Northwest D.C. Resident to Fight Pair of $1,000 Parking Tickets

Artist parked vehicles with commerical plates on residential street

By Darcy Spencer
|  Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011  |  Updated 12:46 PM EDT
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Many of us have gotten a parking ticket in the District, but one D.C. resident said he's in shock after getting two $1,000 tickets.

Darcy Spencer

Many of us have gotten a parking ticket in the District, but one D.C. resident said he's in shock after getting two $1,000 tickets.

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A northwest D.C. man is furious and confused after receiving two $1,000 tickets for parking illegally in his own neighborhood.

At about 5 a.m. Sunday, Craig Kraft found the tickets on the windshields of his work vehicles adjacent to Shaw Junior High, which isn’t used as a school anymore. That’s across the street from his home, a historic firehouse on R Street that he converted into an art studio.

“I’ve been parking on and off there for 20 years, so I figured it was a safe place to park,” he said.

Years ago, Kraft agreed to stop parking in his driveway during the evening hours after neighbors complained it didn’t look good.

Kraft’s Ford Econoline van and Ford Expedition have commercial license plates so he can park in loading zones when dropping off or picking up materials or sculpture projects.

The tickets are for parking a commercial vehicle in front of a residence. In the comment section they read, “Park front of school.”

Kraft said he feels pretty good about his chances of beating the tickets in court.

In a statement received Monday afternoon, the Department of Public Works said motorists can appeal tickets if they think they’ve been unfairly issued. It also said the city issues such tickets to commercial vehicles to keep the spaces available to residents.

For now, Kraft will resume parking on his driveway and hope his neighbors understand.

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