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Parking in Chinatown area in evening

Level Contributor
101 posts
11 reviews
14 helpful votes
Parking in Chinatown area in evening

I'm supposed to meet friends near the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop this evening around 6:30. I'm coming from Maryland and am trying to figure out if it makes sense to drive there (since I'll mostly be going against traffic). Would I be able to find street parking? Any advice as to which streets to park on?

My other option is to take the green line metro, leaving from Greenbelt. But then I'll be taking the train back at night.

Any advice? Thanks!

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
21,550 posts
51 reviews
23 helpful votes
1. Re: Parking in Chinatown area in evening

Street parking? Near DC's Chinatown/Penn Quarter? I haven't tried that in decades, but I suspect it is one step away from impossible.

Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
1,007 posts
9 reviews
33 helpful votes
2. Re: Parking in Chinatown area in evening

Hi Sarah,

I used to live in that neighborhood, and finding street parking is a nightmare. Pretty much everything is 2-hour meters, if you are lucky enough to find anything at all. That being said, I have occasionally found free street parking on the weekend in the E Street area closer to Judiciary Square. However, those were metered spaces where the meters weren't in effect on a Saturday evening. (They probably would be on a weeknight.) There is also a parking garage at the Verizon Center, but it sounds like you don't want to spend that much.

I wouldn't worry too much about taking the metro at night - Greenbelt has a huge parking lot, so you could try to get a space close to the station entrance and not have to walk too far when you leave. And you don't need to switch lines to get to Gallery Place, so it would be an easy ride. I would probably just take metro.

washington, dc
Level Contributor
663 posts
5 reviews
2 helpful votes
3. Re: Parking in Chinatown area in evening

Definitely take metro. The few blocks surrounding the metro station are packed with traffic (the notion of inbound or outbound at 6:30 isn't very clear), and street parking is difficult, if not impossible to come by. I've run into this folly before, and wound up sucking it up and paying 15 bucks to park in the big lot at 9th & H.

Also, meters in Chinatown now run until 10pm @ $2/hr, so unless you're only there for a little while you'll be pumping lots of quarters. If you insist on doing this, you'll have better luck on 6th or 5th closer to E or F.

The train to Greenbelt is perfectly safe at night. Note that you will need a SmarTrip card to exit the lot (though the gates do sometimes seem to be up, but don't bank on it).

Destination Expert
for Las Vegas
Level Contributor
11,577 posts
20 reviews
31 helpful votes
4. Re: Parking in Chinatown area in evening

I agree. Unless you find a spot that someone is just pulling out of it is almost impossible. I have even had a hard time on Sunday afternoons when nothing is going on down there.

Washington, DC
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
2,230 posts
42 reviews
62 helpful votes
5. Re: Parking in Chinatown area in evening

If you think $2 an hour for on-street parking is expensive, think about what it's going to cost to park in an underground garage if you can't find a streetside space.

6. Re: Parking in Chinatown area in evening

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