The District of Columbia Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for towing vehicles that have two or more unpaid fines for 61 days. Legally parked vehicles can also be towed in case of emergency, such as at the request of the Secret Service or the Metropolitan Police Department. The DPW does not tow on weekends, but cranes are often seen on Maine Avenue SW, across the street from District Wharf, which is the third most towed street in all of Washington, D. C.
Drivers have reported that parking signs are confusing, leading to many cars being fined and towed. So why do officials make all that effort to clear some cars if the third lane never works for travelers? Drivers like Antoine Douglas, who had their car towed on Maine Avenue, said it was about the money. A clear street benefits everyone, so Douglas said the city should help drivers by making parking signs clearer, not punishing them. The Department of Public Works and the Department of Motor Vehicles have rejected repeated requests for answers to questions about why Maine Avenue SW is never clear.
However, it is clear that thousands of dollars come out of taxpayer packages and the city's revenues continue to rise. Haley Murphy, a master's candidate and graduate ambassador at the School of Communication at the American University, suggests that the problem lies in the size of the parking signs. She believes that if they were made bigger and the restrictions were written in all capitals, people would be more likely to understand them and avoid being fined and towed. To release a towed or booted vehicle, you must pay the trunk or towing fee and all outstanding parking tickets.
It is important to note that only DPW can safely remove the boot. At the end of the day, it is essential for drivers to be aware of their surroundings and read all parking signs carefully in order to avoid being fined or towed. The city should also take steps to make parking signs clearer so that drivers can easily understand them.