At 7:30 this morning, far earlier than I normally leave my house, I was outside in flip-flops and my pajama shorts, moving my car. Nor was I the only one. My neighborhood is filled with students and people who work from home, and a whole lot of them seemed to be making U turns to park across the street.
Why was I doing this? The District of Columbia is trying to make up plummeting tax revenues by getting the money out of motorists, especially parking. It's using cameras to get 100% enforcement of the street cleaning parking rules, nearly doubling the cost of many parking tickets, and upping the bill on meters--it now costs $2 an hour to park in front of the Watergate, up from $1 last month. This is a twofer: raise more revenue from the meter, and from the parking ticket, because who carries around $4 in change on a regular basis?
Anecdotally, they've also upped the quota on parking enforcement, which used to be more of a sinecure; my mother reports that she now has three parking enforcement officers in her small neighborhood, constantly patrolling rather than (as they used to) sleeping in front of the Congressional cemetary. They've started ticketing her for being an "out of state car" persistently parked in the neighborhood. I got a ticket for having no front plate, something I didn't know was required. The district has even started ticketing people for parking in their own driveways. After their budget meeting, the city council announced plans to raise millions in new revenue by issuing an additional 200,000 tickets this year.