Parking near U St. in DC
October 19, 2011 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Best parking solutions in DC.

I'm moving into an apartment in DC on U St and 18th NW in a few weeks. The apartment offers monthly parking for $170, which seems kind of expensive to me. I currently have Virginia License/Tag. What are some of my options for permanent parking?

I would use my car on most days to get to work (I work in Mclean, VA), and will probably not use it over the weekend.

I would also entertain the idea of biking/public transportation to work if it means I can leave the car farther away at a cheaper place and only use it occasionally.

Thanks for the help.
posted by typography to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hey, we'll be neighbors. I live a half block away. When I was thinking about renting out my parking space, I was told I could get about $200 a month for it, maybe more. I would be surprised if you could find something much less. I've seen flyers in the range of $200 before, I don't think I've seen anything close to $150.

My gut is that you should take the apartment's spot. MeMail me if you want to talk details about commuting, I know the area as well as I know anything, which is not necessarily much.
posted by allen.spaulding at 2:08 PM on October 19, 2011

That's an extremely good price for the location, especially if it's in a semi-secure and guaranteed place.
posted by juniperesque at 2:13 PM on October 19, 2011

If you can stash it somewhere for free (parent's house?) do that. Car in DC = expensive migraine. Biking around here is great.
posted by 3FLryan at 2:17 PM on October 19, 2011

I used to live very close to where you're living, and paid $200/month for parking in my apartment, which definitely seemed to be the going rate. I'd be shocked if you could find a parking space that was convenient for daily use for much less.

Of course you could always switch to DC tags and park it on the street. You'll spend a nontrivial amount of your time looking for parking, but if money is tight, it can be done (except on Friday and Saturday nights, when you won't be able to count on getting a parking space at all).

(I don't know as much about solutions for garaging it far away, but my suspicion is that we'd be talking about garaging it a *lot* farther away-- i.e., several metro stops away.)
posted by willbaude at 2:17 PM on October 19, 2011

Of course you could always switch to DC tags and park it on the street

This really will not be an option for that area for at least a year. The road work on 18th has not only removed a number of parking spaces in the short term, but has made 18th and Florida (U) a giant mess to get through. Just making one loop through that area can take 10 minutes easy. As winter approaches, it seems like the traffic is only going to get worse, not better.
posted by allen.spaulding at 2:19 PM on October 19, 2011

I concur that $170 a month to park at U and 18th is a good deal.
posted by exogenous at 2:19 PM on October 19, 2011

Somehow missed the part of the question where you said you need a car. Yeah, either pay the $200 a month or get DC plates so you can street park, apparently not-so-close-to-your-apartment according to the above posters (which still may require a permit - extra expense but not sure how that works). And DC ticketers are super strict about all this parking shit. It sucks.
posted by 3FLryan at 2:21 PM on October 19, 2011

I used to live around that area- the $170 is (sadly) a good deal. If you really want to look into it, i would suggest craigslist to see if people are renting their houses parking spots in alleys. If you keep it in the garage you wont have to worry about changing tags quickly (and DC might find you in an alley parking spot and start ticketing), so it honestly sounds like the best option is at your building.
posted by zara at 2:28 PM on October 19, 2011

Nthing the advice to take the spot in your building, at least while you're first getting settled in (especially with the slushy season closing in pretty quickly here).

If not, the local police station at 17th & V will give you a two-week temporary street parking permit (and again and again every two weeks, more or less indefinitely, as far as I've seen... though I'm sure that's not official policy). All you need is proof of your local residence and the car's registration.

The commute from Adams Morgan to McLean is, unfortunately, no fun via any means I can think of... but if your hours are pretty regular, I wonder if there's a coworker in your neighborhood who'd help subsidize your parking costs for a lift?

Hey, and welcome to DC!
posted by argonauta at 2:29 PM on October 19, 2011

Park it in Silver Spring for $95 a month. Montgomery County parking. Take the Metro or one of the S buses up 16th Street to get to your car when needed. Take public transportation to work---probably a pain to get to McLean.

Or pay the $170, or deal with uncertain street parking. There really are no good cheap options for parking for where you live.
posted by massysett at 2:30 PM on October 19, 2011

Since it's $100 per ROSA violation, it's a really good deal, especially for parking in the area.

As for commuting, I generally take the GW Parkway to 495 whenever I go out to Tysons Corner, and I've also done the Orange Line-Fairfax Connector option. Both options are significantly easier if you can leave at the start of rush hour.

Welcome to DC!
posted by evoque at 2:46 PM on October 19, 2011

There are a few spots that are "unzoned" in the District, and the rest is zoned. You'll get the living crap ticketed out of you if you park in a zoned area.

Not practical to park it on the street.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:54 PM on October 19, 2011

If you live in Arlington now try to figure out how long you can keep that residential sticker. Take the bus to orange line, take car out to Maclean. Takes awhile, but beats traffic BILLION Times.
posted by sandmanwv at 3:00 PM on October 19, 2011

Even if you take the $170/month parking (and you probably should), I'd get the tags switched to DC. It's not nearly as awful a process as you've been led to believe and there are always advantages to keeping everything legal and straightforward.
posted by The Lamplighter at 3:47 PM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

nthing -- you almost definitely won't find cheaper than $170 for off-street parking right around here. If you're not changing your tags, this is by far your best option. (I would recommend changing your tags, so you could occasionally park on the street and let visiting friends use your spot.)

If you don't want to pay the $170, you should change to DC tags and use street parking. It's not great around here, and I wouldn't try to park after 8 on a Friday or Saturday especially, it's not the worst (I live nearby and have been putting up with street parking for years). I don't disagree that the 18th and U construction is bad, but it's still doable.

If you don't change tags, so long as you drive to work every weekday, leaving before 9am and not parking until 6:30(? I think? Blanking on what time 2 hr parking ends), you can get away with it. It's just an added headache that, in the long run, will cost you more than switching tags.
posted by inigo2 at 3:58 PM on October 19, 2011

Don't forget the 6% excise tax for switching tags (of the market value of your car), which can be alot.
posted by sandmanwv at 4:15 PM on October 19, 2011

I agree that $170 is a good deal for parking in that area. I'd probably take it.

If you go get DC plates and tags, you will be treated much more leniently when parking on the street in the neighborhood. Relying on street parking in this area is a bit annoying, esp. on weekends, but I have done it. Try V St between 16th and 17th or Florida between 16th and 18th--there's often parking there.
posted by mkuhnell at 6:09 PM on October 19, 2011

I used to live in that neighborhood, too, and street parking around there is a nightmare - especially if you're going to be coming home any time after 6pm. I was lucky because my apartment came with a parking spot in our alley, but I often came home at night on the weekends and found that some random person going to an Adams Morgan bar had parked in my marked "private property, you will be towed" spot b/c they couldn't find a street spot. It's that bad. Also, $170 is actually totally reasonable, if not cheap for a parking spot in that area.
posted by echo0720 at 7:32 PM on October 19, 2011

Agreed that $170/mo is a good deal. Take it and laugh all the way to the leasing office.

That said, and maybe this is one of those 'questioning the premise' things that we're not supposed to do ... but have you read any of the articles about how much commuting sucks? Yeah, it's nice to live in a hip neighborhood and everything, but I'd really put some thought into whether you want to do that DC->McLean commute.

I used to do a similar commute, and told myself that it wasn't that bad "by DC standards" or because it was a "reverse commute." Over time I realized it was turning me into a miserable person, so I moved to a location where walking/biking was actually practical. Best. decision. ever. Just some food for thought.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:31 PM on October 19, 2011

The apartment offers monthly parking for $170

With a parking spot in that neighborhood, you will be the King/Queen of Adams Morgan. It's a steal. When you do drive on the weekends and want to go out with friends to A/M or give a friend a ride back home, you will be thankful you have a parking spot.

If you are uncomfortable with the parking charges, you would be better off living somewhere else and parking there, where parking and housing is cheaper, than you would be living in Adams Morgan and parking somewhere else.
posted by deanc at 12:21 AM on October 20, 2011

Response by poster: Sorry for the late reply but I've decided to take the parking spot. Thanks guys. I'll be moving in this weekend, give me a shout if you want to hang out.
posted by typography at 8:31 AM on November 10, 2011

« Older Late Condolences?   |   Tivo and Video Streaming Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.