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D.C. Council reviewing transportation legislation

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The D.C. Council is reviewing several pieces of legislation that could affect how you get around the city, especially if you drive a car.

Tom Smith has lived near American University for 30 years, but he says in the last five, finding a parking spot on his neighborhood streets has gotten more difficult.

On Tuesday, Smith advocated for the Council create legislation that would revoke the residential parking permit exemption given to local college students with out-of-state vehicles.

The Department of Transportation says about 860 students have a Residential Parking Permit after paying the $338 fee.  By comparison, parking on campus would cost students about $988.

"If you're an out-of-state driver, there are other places for you to park," Smith said. "You don't need to park on RPP designated blocks."

American U. student Tim McBride and other students are urging the council to keep the residential parking exemption for students.

"The RPP process allows me to maintain my registration in De, it allows my parents to maintain their title on the vehicle as owners, and it's an efficient and easy process for someone who is a long-term but still temporary resident," McBride said.

"Students should have the equal ability to efficiently use every facet of the city, including the ability to drive like every other resident."

The Council is also considering legislation that would restrict on-street parking within one block of D.C. fire houses to fire personnel only. Another proposal would require a vehicle to stop at a crosswalk when the vehicle in the next lane is also stopped. Furthermore, some want to reduce the citywide residential speed limit from 25 to 15 miles per hour.

Council member Mary Cheh says the D.C. government isn't anti-car, it's pro-alternative methods of transportation.

"To make other methods of transportation as attractive, as available as an automobile, because we cannot sustain the traffic, the pollution and the cost of cars," Cheh said. "We simply cannot sustain it."

 

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