The New Year has brought new changes to the D.C. parking scene, which is good news for our tour groups traveling via motorcoaches. Did you know that according to the National Park Service, 1,200 motorcoaches arrive each day in D.C. during peak travel season. Luckily for our student tour groups, traveling D.C. by motorcoach just got easier.
By spring 2019, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has announced that the District will almost double the number of street parking zones reserved for tour bus parking.
The change is in response to increased complaints by bus drivers and tourists alike.
Complaints over tour bus parking have ranged from the parking spots being too far from the popular monuments, to lacking easily accessed sidewalks and crosswalks for students and access to amenities like restaurants and restrooms that many of our students often need. The lack of accessible parking for motorcoaches has resulted in tour bus drivers circling the block for parking, increasing traffic congestion.
According to D.C. journalist Mitch Wander, the DDOT has “already deployed three motorcoach parking zones: Virginia Avenue SW near Museum of the Bible, L'Enfant Plaza, and the 700 block of Frontage Road SW just south of L'Enfant Plaza and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The fourth location at Thomas Jefferson Drive NW has been deployed, but was not part of the initial plan for roll-out and currently shares space with food trucks.”
There are two additional locations that DDOT has planned for the first phase: 400 block of Independence Avenue SW near the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and the 1100 block of Independence Avenue SW near the Freer and Sackler Galleries and L'Enfant Plaza that will be operational by the spring tourist season.
Bottom line? Touring our nation's capital via motorcoach is going to get even easier.
To read more details about the changes coming to D.C. streets, access the full article here.
And if a trip to Washington, D.C. is on your New Year’s Bucket List, please reach out to our experienced student travel consultants or browse our many D.C. and Historic East Coast itineraries.