- The Washington Times - Friday, May 20, 2005

District officials yesterday announced the elimination of the special parking zone around RFK Stadium during Washington Nationals games as part of a revised plan to address resident complaints about tickets and the permit-distribution system.

“We think this balances all the factors that we’re trying to balance,” said Bill Rice, a D.C. Department of Transportation spokesman.

Stadium-area residents and visitors will return to parking under the Residential Permit Parking, or zone program. The program is in effect throughout the city and limits those living outside a specific neighborhood or zone from parking there for more than two hours.

Motorists without residential permit stickers for Wards 6 or 7, valid visitor passes or special-event parking permits face a $30 ticket and potential towing.

Officials said residents within the zone who do not have stickers already will be issued new ones.

Parking enforcement in the area — bordered by Pennsylvania Avenue on the south, Lincoln Park at 13th Street on the west, Benning Road on the north and the Anacostia Freeway on the east — now will begin at game time and last only two hours. However, visitors will not get the two-hour grace period provided by the zone parking in other neighborhoods.

Each household in the zone will be mailed one visitor parking permit, along with an RFK event schedule. Residents can obtain additional visitor permits from their local police station.

Neil Glick, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in the zone, said he is pleased that the city has worked to resolve the parking problem.

“I appreciate all the hard work and effort that went into it, but I wish they would’ve informed all the residents of all the machinations involved in this months ago,” he said. “It’s late in the season….We’re having World Series predictions already.”

The new plan, goes into effect next month, comes after a community meeting May 11 with stadium-area residents. After the meeting, officials released a proposed plan and invited comments on the revisions.

“If anything, the comments we’re getting is that enforcement has been too strict, so I think that’s why we’re generally moving in the opposite direction,” Mr. Rice said. “We’re very open to making changes as the season goes on.”

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