Council considers prohibiting students from parking out-of-state cars on DC residential streets
The District of Columbia Council is considering a bill that if passed, would revoke the ability for students with out-of-state cars to apply for reciprocity parking permits. The measure would force students to change their vehicle registration from their home state to the District of Columbia in order for them to be able to legally park on the street, which has students up in arms.
“This puts an undue burden on students, says American University Student Government President Tim McBride. “You can’t pass a law that specifically says students have to do something, but everyone else doesn’t have to. Thats’s unfair and it violates D.C. law and the values of this city.”
McBride said he feels the bill violates the 1977 D.C. human rights act, which prohibits discrimination against suspect classes and includes matriculation as a class.
Students react to the proposed bill:
Currently, students, members of the military, congressional members, presidential appointees, and diplomats are allowed to apply for a one-year renewable reciprocity permit, without having to register their cars in the District. The new proposed law would “prevent full-time students who reside within the District of Columbia from being issued or from using a reciprocity parking sticker for out-of-state vehicles.” D.C. law currently prevents students at Georgetown University from receiving reciprocity permits.
Not all streets are “Residential Permit Parking,” or RPP streets, however many of the streets in the surrounding neighborhoods of American University do require permits in order for cars to be parked in front of houses on the street.
If students live on an RPP street and would like to park their cars on the street in front of their houses, they would be required to register their vehicle in the District of Columbia. In order for a vehicle to be registered in the District, the driver must have proof of D.C. insurance coverage and a valid D.C. driver’s license in addition to paying the applicable fees.
In order for students to obtain a D.C. drivers license, they must change their residency to the District of Columbia, which has some students concerned about their ability to vote in their home states where they feel their vote would have more of an impact on elections.
ANC 3D, which represents the AU area voted on a resolution Wednesday night, showing their support for the council’s bill. The vote was 6 to 1, with the only nay vote being Commissioner Deon Jones, who is also an AU student.
ANC Commissioner Tom Smith, who represents many AU students, offers his reaction to the bill:
The bill, B19-217 The Residential Parking Protection Amendment Act is co-sponsored by five out of the 13 council members and was first introduced in April of 2011. It has since been referred to the committee on Public Works and Transportation that will hold a public hearing on Tuesday at 10:30am. Students from AU and D.C.’s neighboring universities are expected to attend to show their support against the bill.