Anyone who’s driven Independence or Constitution in the summertime knows the tour-bus hatred. Or 15th Street. Or Virginia Ave. Or 17th Street. Or really anywhere near the tourist areas of DC. These bastards park their motorcoaches whereever they darned-well please, and it’s a real pain in the ass to get anywhere when they’re here. My favorite is 15th Street at 3:30pm, where you can sometimes have buses triple parked, blocking all southbound traffic. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) feels your pain, and wrote a letter to Mayor Fenty to request a fix. Here’s his list of questions:
Are there additional enforcement procedures that could be employed by the Metropolitan Police and United States Park Police to deter congestion-causing traffic offenses?
Are there any planned or potential expansions of bus parking spaces or drop-off lanes in the Mall area?
Are there steps that can reasonably be taken to increase visitors’ use of Metro and satellite bus parking, including advertising through National Park Service materials or the DC Visitors Bureau?
Can the Park Service coordinate tour times so as not to coincide with peak commuter rush hour periods?
If I had to guess, there’s a lot that can be done to increase enforcement against the buses that are causing the problems. I’d advocate for a $500-$1,000 fine, myself, and maybe public floggings of the drivers that are repeat offenders.