D.C.

7 On Your Side: Residents in NW D.C. surprised by stacks of parking tickets

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Some D.C. residents are up in arms about parking tickets that have been piling up on their cars, so they called 7 On Your Side.

People in the Forest Hills neighborhood in Northwest Washington say they feel duped by District officials.

Residents near the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Albemarle Street say they've always been allowed to park on the street with a zone sticker.

"And then all of a sudden one day they decide to start ticketing us," Gary Dewitt says. "Don't say anything, but just put a sign up in the middle of the night and the next day there's a ticket waiting for you."

The tickets started stacking up the day after Thanksgiving, unbeknownst to many residents because they often ride the bus or bike or walk.

"I said, 'you've got to be kidding me.' This is just one more example where parking enforcement in the District is out of control," Brent Councill says.

District officials say the new sign clearly prohibits parking during morning rush hour. But residents say, after decades without any changes, they didn't notice the new sign in the middle of all the other signs.

"There's nothing to make it pop out at you that there's been a change," Rob Fox says.

"They want to make a sign and make some money," Royston Cooray says. "That's what I think."

But the District Department of Transportation says advance warnings were sent, as required by law.

"The intent was not to catch anybody," says DDOT's John Lyle. "And we made an effort to notify the ANC."

DDOT sent a letter to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission on July 19, giving "written notice of intent to modify traffic and-or parking requirements" in that area.

Councill complained to the ANC, as did many residents.

The ANC Commissioner sent an email with "apologies for not reaching you and your neighbors," but adding that the changes were mentioned on the ANC's website and its Yahoo group.

"I think that is just absolutely ridiculous," Councill says.

"Makes me feel betrayed by my government," Fox says.

The residents can appeal their tickets with the DMV. And DDOT officials tell 7 On Your Side the residents can also contact them for help in voiding those parking tickets.

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