WASHINGTON (WNEW) — There will be a major change to parking restrictions around Nationals Park for the baseball team’s upcoming game on Friday.
After WNEW reported on confusing, and even incorrect, parking signs around the ballpark, the District’s Department of Transportation is deactivating the parking meters for the Fourth of July holiday and has removed the conflicting signs.
In the past the District has activated parking meters around Nationals Park anytime there is a game or event — including on Sundays and holidays when all other meters in the city are turned off. As a result, hundreds of cars have been ticketed or towed due to people not paying the meters, which charge performance prices making it cost as much as $20 to park at a metered space for a ball game.
On Thursday, DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders told WNEW the meters will be free for Friday’s Fourth of July baseball game. The Nationals take on the Chicago Cubs at 11 a.m. at Nats Park.
“After your reporting on Memorial Day we thought it would be a good idea to take a step back and look at all our planning within the radius of [Nats Park],” Sanders says. “There will be no metered parking, those will be turned off.”
Sanders warns there will still be restrictions in the residential neighborhoods around Nats Park, so people should obey the signage in the neighborhoods.
“We want to preserve those spaces for the people who live in the neighborhood,” Sanders tells WNEW, adding that it’s still important to read the signs. “If in doubt, don’t park there.”
Another problem uncovered by WNEW were incorrect “No Parking” signs along 4th Street SE that resulted in numerous residents who had the proper residential parking permits being ticketed and towed. Those signs have now been removed.
“That has been corrected, absolutely,” Sanders says.
Sanders says deactivating the meters on holidays and Sundays is not a permanent change — yet.
“It’s a consideration,” Sanders says.
Earlier this year on Memorial Day, D.C. issued 213 parking tickets and towed 24 cars around Nationals Park.
WNEW Senior Correspondent Mark Segraves contributed to this report. Follow Mark on Twitter.