Lota milage for a dead horse: church parking

I nearly laughed stuff out of my nose when I read on DCist that Logan Circle churches are holding a rally this Sunday (April 23) at 2pm in protest of the enforcement of parking rules. Okay, maybe I just found it funny.
I have a solution. It’s this thing. I call it. Public Transportation. In Maryland there is this place called PG Plaza Metro. It has a parking garage. And. There is a station called U Street, and another called Shaw/Howard University, and another called Mt. Vernon Square, one could walk from one of those stations to the church of one’s choice. And there are the buses. Oh, the buses! I use a bus to get to my place of worship as the neighborhood it is in is famous for it’s lack of parking. Sometimes I see other people, dressed in their Sunday best also, believe it or not, going to church, on the bus. I kid you not. Go to the Metro website and check out all the options.
Now you may flick your hand at the notion of, bah, public transit and cry, what of the disabled and the old? And I say, I wasn’t aware you had such a large mission targeting the diabled. When I pass by a lot of your parishioners looked liked they could walk. Actually I noticed a lot of your parishioners had nice cars and very nice clothes so I’m sure they can pony up the money for a senior van.
Well I might see you at the rally.

21 thoughts on “Lota milage for a dead horse: church parking”

  1. I had the same reaction when I read the post on DCist.

    The churches, between BeBar and the parking, have got to be blowing through their accumulated goodwill at an unheard of rate. It’s getting ridiculous how knee jerk they’re getting.

    When I moved into the neighborhood I had lots of respect for the churces as historical institutions of the neighborhood. That’s all gone now. It’s hard to respect them, as institutions, when they behave this way. Shame, shame.

  2. Mari, I know you often take public transportation to church but expecting others to as well?


  3. Mari, you’re full of a whole lot of crazy talk today, all this muttering about public transportation…

  4. mmm…let me get this straight…so Logan Circle proper will be ringed with folks double parking during the protest? I mean you don’t think they will walk from their double parked cars all the way to Logan do you?

    I agree with Truxtonian though, I am a 15 year resident of Logan and I am losing a lot of respect for these churches over their sense of entitlement. I used to think it was rather charming, so Andy of Mayberryish to see cars double parked on Sundays. I don’t any more…


  5. Well there is a delay in the enforcement because the city needs to paint the street. Okay. It’s month that may let it sink in to the churches that they aren’t getting free parking.
    Anyway I did read the Common Denominator article and what got me was this…” Ministers also want the city to reconsider zone parking restrictions around places of worship that are enforced late into the night, making weekday parking difficult for church-related activities.” Oh why not ask for the whole kit and kaboodle, free parking, whenever, within 400 yards of church property, for all churches, temples and mosques be they in Georgetown, Downtown, Shaw, or where ever.
    Parking is not a social justice issue. Protesting about the ‘right’ to park your SUV illegally is just silly. I tell ya, the bourgie done gone to their heads.
    Sam and Jim you are right. Here I am imposing my values on others. Asking folks to use public transit, or even walk a ways, that was too much.

  6. Hell (sorry for the curse on such a church goin’ issue) they do not even have to walk…run one of the 50 vehicles that Shiloh has to pick them up a block away. Or better yet why don’t they use some of that tax money that they do not have to pay to build a new circulator route to all the churches?

    The fact remains, the churches in Shaw, Logan, U Street etc., are HORRIBLE neighbors. Whenever the issue is something about them they claim the yuppies are picking on them…whenever it is about something that they want (demand) they threaten/protest/lie/fake their way into convincing the powers that be that they are a political powerhouse.

    Hell sell the properties…you will make a bundle and can build a fortress with a 1,000 car parking garage out in PG county somewhere and all issues will be solved.

    Should we protest Shiloh’s crackhouses and abandoned properties?

  7. That came off a bit wrong…I do not want them out of the neighborhood, per se, just want the issues that they bring out of the neighborhood (parking, blocking progress etc.)

  8. UP- Hell is okay. Actually I really wish my church would talk about Hell more, but that’s another topic for another blog.
    Shiloh, to be fair, doesn’t double park. They have a ity bity parking lot and someone was smart enough (or had the forethought) to make the unusual parking at an angle and parking on both sides of P, legal, with signs and everything.
    There are a lot, I mean a lot, of churches in this neighborhood. I’m gathering 1 for every two blocks. And the churches that are doing bad don’t seem to be the same churches that are halting progress. Maybe we should have a scorecard just to keep up with who is who and what they are doing. Somewhere on the DCist comments someone mentioned that one church has a shuttle service where members park at Howard U (or somwhere round there) and are shuttled to the church. That’s a good thing. There are some churches that are good neighbors and some that actively try to get more close in residents to join. I’ve been bugged by a few to join the church close to me. And those churches that bugged me to join them are good neighbor type churches.
    Another church that I checked out once was a downtown church with parking issues and they just had a valet service. Okay, I made fun of them for that. Episcopalians. Valet Service. The jokes write themselves. But anyway, that was a church looking for a solution to a parking problem. Demanding to park illeagally, boxing in residents, and asking for parking privilages that only folks with Diplomat tags have is not a solution.

  9. Complete insanity. Why would anyone adopt such a ridiculously indefensible position as the churches are taking?

    On the Be Bar issue, I attended (with a friend who lives in Shaw, and partly out of curiousity about the process) the hearing this morning. There was a big turn out & I don’t think the church exactly came away smelling like roses (it was unclear if the DC Black Church Inititive had any standing to protest the license because it was unclear whether they are actually an incorporated group). At the hearing, my friend pointed out the couple that own & run Vegetate & mentioned that they have actually had to cut back on the days of operation because this whole not having a license to serve alcohol really cuts into the potential profits. Anyone know what the rules are for businesses allowing BYOB? I know that HR-57 does it because they don’t have a license. It really sucks that a great restaurant has to suffer because of a bunch of churchgoers that don’t even live in the neighborhood (particularly since their church basically acts like a slumlord -how Christian is that).

  10. Inked…you nailed it! The last sentence hits the point that I keep harping on…the ministers and others from these churches are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

    They scream about jobs and police presence but they are too dense to realize that the little things like hurting businesses in their backyard by limiting profit potential hinder those issues.

    I loved the line in the Denomonator that quotes the minister who says that “they are the frontline against drugs and poverty” while they are guilty of holding the neighborhood down because they fear change.

    Sad Sad Sad

  11. The audacity of these churches is unbelievable. Protesting for their “right” to break the law and endanger people.

    I’m with Mari. Why can’t these institutions adopt some common sense solutions to their parking problem? Public transportation, operating shuttles, organizing car pools, etc. are perfectly reasonable ideas. My two cents. I will now step off the soap box.

  12. Granted what the churches are doing is wrong but what is with all of this “go to PG County” talk, it reminds me of people in the 60’s telling black people to go back to Africa, if you can tell the churches to go to PG county

    “Hell sell the properties…you will make a bundle and can build a fortress with a 1,000 car parking garage out in PG county somewhere and all issues will be solved”

    can’t the churches just spit back at you” “hell sell your little rowhouse go to Fairfax county where you can have your own driveway with parking garage and all of your parking issues will be solved”

    the rhetoric on both sides of the issue disgust me.

  13. HU,
    The PG County talk. Well a few things. A lot of megachurches, PG County. Of a few of the offending (and non-offending) churches in the area, the people who I do know who go to them, reside, vote, sleep, eat in PG County. PG is majority Black and the place to go for high concentrations of wealthy to middle class African Americans. If you are unfamiliar with the demographics of PG as a political area, compared to MoCo, NoVa, and the District, I’m going to guess you just got here. Welcome. Hang out at the PG County Mall, they have a very nice Target.
    But the point of wondering why don’t the churches move to PG, well it would make sense to move to where most of the congregation lives. Either that or get suburbanites to obey the law of the land. Or, dare I say it again, use. public. transportation.
    Yes, Jim, crazy talk.

  14. No Mari, I am very familiar with the area, of course I know that PG is the wealthiest majority black county in the United States with a lot of megachurches. I was simply stating that for new DC residents to suggest that the old DC residents move their church to PG county with the rest of “your kind” is well, sort of offensive. Next thing you know, the Newcomers in Shaw will be asking Howard U to sell their land and move to PG county too. Why, because thats where all of us black folks are. Well I guess, as a buppie in the making I shouldn’t even think about staying in DC because well, PG county is where us black folks are supposed to go right? Would not want to be caught in Shaw in ten years, someone might ask me (and you for that matter) hey arent you supposed be in PG county. I guess so. See you in Mitchellville.

    PS: I am in no way defending the churches on the double parking issues, that is indefensible.

  15. General note- after 20 comments I’m cutting this discussion off.
    I really don’t want to get into a long discussion on a small part of a comment made by a reader that another reader chose to zoom in on and find offense. The topic is church parking, maybe with a side of misguided protest and public transit. And this is a good time to mention to direct BeBar, Vegetate and other related threads to the restaurant posting. So folks please remain on topic.

  16. I am in shock reading these posts! Some racists, classists comments. All from mainly “liberal” individuals, I would bet….

    The churches have every right to be here, and so do the bar’s and clubs. I grew up in Philadelphia and on almost every city block;/neighborhood, there is a bar, church, and hoagie/sub shob. They all live and work together. The bar opens in some section of Philadelphia at 6:00 a.m.

    For those that think the churches don’t have political power. Please think again. Most of the “newcomers” are transients, they stay for 3 – 5 years. The churches are home to senior citizens that VOTE.

  17. Ladyjedi…

    Okay I will raise my hand and say part of the comment I made was over the line…a bit. But I totally disagree on the political power thing…hate to tell you that a MAJORITY of the plates that sit outside the churches are 703/301…they do not have a say here…period. But the churches use these people as their political backbone.

    HU…did not mean it as a “go back to” statement and for that I am sorry. What I meant, and I thought that I explained was that if the churches moved to PG/Montgomery?Fairfax/Loudon alot of the parking issues would be moot and the neighbors would be happy.

    Take public transportation…I like that solution. I do not double park on Capitol Hill when I go to a Nats game…so why should church be any different? (sorry for ripping off a point from DCist but I liked it too much).

  18. Looks like I may get my comment in under the buzzer 🙂 I would like to see a breakdown (hint, hint archival/librarian types) about how many churches are in DC, & how many double park, & how many of those are unwilling to change & are involved in this protest. I’m sure that final number will be a pretty small portion of the overall total.

    It might be good for those of us in favor of parking enforcement to focus on the “bad apples” so that blanket statements don’t dominate this debate. I fear it is devolving into race/class debate, which it shouldn’t.

    To me, the overall issue is citizens, whether new or old, pay ever-increasing taxes in DC, for not alot in return as far as city services go. They deserve to be able to park near their house & come & go unimpeded. Churches do not pay taxes, & as has been noted, most of the double parked cards have VA & MD tags. These people also do not pay taxes in DC.

  19. Yea, what Toby said.

    What’s interesting about this is that it’s primarily a problem in Shaw. In points West and East (as well as North and South), there doesn’t seem to be the same problems. Further, someone has pointed out — here or DCist — that there are a lot of churches that are being very responsible about this.

    Sounds like the issue really is that a few of the churches are choosing to be bad apples. It probably makes sense to focus on them with any outrage about institutional behavior and parking illegally.

    So here’s my rhetorical question (before the buzzer?)… the churches are asking for a lack of parking enforcement on Sundays. Does that mean that Georgetown congregations can also get those exceptions and double park there? Same with Capitol Hill churches? Churches in NE and SE? That seems insane. So, they are proposing for parking exceptions only for a few churches so that their suburban congregations can avoid public transportation and do not have to walk more than a block or two?

  20. Truxtonian, you can post a whole new topic. You have the power.
    Toby, I’d be happy to conduct such a study, just give me a 100K grant and 2 handsome young interns and we’ll be good.

    Thank you all for posting. Comments are now closed.

Comments are closed.