Commuters are using the metered Thompson Boat Center parking lot, just off of Virginia Avenue, as their daily, free parking spot. Considering the cost of most paid lots nearby, the risk of a $25 ticket seems worth it.
"On any given week day, most of these spaces are occupied from nine to five by office workers from nearby offices. No money is paid into the meters. All meters read as expired the entire day," this do-gooder complained to DCWatch's The Mail.
WTOP looked into the situation and found this person's gripe was well-founded.
"The dirty little secret is that the meter maid does not come regularly so you can actually park without getting a ticket," said one commuter to WTOP, adding that parking in her building would cost significantly more.
But thanks to the annoyed whistleblower, the "little secret" is out.
As WTOP reports, "Six hours later, at least three Park Police officers issued more than 50 tickets in the lot. Of the 70 cars in the lot at 12:30 p.m., 54 had received a $25 fine."
Sgt. David Schlosser from U.S. Park Police confirmed yesterday's crackdown in a phone interview with Patch. "We've done some parking enforcement there. ... My understanding is that there were a lot of tickets issued," he said, though he was not certain how many.
About commuters taking advantage of the lot, Schlosser admitted, "clearly there is some issue there."
But he said as the weather improves and there is increased demand for parking from Thompson Boat Center users, the Park Police will ramp-up their enforcement.