This weekend, driving into D.C. I go to my usual spot on a street where there are usually plenty of open spots where you can keep your car the whole weekend. To my surprise, I notice a new sign on the meters that says that the meters (as well as the 2 hour time limit for parking) operate on Saturdays from 7 AM to 10 PM! This, despite the fact that the parking sign on the street itself says that the 2 hour parking limit applies to Monday through Friday only. And on further inspection, the meters have a second sign on them that says that the meters and time limit only go from 7 AM to 6:30 PM on Saturdays. So we have three inconsistent signs applying to the same parking spot.
Now, I know the rule is that where the street sign and the meter sign conflict, the latter is the one that controls. But what to make of two inconsistent signs on the same meter? More important, what mouth-breather was responsible for this asinine development??? This sort of bottom level incompetence is sadly what I've come to expect from the D.C. city government. How do they expect to get statehood when they can't seem to do even the simplest things right?
It's also depressing because the area I usually park in is off the beaten path, and (judging from the number of available spaces I could usually find) was not a problem for residents with too many out of towners taking up spots. Clearly the only reason the city is enforcing meters on Saturdays (and until very late at night, too--the M-F metering still goes only until 6:30, and no this is not in a nightclub area) is to get extra revenue. This is understandable, as the city is so poorly run that squeezing every dime out of us is the only way they can keep solvent--though if they keep it up it's going to discourage us from coming to town and spending our out of town wages on beer and stuff. What's dismaying to me is the two-hour limit--who wants to move their car every two hours? And since it's a low-trafficked area, it hardly seems necessary--why not let us feed the meter for the full day (with a credit card, perhaps)? Besides, when they announced they'd be enforcing Saturday parking, I was led to believe that would only be on certain listed streets and parts of the city (my usual spot being safe, according to that info).
Fortunately, a friend of mine had a spot available in his building's garage, so a day of metering and moving the car was avoided. But DC government has earned yet another spot in my book of gripes.