Nationals fans confused by parking restrictions, conflicting signs

WASHINGTON — Around Nationals Park, a new pay-to-park policy on Sundays and holidays lacks a basic function: the ability to pay.

Before the season began, the District Department of Transportation announced drivers would have to pay to park on the streets for all home games.

But the first two game days putting that to the test — the Emancipation Day game on April 16 and one on April 19 — exposed some gaps that complicated drivers’ ability to start a parking session.

DDOT says some fans encountered kiosks that wouldn’t accept payments. Similar problems arose when people tried to use the mobile application, Park Mobile.

Neither system appeared to have the updates requiring payment for all stadium events.

The trouble initiating a parking session was not universal around the ballpark. Instead, it appeared to affect one or two kiosks and a mobile application.

For drivers, the concern is getting a ticket because they weren’t able to pay.

Physical street signs alert fans to the change this season.

One reads, “Notice: meter payment required during all stadium events including Sundays and holidays.

But after the Emancipation Day game, one fan posted a picture of a kiosk prompt which read: “Machine closed Sundays and all city and federal holidays.”

DDOT is aware of the problems some had paying for a parking session. A spokesperson says the agency is looking into it.

It is unclear how many drivers may have been ticketed as a result of the parking problems.

WTOP has reached out to the Department of Public Works to ask how fans should note their inability to pay for a parking space.

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