(Washington, DC) In the past, vehicles blocking curb lanes during the morning or the evening rush hours faced at least a $100 fine and the possibility of a “courtesy tow” to a nearby parking space off the rush hour street. However, beginning today, those vehicles still found in rush hour lanes may be towed a lot farther away as a result of a new partnership between the DC Department of Public Works (DPW) and AnA Towing Company.
As of today, DPW began a pilot program to include AnA tow trucks to its fleet of tow trucks. AnA Towing Company began working with DPW trucks during morning rush hour, from 7 to 9:30 am, and during evening rush hour from 4 to 6:30 pm. Their job is to assist on some of the District’s most heavily trafficked commuter lanes, moving illegally parked cars that cause congestion, bottlenecks and frustration during the busiest travel times of the day.
This pilot program will run for 30 days and DPW will determine whether to continue this partnership or add on other private partnerships indefinitely. DPW explains that more resources have become necessary to keep rush hour lanes clear during peak commuting hours.
“We just weren’t able to cover all the main commuting corridors with our own staff and equipment,” said DPW Director William O. Howland Jr. “Rather than making a large capital expenditure for more new tow cranes, we decided to hire a local, private company to fill in the gaps. We only use them when we need them. This is not the solution but it is a first attempt at devising a solution. We realize we will not get all of the violators but we intend to make a dent,” he said.
Where a towed vehicle ends up depends on which one gets to it first—DPW or AnA. DPW will continue its routine of towing a rush hour violator around the corner or to some reasonably nearby parking space. However, if towed by AnA, the vehicle will be taken to AnA’s private lot at 75 I Street, SE, which is near the Navy Yard Metro station on the Green Line.
Although vehicles towed to the I Street lot will not have to pay a tow fee, they may have to pay a $20-per-day storage fee if the vehicle remains there for over 24 hours. AnA’s lot will be open to release vehicles from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday and from 8 am to noon on Saturday. If you believe that your vehicle has been towed, call (202) 727-5000. You may also use DPW’s online Towed Vehicle Locator.
The move occurs in conjunction with work that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is performing to install traffic calming measures in targeted areas across the District. The traffic calming measures aim to slow traffic on neighborhood streets and increase traffic safety for pedestrians and motorists.
With increased enforcement by DPW on arterial roads, commuters can make better use of main streets and have less interest in using neighborhood streets as ‘cut-throughs’.
“Our goal is to protect residential streets from motorists who continue to try and use these streets as ‘cut-throughs,’” said Emeka Moneme, DDOT’s acting director. “Traffic calming measures such as speed humps are a great way toward improving road safety and pedestrian safety in the District.”
Among the locations targeted by DDOT in the coming weeks for speed hump installation (weather permitting) include the following:
- Gresham Place, NW (Ward 1–installed)
- Wallach Place, NW (Ward 1)
- 46th Street from River Road to Massachusetts Avenue (Ward 3)
- 3600 and 3700 Blocks of Upton Street, NW (Ward 4)
- 32nd Street Between Alabama Avenue and Park Drive, SE (Ward 7)
- 3400 Block of Bangor Street Between 34th and 36 Streets, SE (Ward 7)
- 200 Block of 57th Place, NE (Ward 7)
- 1800 and 1900 Blocks of T Place, SE (Ward 7)
- 53rd Street Between East Capital and Blaine Street (Ward 7)
- E Street Between Benning Road and Falls Terrace, SE (Ward 7)
- Hayes Street Between 46th and 49th Streets, NE (Ward 7)
- 2600 Block of 12 Place, SE (Ward 8)
- 1300 Block of W Street, SE (Ward 8)
- 300 Block of 53rd Street, SE (Ward 8)
- 2300 Block of 34th Street, SE (Ward 8)