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Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

Summersville, West...
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Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

We parked in front of the National Geographic Museum and fed the meter on Dec. 30th at 4:25 PM. When we came out, we were very upset to find a $100 ticket on the windshield because we still had thirty minutes on the meter. After looking at the ticket, it read PM RUSH 4PM-6:30PM after which we found a sign high in the air fifteen - twenty feet behind our vehicle. We were the last one in a line of at least ten autos with no one else having a ticket on them. It seems that we were singled out to get the ticket possibly because we were out of state or that we were the last in the line. ???? Is there any point in contesting the ticket? I did take a picture of the meter showing that we still had time on it along with our license plate.

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

It was a work day. Rush hour rules apply on work days. Parking enforcement in DC is brutal. It's why we tell anyone planning to park on the street to read all the signs VERY CAREFULLY. I don't know what you could contest.

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

So if I have this right:

1. The space was marked no parking between 4 PM and 6:30 PM.

2. You were parked in the space between 4 PM and 6:30 PM.

3. You want to contest the ticket because you fed the meter that is there for folks who park before 4 PM or after 6:30 PM.

Just be VERY thankful that you weren't towed. On most streets that have no parking zones for rush hour, it's to turn the curb lane into a travel lane -- we need those lanes to keep rush hour traffic flowing. The classic example of this is along Constitution Ave. near the Washington Monument -- seems like every night they are towing tourists' cars out of there to free up the extra travel lanes.

You could have just as easily come out to find your car gone and impounded in a bad part of the city, with a $100 ticket plus impound fees. Think of it as a lesson learned.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

DC isn't going to single you out for being out of state and leave everyone else alone. Why you didn't see the others ticketed, I am not sure.

They are brutal with tickets-they need all the money they can get!

Agree with the rest-tough lesson; you could have had a lot worse!

Summersville, West...
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4. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

Thanks for the sincere words of wisdom. We shall dig deeply into our pockets and pay the ticket. However, please note that we didn't see the sign or we wouldn't have parked there because it wasn't close to where we parked along with the other ten cars that didn't receive a ticket. But we have learned our difficult lesson and will look up and down the street in the future. In addtion, my husband says this will be our last trip to DC.

We do truly appreciate all of the wonderful advice we receive from everyone on this site. Each of you have been so much help multiple times, and we hope you have received the same in return. Keep traveling!

Arlington, Virginia
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5. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

When I park on the street in D.C., my assessment goes something like this:

1. Is there a fire hydrant? If no:

2. Am I parked in front of a loading dock or garage entrance? If no:

3. Is the curb painted yellow or red, or are there yellow stripes painted across the space? If no:

4. Is there a meter)? If yes, check hours, and skip to step 6. If no:

5. Is there a parking pay station ? If yes, check hours, and go to step 6:

6. Walk to one end of blocks, looking for permanent signs. Are there any signs? If yes, follow most restrictive (e.g., "no stopping or standing 4 to 6 PM" trumps "2 hour parking, except zone 5 permits"). If no:

7. Are there any temporary signs on that end of the block (e.g., white construction paper with "Emergency No parking, 1/12/10 10 AM to 6 PM" scrawled on it)? If no:

8. Walk back past car, to other end of block, repeats steps 6 and 7. If no:

9. Check cars around me for tickets, just in case I missed something. If no:

10. Lock car, feed meter or pay station if applicable, and head on to destination with fingers crossed that I didn't miss a sign, and/or that I don't get a ticket for being parked in a zone with a missing sign, and/or that the parking enforcement officer for that street doesn't misunderstand how the signs actually apply on that block and ticket me when I'm legally parked.

Yes, I do this every time, unless I'm parking in a block I know really well. Even then I double check the signs and look for temporary no parking signs. D.C. is simply not on-street parking friendly.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

"my husband says this will be our last trip to DC."

Over a parking meter? It should only be the last time you drive to DC. A car is just a burden for a tourist in DC.

Maryland
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7. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

I don't know that you can necessarily single out D.C. Much of the same can be said about street parking in ANY large city. If an easily-found street parking space seems too good to be true--it probably is.

I've exercised the same detailed precautions Warthog describes not only in D.C., but in Baltimore, Philadelphia & NYC as well by carefully scanning every sign along the block. And doing so has prevented a ticket at least once in each city.

The most unfair thing IMHO about D.C. parking meters is that most if not all have more than enough electronic capability to warn or prevent you from paying during a time when parking is prohibited (or free, which is now Sundays only in D.C.)--and that is not employed as it is in other cities.

Edited: 18 January 2010, 13:29
Washington DC...
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8. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

I had to put my glasses on to read it, but each meter says parking "9:30 AM - 4:00 PM, 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM". That's quite explicit about the hours. Sorry you missed it as you put your money in.

Sterling, VA
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9. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

Sorry to hear this happened to you, Charlene. I, too, hope that you don't use it as a reason to never visit again. Stories like yours are one of the reasons we don't drive into DC anymore. Well...that and dealing with horrendous traffic. When we go into DC, we park at a Metro station and take the train---much less aggravating. Of course, these days we go in on weekends and weekday evenings---far different than trying to park during the day M-F.

10. Re: Rush Hour Ticket in Front of National Geographic Museum

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