D.C. Considers Refusing Parking Permits to College Students From Out of Town

Residential speed limit reduction legislation likely to be pulled

Hundreds of out-of-town college students may no longer be allowed to buy permits that let them park in congested residential areas.

Traffic in D.C. can be a daily noisy mess, and parking can be hard to find, especially for out-of-state students attending D.C. universities surrounded by restricted residential parking.

“What we end up seeing is people coming from outside of the District, parking in residential streets and not allowing that turnover parking to exist,” D.C. Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy said.

The D.C. council is considering legislation to eliminate a program that allows hundreds of out-of-town students to pay $338 for local parking permits.

While students from outside the District believe that discriminates against them, supporters of the legislation want to promote using alternatives to private cars.

“Listening to you fight for the right to have cars in D.C... is really dispiriting,” Councilman Tommy Wells said. “The idea that when you come to Washington, D.C., you better bring your car is not the message I really want to put out there.”

“Everybody understands we cannot continue this upward spiral of use of automobiles,” Councilwoman Mary Cheh said.

The ban on student residential parking passes would need to pass the full council. If that happens, it wouldn’t become law until late next year.

On a separate bill to lower residential speed limits from 25 mph to 15 mph, Transportation Committee Chair Cheh said the measure needs more study and the bill likely will be withdrawn in the coming days.

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