Thursday, April 27, 2006

Illegal Parking to Continue in DC

The Washington Times reports:

D.C. officials said... that they will delay the enforcement of double-parking laws near churches on Sundays until at least late August...

Double-parking is illegal in the District, but churchgoers have been ignoring the law on Sundays for at least 30 years. The Metropolitan Police Department, which is responsible for parking patrols on the weekends, has not been issuing tickets to violators.

There's something strange about churchgoers insisting on their right to park illegally.

Besides, DC has so many churches that I have a hard time believing that most people can't walk or ride a bus to get there - and if they can't there are even more churches with plentiful parking a short Sunday morning drive away. Across the moat, Old Town Alexandria's churches have very limited parking, but I have yet to see a single instance of double parking on a public street.

Jared Leland, a lawyer with the Becket Fund, said the organization plans to oppose the parking enforcement on legal grounds.

"The law shouldn't be applied in a way that unfairly burdens churches," he said. "This double-parking law is unconstitutional because it puts an unfair burden on the religious institution."

Todd Lovinger, a Logan Circle resident and lawyer who helped pressure the city to enforce the law, said last week that if the city delays enforcement any longer, he will form a coalition of neighborhood officials, business leaders and the American Civil Liberties Union to bring a lawsuit against the city for giving preference to churches and enforcing the law arbitrarily.

Law enforcement is only an unfair burden when it is selective, like letting churchgoers park illegally while ticketing everyone else. Double parked cars should be towed or rammed out of the way, or both.

1 comment:

April said...

So much for people acting like Christians outside of the church doors.