WASHINGTON - Major parking changes are taking place on a stretch of Connecticut Avenue in Dupont Circle. The changes are part of a new experimental program by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to address traffic and pedestrian safety concerns that come with the late-night activities from restaurants and bars in the D.C. neighborhood.
The city kicked off its new nightlife parking policy prohibiting parking along a stretch of Connecticut Avenue between Rhode Island Avenue and Dupont Circle in Northwest D.C. from 10 p.m. through 7 a.m. -- each night from Thursday through Sunday.
Typically, taxis along with Uber and Lyft drivers will drop off people wherever they can, and that can clog up driving lanes in the area. However, transportation leaders are hoping to get cars out of these lanes by creating pickup and drop-off zones during the nighttime.
This effort is also hoping to encourage people traveling to this area for the nightlife to use alternate transportation and not park a vehicle in the area.
The reaction to the new parking restrictions is mixed. One bar said it is concerned about where its employees will park since they will be working until early morning hours.
However, another business said at the peak of the night, lanes are blocked in the area and is hopeful this new program will clear up the nighttime congestion.
“After 12 o'clock out there, this is all packed. For me, sometimes it takes me 20 to 25 minutes to get out from my parking spot,” said Neil Sharma of Crown Fine Wine and Spirits.
DDOT said this program will be evaluated after a year.