Every District resident knows parking can be quite the chore. Now drivers may need to look out for fake parking signs as well.

A suspicious-looking "No Parking" sign was sighted in Washington, D.C., this month and was found to be a fake parking sign. The sign was found on the 1400 block of Morse Street NE, and the person who found it turned to the local blog PoPville to ask if it was real or not. [caption id="attachment_8987" align="aligncenter" width="411"]fake parking sign Courtesy of PoPville[/caption] The person asks,
"What gives? I’ve previously lived in Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, U Street, and Petworth, and only saw zone permit parking only or 2 hour limit enforced 24/7. Is this a new kind of restriction, and if so, why those hours?”
A quick investigation found the parking sign was in fact not issued by the Department of Transportation. The sign says "Resident Parking Only. 6 p.m.–3 a.m. Resident or Visitor Permit Required. Towing Enforced. $250 Fine." This sign contradicts the sign above it which states that the area is two-hour parking from 7 a.m.–8:30 p.m., except for Zone 5 permit holders. Commenters were quick to point out why the sign was a fake. One person writes, "The fact that there's no arrow on it and that it asks for a 'resident or visitor permit' rather than a 'zone X permit' tells me it wasn't put there by DDOT. As well, it places an additional limitation on the conditions of the green sign above it. Finally, the fact that the corners are sharper (have a smaller radius of curvature) than the other two signs (...)"
WUSA9 asked the District Department of Transportation whether the sign was theirs, and the department concluded that it was indeed a fake sign. The DDOT says their signs never have a picture of a car getting towed and that they only fine $25 for illegal parking in a permit space. The DDOT says that if you find a fake sign you should call the mayor's 311 number, and someone will come take the sign down. The sign seems to be a clever attempt for a local parker to make sure their spot is available. The risk of towing and a fine could easily deter people from parking in the area. A fake parking sign is very easy to buy over the internet with sites like mayparkingsign.com selling the exact template of the fake parking sign found in Washington, D.C. Customers can even customize the language on the sign. [caption id="attachment_8988" align="aligncenter" width="528"]fake parking sign Courtesy of My Parking Sign[/caption] This just adds to the list of confusing signs for District residents. The city has over 206,000 street signs across the city and many of them are unclear. The DDOT hopes to analyze each of the signs to find examples of uncertainty and conflicting messages. In some areas, people have found signs right next to each other that say both -- that you can and cannot park in the area. Anyone with questions about street signs, whether they think the sign is fake or they don't understand if they can park, should call 311 for more information. What do you think? Have you seen any of these signs around? Hate parking in the city? Tell us in the comments below!

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