The D.C. streetcar line is still months from carrying its first passengers down H Street, but the city’s parking authority hasn’t held back when issuing tickets to those who get in its way.
The Department of Public Works began ticketing vehicles parked in the streetcar’s path when testing of the system began in July. Officials say from July 24 through Aug. 21, parking enforcement officers have written 143 tickets — at $100 a pop — for parking in a manner that obstructed the streetcar. Another eight vehicles have been towed for blocking the 2.4 mile route, which runs from Union Station to the Anacostia River.
Warning notices were issued for two weeks before parking enforcement officers began writing the $100 tickets, D.C. Department of Transportation spokesman Reggie Sanders said. By comparison, new speed cameras operated by the Metropolitan Police Department issue warning notices for one month prior to the issuance of real fines.
Mr. Sanders said ticketing during the testing phase is necessary in order to get motorists used to sharing the road with the bright red streetcars before they begin carrying passengers, hopefully before the end of the year.