Traffic is our fate. Parking reform is a step toward salvation. Photo by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr.

If you’re reading this, please head down right now to the Zoning Commission, 441 4th St NW (One Judiciary Square). If you arrive before 6:30, I’ll be at Firehook (until 6) and then out front; everyone testifying in support of the rules gets a free Firehook cookie on me. Opponents: feel free to spend lots of time writing detailed comments on this post. :)

This is the last of ten daily posts about why the Zoning Commission should approve the Office of Planning recommendations on off-street parking, leading up to the hearing on Thursday, July 31 at 6:30 pm.


Today’s argument is very simple: Parking requirements cause traffic.

More parking means more cars.

More cars mean more driving.

More driving means more traffic.

DC’s streets have no more room for more traffic. We’re not about to widen them, nor should we. Major routes are already plenty busy. DC is growing, and some of those people will get around by driving, while others won’t. To avoid paralyzing gridlock, we need policies that promote as much of the latter and as little of the former as possible. This change will do that.

Our choice is simple. More suburban development, more traffic, more pollution, more high gas bills… or higher transit ridership, bicycling, and roads with enough room so people who really do need to drive can do so.

The Current reporter asked me why this is so important. As I told him, it’s important because parking affects so much else. And because we may be stuck with this zoning code for another 50 years. We can’t afford 50 years of the 1958 vision of the city.

Come on down to 441 4th Street right now and speak up.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.