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DC Councilmember: If I Park Illegally, That Opens Up a Spot for You

A DC resident confronted Jack Evans about his parking

Parking laws in the District can seem like a mess, but as any DC driver can note, confusion is not an excuse for breaking the law—unless you’re DC Councilmember Jack Evans.

Evans, whose free-form approach to parking regulations has been well-documented, was spotted in his car Saturday morning, idling in a no-parking zone in Georgetown, according to a video posted to Reddit by Eric Kmetz.

Kmetz says he first noticed Evans’ car parked at the corner of 32nd and Q streets, Northwest, while on his way to the post office.

“I shared a photo on social media and continued on. It was on my way home that I saw Councilman Evans sitting in his car, reading a magazine,” Kmetz says.

The one-minute video shows Kmetz approaching Evans and asking the councilmember if he knows he is parking illegally.

“Can I ask you something? Why do you care?” Evans responds.

“Because if I parked illegally, I would get a ticket,” Kmetz says.

“If I park illegally, that opens up a spot for you,” Evans says.

Kmetz says the response didn’t surprise him. “He made excuses for his behavior and then threatened to call someone for harassing him. It showed me just how little he thinks of DC residents.”

Evans is hardly the first member of the DC Council to be criticized or spotlighted for flouting the District’s traffic and parking rules. Marion Barry notoriously racked up $2,800 in unpaid traffic and parking fines over a two-year span and councilmember David Grosso has been spotted parking illegally a few times as well. Washington City Paper even opened an Instagram account in 2014 with the aim of documenting the locations and cars of DC councilmembers who parked in awkward spots.

But of all of these, Evans is the council’s best-known parking-law skeptic. As it turns out, he has a point: In 2002, the DC Council granted itself the same legal immunity that members of Congress enjoy in the District, allowing them to park in bus zones, crosswalks, and residential permit zones when on official city business.

As for the magazine Evans was reading Saturday morning — we hope it’s Washingtonian.

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Christian Paz
Editorial Fellow