- The Washington Times - Monday, May 21, 2001

If you need proof that the District still employs the most outrageous parking-enforcement policies on the planet, consider this: The D.C. government tows more than 1,000 illegally parked vehicles a month and abandons them on residential streets. Residents are furious, and motorists are confused. City administrator John Koskinen, the man responsible for this astonishingly stupid policy, is nonplussed.
In fact, Mr. Koskinen thinks hes doing D.C. residents a favor. "If the owners had not left in the no-parking zones, they would have parked them in the neighborhood anyway," he told The Washington Post. "Its not as if these cars have been brought from other parts of the city." Obviously Mr. Koskinen doesnt understand that its not where the vehicles are coming from; its where theyre being dumped. Moreover, in residential neighborhoods where homeowners already have a tough time parking, the newly abandoned vehicles are taking up precious space. Whats more is scores of these vehicles are wrecks.
The culprits of this punish-them-at-all-costs policy Mr. Koskinen, Gwen Mitchell, director of the Parking Services Division, and others under Mr. Koskinens purview are lousy planners. As you may or may not know, the vehicles are being dumped in residential neighborhoods because the former impoundment facility is slated for major commercial development and because the city refuses to grant a respite to its highly punitive parking-enforcement policies.
No permanent solution to Mrs. Mitchells "relocation" effort seems to be in the near future. So, accordingly, until this is resolved the least Mr. Koskinen can do is institute a temporary parking-enforcement reprieve for those who live and (and perhaps illegally) park in their own neighborhoods. That really is not a lot to ask.


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