There are no parking signs in my neighborhood that have been up for three weeks, but no work has been started or completed.
I was curious about how something like this happens so I called the Metropolitan Police Department. I called them first because I thought that is who issued these signs, but it’s actually a paid permit through DDOT.
From the DDOT TOPS website:
- Companies, homeowners, tenants, and others can apply for a temporary occupancy permit required for the short term private use of public space in the District.
- The permit authorizes the temporary occupancy of public space, such as lengths of metered or non-metered parking lane, travel lane, sidewalk, alley, or an intersection for an approved number of days.
- If parking needs to be reserved or prohibited, either Reserved Parking or Emergency No Parking signs must be printed from the TOPS system after the permit is approved, paid for and issued.
- A permit can be printed from any place, but the sign printing is available only at Kiosks or at the permit office. Kiosk locations are listed further below.
- Most of the Temporary Occupancy Permits require an office review and it is best to allow adequate lead time for the review and approval of your application. Click here to view the number of lead days for each event.
- Signs must be posted 72 hours in advance in residential areas without metered parking and at least 24 hours in advance at metered parking spaces in commercial areas.
So the signs in my neighborhood were posted up on January 10 or 11, 2021 – so that follows the rules of being posted 72 hours in advance.
I wondered why a permit was given to a Verizon contractor for a 3-week period for 6-days a week, 9 hours a day but no work is being done. I talked with someone at MPD central (202-727-9099) and they suggested I look up the permit on DC DDOT TOPS site. I searched for the permit but I couldn’t find any active permit for PA10830267 12/12. (But I’m probably not searching correctly. If you just search Verizon you’ll get about 100 permits every month all over the city!)
I followed up with MPD 3D (202-673-6815). They said that once a permit was approved by DDOT and issued there’s nothing that can be done during the course of the allowed permit activity. And they suggested I could file a report using the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center: 311.
I called 311 and they were great. I wanted to know about ticketing and towing. Because no activity has started and no work is being done currently, and because of weather, a lot of the signs have blown down, and all the parking spaces are being used. I asked what would happen if the work began on Saturday, January 30, after 2 weeks of no work. I was told that all the cars would be moved at the request of the Permittee. I was told that if no work occurs during the permitted period you can file a report to DDOT.
In the meantime it seems a little inconvenient to the people who need to park in the neighborhood and have to park blocks away. And it is a gamble for those who are parking on the street thinking that the signs are no longer relevant.
Anyway, if you want to geek out on all work that requires permits the TOPS database is pretty interesting. You can search on Construction, Occupancy, Annual/Rental, Commercial Vehicles Annual, and Commercial Vehicle one day/Single Haul permits.