2nd District interim police parking plans advance

City officials say a new parking deck at the 2nd District Police Headquarters will relieve existing parking pressures while also serving the new shelter. (Brian Kapur/The Current/May 2016)

The District is moving forward with plans to reserve up to 181 parking spaces for police officers on streets surrounding the 2nd District headquarters, to accommodate patrol cars and personal vehicles displaced by the construction of a parking garage there.

At a community meeting last Thursday, the D.C. Department of General Services announced the specific locations where public parking will be temporarily eliminated, likely between October 2017 and May 2018. The police station property, located at 3320 Idaho Ave. NW, is also the future home of a short-term family shelter; the parking garage plan is intended to recover spaces lost to the shelter and also to alleviate existing parking pressures.

The family shelter will sit adjacent to the 2nd District Police Headquarters at 3320 Idaho Ave. NW. (Rendering courtesy of D.C. government)

The General Services Department, which handles the city’s construction projects, has been coordinating the interim parking plan with Metropolitan Police Department officials and neighborhood representatives — seeking an approach that could best satisfy all parties’ parking needs.

The current plans, presented by project manager Agyei Hargrove, spell out various locations where parking would be reserved for the police, including some residential streets.

Areas with restrictions would be Wisconsin between Lowell and Rodman streets NW, with 86 spaces on the west side and 52 on the east; Idaho Avenue outside the police station, with 13 spaces on the east side and seven on the west; and the east side of 39th south of Macomb Street, with 15 spaces. Most of those spaces would be reserved at all times for the police, though sections of the Wisconsin Avenue parking lanes would be available at certain hours either for rush-hour traffic or public parking.

Meanwhile, 65 off-street private parking spaces would be reserved for police in the Cathedral Commons complex, though 35 of those spaces would be available to them only on weekdays between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m.

All the spots are roughly within a quarter-mile of the station. A draft map and schedule of all the affected spaces is available at tinyurl.com/interim-parking-map.

Angela Bradbery of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C (Cleveland Park, Massachusetts Avenue Heights, Woodley Park) said that overall the new proposal feels much better than previous iterations of the interim parking plan.

“The other plans had a lot more parking that would be taken away by police on streets,” Bradbery said. “With this, it doesn’t interfere with the RPP spots.”

Nicole White of Symmetra Design, part of the project planning team, said the spaces were chosen in consultation with ANC 3C and other stakeholders, and also based on a survey taken of the affected areas.

“We conducted a parking study and looked at a number of times throughout the day to determine inventory of parking,” White said.

Some residents questioned the decision to reserve more spots for police on the west side of Wisconsin than the east side. White said the project team received feedback that the east side was more congested. In response to other questions, White said that criticisms at the meeting will be considered and reviewed before the next community meets again on the project.

Jackie Stanley, community outreach coordinator for the Department of General Services, said she thought the meeting went well.

Upon completion of the parking garage project in May 2018, the city will begin 15 months of construction on the new shelter building. Homeless families are expected to begin occupying the building in September 2019.