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Driving and Parking

Parking During a Snow Emergency

When a snow emergency is declared, motorists may not park on the streets designated as snow emergency routes. Snow emergency tickets are $250.

If Your Car Is Towed

Vehicles ticketed for a snow emergency violation and towed by DPW will be taken to the DPW Impound Lot at 5001 Shepherd Parkway, SW 20032. The lot is open weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm, and the telephone number is (202) 645-5500. The lot is closed weekends, holidays and when the DC government is closed. Vehicles also may be towed by private towing companies, and vehicle owners can learn where their vehicle has been towed by calling the Towed Vehicle Locator office at (202) 541-6083. To have an impounded vehicle released, these fees must be paid before the vehicle will be released:

  • $250 ticket for the snow emergency violation.
  • $100 tow fee.
  • $20 per day storage fee.

Additional fees also may be required to be paid, e.g., fees for tickets older than 60 days that have not been entered into the adjudication system.

These fees may be paid at the impound lot by bank debit card, credit card (Mastercard, Visa and Discover) or online through the Department of Motor Vehicles website -- dmv.dc.gov/.

Tips for Motorists

If you must drive, drive cautiously and maintain safe speeds and distances from other vehicles. Keep a safe distance from emergency and snow vehicles and please use caution when attempting to pass a snowplow. Give the drivers plenty of room to safely do their jobs.

  • Consider taking Metro as an alternative to driving.
  • Be aware of hazardous road conditions, particularly black ice which can be deceptive in appearance and give the driver a false sense of security on the road.
  • Keep your gas tank full.
  • Clear all the snow and ice from your vehicle’s hood, roof, windows and lights before driving.
  • Drive carefully on bridges, ramps and other elevated structures, which can freeze before the roadway.
  • Have an emergency “go-kit” in your car. Visit hsema.dc.gov to learn how to make your go-kit.

Winter Storm Tips for Cyclists

  • Avoid cycling directly on snow or ice, especially if the temperature is below freezing. Wait for clearing and/or melting
  • Watch for ‘black ice’- a thin, clear sheet of ice that looks like pavement.
  • After the storm, bike lanes may still be covered in snow, so share the travel lane with cars as necessary.
  • Check your gears and brakes for ice and dirt.
  • DPW and DDOT will clear the special bike facilities (such as 15th Street, NW, Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, and the Metropolitan Branch Trail) after the streets have been cleared.