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The Washington Post: For decades, some in D.C. wanted to turn Franklin Square into a parking lot

Apr 17, 2021

By John Kelly

The first mention of turning Franklin Square into a parking lot appeared in the Washington Herald of Oct. 12, 1921. “Nowhere to Park; Plan City Garage” was the headline.

Anyone who owned a motor car — and any pedestrian who tried to navigate the thicket of haphazardly parked vehicles — would have been familiar with the problem.

The horseless carriage made its debut in Washington in 1897. By 1915, Maj. Raymond Pullman, the superintendent of police, estimated there were about 12,000 automobiles in D.C. — “and it is necessary to make some provision for parking them,” he said.

Drivers parked on the street, either “ranked” — what we today call parallel parking — or angled. Wider streets such as Pennsylvania and New York avenues allowed center parking: parking along the center median, parallel to the streetcar tracks…

-Read more at The Washington Post