DC drivers frustrated with confusing parking signs

- City driving can be stressful enough, but some drivers are complaining about confusion when it comes to parking on D.C. streets. 

Restrictions for different times, rush hour, street cleaning, loading zones and snow emergency routes are a lot to take in and some say the posted signs are not helping.

Many drivers we spoke with are sounding off on these confusing street signs. One signage that was brought to our attention by a driver is located on 19th Street just south of Dupont Circle. We asked some drivers at the red light in this area about it and everyone seemed to have a gripe about the signs.

“It's just confusing because every time they will say one thing and they really mean another thing,” said one driver.

“Traffic is pretty crowded as it is and you don't want to be sitting here holding up traffic while you're staring at all these signs and all,” another commuter told us.

“One time I asked the cops because there was a cop on the corner and I asked him there are three different signs – what do I do? Can I park here? They were like, “I don’t know,’” said another driver.

"A lot of times, you don't even have time to read the signs depending on the situation," said another. "If you have five signs, one on top of the other, you might only get through two or three of them. Traffic starts moving again and you really don't know what you can do whether you can park or not. None of us want to get a parking ticket."

But there is now some new confusion brought into the mix. Because of the ongoing Metro SafeTrack maintenance program, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has extended rush hour parking restrictions on a long list of roads that include lengthy stretches of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues.

We spoke with one man who got a $100 ticket because he didn't notice the new sign. It is placed at the top of the pole and reads “EMERGENCY Extended Rush Hour.” However, the original green sign that we are all used to seeing is still there and has not been altered.

Howard Wu acknowledges he was in the wrong, but said it is too easy of a mistake to make.

“I was in a hurry, and honestly, there were so many signs,” he said. “I saw one sign with a clear message that it’s perfectly legal to park there, so I paid and I went on my way.”

Wu also added, “I just wish that D.C. authorities will just make things clearer. I want to abide by the law. I’m a law-abiding citizen. If I violated a law or something, I will pay the fine. But in this case, I feel like it's unjustified.”

FOX 5 reached out to DDOT and they declined to have anyone talk with us on camera, but sent a statement saying:

"DDOT is working in partnership with WMATA to try and ensure the safe and efficient flow of traffic during the SafeTrack initiative. We began extended rush hours on a number of major  arteries in June and continue to promote the restrictions through our social media platforms. The extended rush hour signs are temporary and will be removed when the Safetrack repair work is complete. Motorists should always follow the direction of the most restrictive sign. We regret any confusion, and ask for the public’s patience as we work with our partners to improve the public transportation system."

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