Thoughts on Parking

I few years back I was with my friend Nora and we were going to go visit a common friend in one of those condos on Clarendon Blvd in Arlington. If you know the area, there isn’t a boatload of open parking there. You gotta hunt for it. It was pretty much, understood that when you bought or rented one of these condos you “might” get one parking space for your car, and any guests you’d have would have to compete with the other residents’ visitors for the 4 visitor parking spots in the garage (if you can get into the garage). Or your guests will have to hunt for a spot on the street with the hopes of finding something 3 blocks away. When I was living in an apartment complex in Rosslyn each apartment could get a permit for the lot, but the permit wasn’t a guarantee of a space. Working in Old Town Alexandria, the place where I worked subsidized transportation, I got a check for my metro use and some co-workers got a check for parking in the garage across the street. The checks didn’t always the full cost or transit.
Closer in the District in some ‘information’ sessions I’ve attended about new condos or developments the understanding was that new residents would use the metro or other public transit and a small number of residents would have cars. Well that’s the line to get current residents to agree to the development and grant the variance. Noticeably, condos, apartments and other things getting built around here in the last decade don’t seem to make having a parking spot for every resident a goal.
So that’s where I’m coming from. A world where a parking space is a luxury and sometimes a job benefit. Where getting rid of your car or cutting down on the number of vehicles a household owns is encouraged. However, that world is coming in serious conflict with another world where those values don’t count. We’ve seen the conflicts come out in the double parking problems in the Logan Circle area (which moved over to the TC and morphed into something else) and now recently with the dog park. Our employeers tell us to use Metro and our own blocks encourage us to weigh the burdens of car ownership. I would ask all my fellow Shaw citizens to weigh the burdens and even out the weight.

My Bike

Bike Handle
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

It isn’t fancy it has two jobs.
The first is to get me from point A to point B, sometime before Christmas. It is a three speed so it isn’t going to go anywhere fast. Besides I tend to stick to the 2nd gear.
The second, don’t get stolen. It’s a three speed with sometimes three locks. It isn’t fancy. It isn’t one of those $2,000 racing or specially engineered bikes. No, this is a $150 Craigslist special, which I thought I paid too much for. The problem with the second point is that the bike shop I pass by often won’t touch my bike. Through comments and other blogs I learned of another Shaw area bike shop that will touch it and that’s Rollin’ Cycles at 1320 14th St NW.
A washer, or axle spacer had broken on the ole bike and my rear wheel was rubbing up against the frame and the bike wouldn’t stay in gear. So I figured I’d give Rollin’ Cycles a try. I was happy to see at least one mechanic from the now closed Chain Reaction bike shop, where I used to go. The fix was about $7.40, but I bought some other stuff from the bike shop/ DVD rental. Rollin’ is tidier than the old Chain Reaction and seems to have bicycle products displayed better.

Van Stolen From Charity

We are a nonprofit located in Shaw, we serve about 300 kids from K-12th from in and around the Shaw Community. Last Tuesday, someone broke into our parking lot and stole our program’s 16 passenger van. We use our van to take the kids on field trips, and during the school year we pick the kids up from schools that are out of walking distance. It’s a white Dodge van that actually says New Community Afterschool on both sides of it. Please keep an eye out for it.

“Give $25..The kids will do the rest..Donate at