Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ROSA, RPP, Guest Passes: It's Complicated (Part II)

This article is a continuation of yesterday's discussion of the conflicts between the ROSA, Reciprocity, and RPP Guest Pass parking programs.  If you missed yesterday's article (which explains all the acronyms), it's here.

Can a guest of a DC resident park legally on a street zoned for RPP (Residential Permit Parking) more than once in a 30-day period? William Howland, Director of the Department of Public Works, says no, and says that anyone who does so may be slapped with a $100 ticket. But according to former ANC 3-C Commissioner Richard Rothblum, Howland is misreading the law.

[The first paragraph of Howland's letter concerns an individual case and has been omitted.]
From: Howland, William (DPW)
Subject:  Ticket on Guest Parking Permit?
The Residential Parking Program (RPP) requires vehicles to have a Zone parking permit (ie; Zone 1 or Zone 8) to park in certain areas of the city. If the vehicle does not have the appropriate Zone parking permit that vehicle can only park in that Zone for a maximum of 2 hours that day.

Residents can acquire a Visitors Pass from MPD for a period of 15 days (it may be 30 days). Vehicles with a Visitors Pass will have the same privileges as a vehicle with the appropriate RPP Zone Permit. Parking Officers enforce this regulation by observing vehicles that do not have the appropriate RPP permit. They will log in the license plate number of the vehicle into their handheld computer, the time the data entry is made is automatically noted. The Parking Officer will come back two hours later. If the vehicle is still there the Parking Officer will issue the ticket. A ticket cannot be generated for a RPP violation unless the vehicle tag was entered into the handheld at least two hours earlier.

The Registration of Out of State Automobiles requires a resident to register their vehicle 30 days after moving into the District of Columbia. DPW enforces this regulation at night between the hours of 10:30 pm and 7:00 am, Sunday through Thursday. It is not enforced on Friday or Saturday night. Parking Officers drive through residential areas and observe vehicles with out of state licenses plate. The first time the vehicle is observed it is logged into our database. The second time it is observed (after 15 days) a warning ticket is issued. The third time it is observed (after a second 15 days) the vehicle is issued a $100 ticket and each time it is observed after that.

For example if the vehicle is observed on November 1st, the vehicle would be logged into the database. If the vehicle is observed again after November 15th a warning ticket will be issued to the vehicle. If the vehicle is observed a third time after November 30th the vehicle will receive a $100 ticket.
If the vehicle owner is not a resident they can acquire an exemption from ROSA enforcement by going to DMV. They will need to show proof of residency outside of DC by providing a mortgage or lease agreement. Once a vehicle has been given a ROSA exemption, DPWs Parking Officer will not issue a ticket when the vehicle is observed.

It is important to note that a Visitors Pass does not exempt a vehicle form ROSA enforcement. I want to point out that DPW receives over 2,500 calls per month for more aggressive parking enforcement. These two infractions are the #1 and #2 request for additional enforcement.

I have included a link below that will provide additional information.

William O. Howland, Jr.
Director, Department of Public Works
To which Richard Rothblum, a former ANC commissioner, replies:
Mr. Howland: I don't understand why someone would get a ticket or have to have a reciprocity tag if they do not park overnight on 30 consecutive days. The information posted on the DC Government web site referenced by you says, in pertinent part, "Automobiles housed in the District of Columbia for 30 consecutive days are required to be registered and display a valid DC inspection sticker and tags when parked or operated on public space." That is 30 CONSECUTIVE days. Not "more than once in a 30 day period." The 30 consecutive day restriction is a lot more reasonable. Someone who parks overnight for 30 consecutive days is likely someone who is basically living in DC but not registering his car. Someone who only parks overnight twice in a 30 day period is likely to be a legitimate visitor and not to live in DC. Agreed that the 30 consecutive day restriction may be a lot harder to enforce properly, but that is not a reason to twist the law.

 It seems it’s a case of law vs. law – and if that’s right, only the DC Council can straighten this out.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Peggy.
    Is the letter from DPW Rowland public record, or is it simply a personal correspondence?
    I ask, because I am in the processes of appealing a "failure to secure DC tags" citation that I received approx 9 months ago. Although I am a VA resident, I frequently parked outside of my girlfriend's apartment.
    During my adjudication, I decided not to present evidence demonstrating that I was a VA resident and exempt from the registration requirement, because I felt that the DC govt lacked sufficient evidence to prove a violation, for the precise reason discussed by Mr. Rothblum. I'm presently appealing to the Traffic Adjudication Appeals Board, and since the enforcement scheme discussed by DPW Rowland in his letter was the basis for finding me liable, I would like to be able to reference it, assuming it is public record. I can contact you via email if you can discuss further.