The Examiner is reporting that DDOT has established a new set of guidelines for providing valet parking from on-street parking spaces. Where there was previously no organized permitting system, now businesses may rent 20 feet of street for 50 cents per hour, on the condition that they have proof that they have secured off-street parking for every vehicle they would valet.
I’m of three minds about this. On the one hand, this will have the effect of making it easier to drive into the city, because searching for parking won’t be as hard. That’s a bad thing, straight up. In the words of Bryan Weaver, the chairman of the Adams Morgan ANC, “This doesn’t seem to fit into the city’s master plan of trying to work on walkable and public transit communities.”
Somewhere in the middle, I think that it depends on whether these are metered spaces being taken away or just 2-hour parking. In other words, is that parking spot becoming cheaper or more expensive if converted to a valet spot (not accounting for the cost of the valet service, since I’m calling the restaurant the entity paying). So there’s some ambiguity from that perspective, as reducing the extent of free and underpriced parking is a good thing.
Finally, what this is effectively doing is allowing the District to profit off of people parking in private lots while doing a service to restaurants. It’s hard to begrudge the District that revenue right now.
That said, this will very much shape parking policy for certain neighborhoods in the evening, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Also, this attempt at parody is truly, truly bizarre.