D.C. Eliminates Street Parking for Capitals Games

Posted January 23, 2010

When I arrived in Chinatown for the Capitals game this evening, I discovered D.C.’s new parking policies. Apparently meters all over the city have been changed to now require payment on Saturdays, and late into the evening. The spaces I normally park in were previously free on weekends and after 6:30 pm. So now I’ll need to pay on Saturdays, and until 10 pm, no big deal right? Wrong.

The issue is that the meters are all 2-Hour parking zones. With your average hockey game lasting 2.5 hours, and tacking on some time for walking back and forth, you’ll likely need a minimum of 3 hours in your space in order to experience the only good thing happening in the city these days. So unless you want to come out in the middle of the game and feed the meter…. errrr wait. Nope, can’t even do that. You must MOVE your car to another space according to the Washington Post which gave extensive coverage to the changes. There is also a no re-entry policy in effect at the Verizon Center, thus making it impossible to use those spaces for a Capitals game without receiving a ticket, for $25. Since that is the same price as several garages in the area, I suppose many people will just take their chances.

This evening I drove around for a few minutes looking for a space without the fancy new stickers. I failed, so I suppose a garage is the alternative. I found a garage several blocks away which had parking for $15. Not horrible, but certainly not as good as free parking. I don’t mind giving the city some cash, I know they’re struggling, but it did seem odd how many empty spaces I passed on the way to the arena. I personally witnessed several people pull into a space, read the signs and then pull out due to the 2 hour limit. So if the city thinks they are earning more money this way, they might be mistaken. My money went to the parking garage, not the the city parking meter, and I’m not happy about it.