Praise the Lord – for a parking space

Now there’s been a whole flurry of talk(WashTimes, WashPost, even Hill Talk) about church parking in Logan Circle – or more accurately, the lack of legal church parking.

For years, church goers have had an informal grace with the city’s police and residents. Church goers were able to double park on streets, medians, and pretty much wherever they wanted to every Sunday. Police and residents tolerated it because for a long time, there weren’t so many cars, the parishioners kept in line, and last but not least, no one wanted to piss off the powerful churches of DC.

That honeymoon is coming to an end.

Some will say its gentrification – rich newcomers pushing out time-honored institutions. Others might say its racism – white folks trying to push out black folks. But it’s neither. What this parking problem highlights is the seismic shift in DC church demographics – follow the link for more…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs
Back in the day, when the lax Sunday ticketing first started, you had churches with almost 100% local attendance. You went to the church around the corner. Then, as folks started moving around, black families selling their homes – for a great windfall – to new buyers and then moving out of the city, the churches started to shift from a mainly local pedestrian congregation, to a much more suburban vehicular congregation. Now few older established churches in DC have any significant percentage of their congregation from the local community

So in essence, District churches, especially historically black churches, have gone from representing their neighborhoods to a touchstone for suburbanites to what was, and is no longer, their community. And these suburbanites drive in for Sunday service.

They drive in and park willy-nilly, maybe because they feel they have the right to, maybe because they have physical disabilities and can’t walk far, maybe because they’re just too lazy to search for a spot, and maybe, because parking permits are too cheap, there aren’t enough open spaces. No matter the reason why, I say the police should enforce the law – to a limit.

Cars blocking alleys, fire hydrants, and the like – ticket and tow. Cars double parked not in designated church parking areas – tickets, please. And make designated church parking areas, say the block in front of the church, where cars can be double parked. I’m thinking the Riggs Block of 15th Street as an example.

Compromise and balance – this is the spirit of this city, of religion, of the solution to the Sunday parking woes.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Married, mortgaged, and soon to be a father, Wayan Vota is in the fast lane to mid-life respectability – until the day his brood finds his intimate journal of global traveling and curses him with the ever-eternal reply “I’m gonna be just like you, Dad!”

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