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Best Parking/Getting Around Options for our D.C. Stay?

Best Parking/Getting Around Options for our D.C. Stay?

Old Jun 6th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Best Parking/Getting Around Options for our D.C. Stay?

Hi All,

DH and I are coming from Media PA (about 20 miles southwest of Phila.) to D.C. on either Fri. July 3rd or Sat. July 4th. While dh will only be able to stay thru Monday or Tues., I'll be staying the whole following week for a conference. We will be staying at a cousin's apartment, located at 16th and Irving, NW. My conference is at 23rd and K, NW.

Initial questions have to do with travel and parking, tho' I may be be back with some tourist ones as well! Said cousin suggests we take a bus or train from Philly, but then we have to deal with me schlepping my week's worth of stuff to and thru the train station at 30th St. in Philly, again when we get off to switch to the Metro in D.C., and again from his metro stop to his apartment. So we're wondering about whether we might be better off either:

1) drive in to his place, drop our stuff off, and then drive out of the city and park in the 'burbs somewhere (where?), taking the Metro back in luggage-free and planning to use public transportation til time to go home;
OR
2) can he get a visitor's permit for us for a week, does anyone know? And if so, how is parking in that neighborhood (he doesn't know as he doesn't drive)?

Also, he says I can walk to my conference from his place, and while I'm a walker, google maps it at 2.3 miles and if it's as hot and sticky as Philly is in July, I don't want to arrive at the conference like that (might walk back at the end of the day, tho). What's the best site for me to use to map the short trip by public transport?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old Jun 6th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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If you want to drive he can get you a visitors parking permit for his area assuming he can provde he lives in the district....a drivers license with a DC address would do. He go to the local policy sub station. There is one at 16th and W. They give you a permit for 2 weeks. You park on the street but watch out for the street sweepers. You have to move your car during that 2 hours per week or you get $30 ticket.

16th street is major bus route into town. Just take the bus down 16th to K and walk to 23rd from there.

Maps - go to www.wmata.org or .com for the metro....which includes the trains and the bus schedules in dc.
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Old Jun 6th, 2009, 12:58 PM
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I agree, your best option is to have your cousin get a visitor parking pass, as long as he can prove residency, The pass will exempt you from the time limit for visitor parking, but only in the Zone your cousin lives in (probably Zone 1). Be sure that the pass is prominently displayed.

In that neighborhood, your best bet for finding parking is on Lanier Pl, though not in the prohibited spaces near the fire station. Get a good detailed map that shows the directions of the one-way streets and be prepared to circle around a bit. Parking will be easy on weekdays, very challenging on weekends, though maybe the 4th is different.
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Old Jun 6th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Clarification: Park the car when you arrive and use public transit during your stay.
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Old Jun 6th, 2009, 06:30 PM
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Thanks to both of you! He is a resident and I will ask him if he would kindly go to his local police substation for us. Very helpful!
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 05:56 AM
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You need to provide him your license plate number and the state your car is registered in.
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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If you do choose to walk one day--maybe we'll have a cool spell--who knows? Walk down Connecticut Avenue. There will be lots of others walking down as well and this won't take you through any dodgy areas. If you cut over from Connecticut to 23rd around R or Q Street, it will take you past some lovely Embassies. Or you could walk down Connecticut all the way to K, and end up at Farragut North metro.
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Thanks! Have provided our license number and now just hope for both a parking spot and a cool spell...wouldn't that be nice!

Tmagyari, thanks for the walking route advice. Are there any areas near where my cousin lives or where the conference is, where you would suggest I stay away from?
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 04:37 AM
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If it is hot and humid, you may want to pick up the DC Circulator bus at 16th and K (when you get off the Metrobus) and take that to 23rd and K. Or you could walk across Farragut Square to Farragut WEST and take the metro one stop to Foggy Bottom/GWU.

If you want to walk from 16th and Irving, the most direct route is to walk down 16th to New Hampshire and turn right. You'll go across Dupont Circle and continue down New Hampshire, which connects with 23rd and K at Washington Circle.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 05:39 AM
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I would take the train and use public transit in DC. The hassle of finding street parking in densely populated residential/retail areas such as columbia Heights is significant. Spaces are few to begin with, and there are rush hour and street cleaning restrictions that make it difficult to leave a car for days without moving it.
Taxi from Union Station to your lodging would be less than $20. A single parking ticket if you misread the signs would be at least $30.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 05:53 AM
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kyd, if you're going to do a cost/benefit analysis then you have to also factor-in the cost of gas vs train tickets. My own experiences in long-term parking in that area have been uneventful, moving once during the day in anticipation of street cleaning.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Anon, my experience is in a nearby neighborhood, so I defer to you re Col Hts. I just wanted to offer a different opinion because I really hate parking in the city.

Driving from Phila is surely less expensive than the train for a group, and longterm parking at National Airport ($12/day in econmony lot) might be an alternative if they discover street parking is too much hassle.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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Agree, that's a safe area to park (find a space and PARK it).

No areas in particular near your cousin I would avoid. That said, there is nor reason to go east of 14th St.

14th St. betyween Irving and Monroe is worth checking out (I love Rumberos - http://www.rumberos-dc.com/ )

You should also check out Columbia Rd. Between 16th and 18th.

Finally, the apt. is about a 5 minute walk to the Zoo (follow Harvard St. from 16th westward all the way to the Zoo entrance).
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Wow, that's a lot of helpful info, thanks everyone!
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