D.C. street cleaners are notorious for ticketing unsuspecting visitors and residents. The program stops during the winter to allow snowplows to clean the streets during snow emergencies. The key to avoiding a ticket is to pay attention to signs that designate when street cleaning will occur. Keep reading to understand how street cleaning works in the capital and how to avoid those pesky tickets:
D.C.’s street cleaning program runs from March 1 to October 31. Drivers who park on streets during street sweeping hours until March 9 will only receive a warning ticket. After that, you have to pay the full amount of $45.
Each street has a street cleaning sign which indicates if the street cleaning program operates in the area. The sign will tell you which days and hours street sweepers are expected to pass. If you live in a residential neighborhood, you may recognize the small red ‘tint vacs’. Check out this street cleaning map to plan your parking accordingly. Better yet, download the Spot Angels app to receive real-time alerts when you need to move your car for street cleaning.
If the weather forecasts a snowstorm, the Mayor may declare a snow emergency and parking will be prohibited on streets that are designated as snow emergency routes. Look for signs with red lettering posted along the routes. This will allow the District Snow Team to clear the streets curb-to-curb. In general, rush-hour streets also are snow emergency routes.
Street cleaning occurs throughout the day and depends on where you are in the city. Residential, commercial, and highly trafficked roads all operate on different hours. The easiest way to find out when street cleaning happens near you is to check out the D.C. street cleaning map. Simply type in the address you’re looking to find street cleaning information on, and the map will populate with restricted parking times.
“I saw the street sweeper pass two times already,” is not a good enough reason to move your car back to the street. Sometimes, a supervisor follows the cleaning truck and may request a second sweep.
Even if you see them pass before the two-hour time limit ends, they may come back for a second round to clear any leftovers. If you’re blocking their access, you may even get towed. Obeying the parking signs to a tee will help you avoid a parking ticket but also will make the job easier for street cleaning employees.
Always check the street sign one extra time before leaving your car behind. Whether metered parking, residential areas, or street cleaning schedules, better safe than sorry! Street cleaning signs in DC tell you exactly when parking is prohibited.
Street cleaning tickets in D.C. cost $45 and double after 30 days if they haven’t been paid.
Even street sweepers enjoy holidays off. No need to move your car if the street cleaning hours happen to fall on a nationally recognized holiday.
|Street Cleaning Holiday||Date|
|New Year’s Day Observed||January 1|
|Martin Luther King Jr. Day||January 21|
|Inauguration Day||January 20|
|Washington’s Day||February 18|
|DC Emancipation Day||April 16|
|Memorial Day||May 27|
|Independence Day||July 4|
|Labor Day||September 2|
|Columbus Day||October 14|
|Veterans Day Observed||November 11|
|Thanksgiving Day||November 28|
|Christmas Day||December 25|
The best way to avoid parking tickets altogether is by paying extra attention to the city’s street signs. They can save you from a $45 parking ticket, or coming back to an empty parking spot just to realize your car has been towed. You can pay for your parking ticket with all major credit cards online, by mail, in person, or by calling (866) 893-5023.