News & Politics

Here’s How Much Time The Average Washingtonian Spends Searching For Parking

65 hours a year, well above the national average

Photograph via iStock.

After Tuesday’s depressing news that Washingtonians need to earn six figures to live “comfortably,” today we know a bit more about just where some of that money’s going: Parking!

A study released by INRIX found that drivers in DC spend an average of 65 hours looking for a parking spot each year–far above the average annual search time of 17 hours–amounting to a cost of $1,367.

Of the US cities where parking is the biggest headache, DC ranks fourth. That’s better than cities such as New York and Los Angeles, where parking is notoriously difficult, but worse than places like Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta. Still, the average cost of two-hour parking in Washington—$18—is lower than the average cost in New York, Chicago, or Boston.

While Metro was once a sound alternative for commuters looking to avoid driving, recent cuts in service and fare hikes have made getting around the city more complicated. These days, it may just a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.

Courtney Vinopal is a former Washingtonian editorial fellow. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and previously worked as a press attaché for the Embassy of France in Washington, where she ran the institution’s social media accounts and newsletters. She lives in Woodley Park.