Dear Margaret and everyone,
It would make sense if we, as a beleaguered community, would finally require the Smithsonian to solve its own parking problems and not put it on the neighborhood streets to absorb their parking. How about Lawn signs: BUILD ZOO PARKING GARAGE! Let's do a little parking shaming. Nothing in life is free, especially in the big city.
At the rate that office space is rented downtown, how much would it cost, per sq. ft. to park a car all day at a zoo parking lot? Why can’t Metro make a weekend offering to reduce the cost of parking at their suburban lots and offer a wee little break on fare cards to the Woodley Park/Zoo station? This would only be on the weekend when the daily commuters are home mowing their lawns.
There would be the occasional daughter-in-law bringing the grandkids into town to visit the grandparents in Woodley Park, but that would be minor compared to the hoards of suburbanites who circle through our streets, belching exhaust, jamming their cars too close to our driveways and parking illegally under stop signs looking for someplace to leave the car so they can show the kids a real live panda!
Perhaps Cleveland Park and Woodley Park should stop wringing their hands about the Metro and zoo parking on its streets and start a BUILD ZOO PARKING campaign!
Cheryl makes a good point that the Zoo is in a residential area with virtually no adjacent street parking so visitors who bring families in cars park on neighborhood streets if they don’t want to pay for parking in the zoo. It reminded me that not long ago DC required the Cathedral to accommodate visitors, resulting in the Cathedral’s costly construction of underground parking. It would make sense for the Zoo to expand their parking facilities.