DC replaces confusing parking signs in 'tow trap zone'

FOX 5 Chief Investigative Reporter Emily Miller has more on changes made on a problematic D.C. street and its parking signs.

- We have a FOX 5 success story for all of you who need to park in downtown D.C. for work or shopping.

Until this week, many people have been towed for accidentally parking illegally because the signs were so confusing. We have been following the problems on one D.C. block for six months and finally the city has done something to fix it.

A block of 12th Street near the Macy’s store has become renowned for cars getting ticketed and towed about every 15 minutes every day. People who work or shop in that area have been outspoken about the confusing parking signs in that area, which they say has created a trap zone.

The city blocks off this block midday for food trucks. But the multiple parking signs here were confusing and the restricted hours were only marked in small lettering on one sign on the whole block.

We have been reporting on this problem since May. Finally, the city promised us last week to fix the signs and they kept their word.

The new sign shows that there is no standing or parking on this block from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are four of these signs on the block.

The city also took down the signs for no parking during rush hour.

Tony Byers, who works around the corner, said he can finally stop warning drivers not to park here during midday.

“I do give credit to the city for that because they did do something,” said Byers. “But if it wasn’t for people like you or people like me complaining about it, I don't think anything would have been done.”

“I saw your story last week and I appreciate it,” said Linda Davis. “And then when I saw this and I saw the different signs, I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s the confusing spot!’”

We didn’t see single car get ticketed or towed on Wednesday. The parking enforcement officer, who is usually very busy on this block, just walked on by.

But with this being D.C., it is not a total victory because the signs are still confusing. We watched drivers pull into empty spots and spend about a minute staring at the post trying to figure if it is legal to park here.

But overall, the sign change is good news for drivers. If you obey the parking laws, you can be sure your car will be there when you can back -- at least on this one block downtown.

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