WASHINGTON - Have you been getting fewer parking tickets lately? New data shows that D.C. is bringing in significantly less revenue from parking tickets.
According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, as of 2017, parking citations are down by a third compared to 2010, making for a $31 million decrease in revenue.
However, don’t get too excited. The District of Columbia is still raking in a staggering sum from poor parking. The city still issued 14,237,853 parking citations and took in $662,615,890 in parking ticket revenue since 2010.
Are drivers in D.C. terrible at parking or do D.C. officials intentionally make parking in the city difficult? Some residents we spoke with said some parking signs could be clearer when it comes to explaining where drivers can and cannot park.
"You have to have a Ph.D. in linguistics to understand this,” said John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“I think I have gotten kind of used to them, but I can understand how they would be difficult,” said one resident.
“I don’t think they are marked well enough,” said another person. “I think they can be marked better.”
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue said in a statement that “Parking enforcement plays a crucial role in keeping our streets safe” and a "variety of factors contribute to fluctuations in the number of citations." He also added, “Parking enforcement is not designed to achieve a revenue goal."
However, Townsend suggests otherwise.
"It's perhaps designed so they can keep the revenue up and the number of tickets up too,” he said.
Townsend believes parking signs posted in the city are used to confuse drivers on purpose.
“It's tantamount to being a speed trap, except it’s a parking spot,” Townsend said.
Aside from those confusing signs, there are not many parking spots to begin with.
Drivers in D.C. spend an average of 65 hours and $4,200 a year looking and paying for parking spots. However, the nationwide average is 17 hours and $97 per year.
But, this new data shows the numbers are improving, thanks in large part to mobile parking apps, which have also helped simplify the parking process.