Michelle Basch, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Many residents in our area start praying before they get to church on Sunday. They're praying to find a parking spot.
"Churches are really having a problem on Sundays," says Bishop James Smallwood, pastor and founder of Upon This Rock Tabernacle in Northeast.
Signs have gone up on some D.C. streets restricting parking every day of the week.
Smallwood says as a result, people are effectively being penalized for going to church.
"The churches have been there for a long time. Even the small church where I am has been there for more than 50 years, and we don't apologize for having church," Smallwood says.
Chuck Hall with Shiloh Baptist Church in Northwest says angled parking that allowed older people to park closer to the church has been taken away.
Now both men are asking the District Department of Transportation to improve the situation, and work more closely with churches when parking changes near churches are proposed in the future.
"Before the actions are taken, before the signs are posted, give us an opportunity to let you know what the pluses and minuses may be," Hall says.
Hall and Smallwood spoke at the first in a series of "Parking Think Tanks" DDOT is holding around the city over the next few months to get community feedback about parking issues.
Get more information and listings of upcoming meetings here.
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