqualified female companion. [District Dig]
  • There are doubts about whether Mayor Bowser’s investments in affordable housing will pay off. [DC Line]

By Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Anthony Escalante

October Brings Two Recurring Filipino Pop-Ups to D.C. From Rising Local Chefs

If you wanted Filipino cuisine a decade ago, you largely had to head out to […]

Credit: District Fray Magazine

REDEYE Night Market Celebrates AAPI Resilience Through Food and Drink

D.C. will play host to a massive party celebrating East and Southeast Asian cuisine and […]

  • A fine dining restaurant is opening below a Georgetown jewelry shop. [Washingtonian]
  • Bartenders hate making you espresso martinis. [Grubstreet]

By Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Dischord House, the Home Base for Dischord Records, Turns 40

Most people acknowledge important anniversaries with some sort of celebration or fanfare. Ian MacKaye, formerly […]

  • Julia Nixon died at 66. [Washington Blade]
  • The Kennedy Center’s stagehands, part of IATSE Local 22, may strike. [Post]
  • No ZooLights this year. [DCist]

By Emma Sarappo (tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Courtesy WWE

A.J. Francis Played Football at Maryland and for the Washington Football Team. Now, He’s a Rising WWE Star.

A.J. Francis, a former Washington Football Team defensive tackle and ascendant WWE prospect, did not […]

  • The DEA investigation into Washington Football Team head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion is related to the possible distribution of prescription drugs. [ESPN]
  • The Caps play their final preseason game tonight at 7 p.m. against the Flyers. [NBC Sports Washington]

By Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here. Send tips, ideas, and comments to newsletter@washingtoncitypaper.com.

More from WCP