We came across this article in the Washington Post from November 17th, 1955. Seems like people were getting pretty frustrated at the closing of roads and parking near the White House.
No one, we are sure, begrudges the White House staff a reasonable amount of reasonable amount of reserved parking space on the streets. The continuing encroachment on the Ellipse, however, strikes us as unreasonable. West Executive ave. was closed to the public and converted to parking spaces several years ago. Additional demands have brought a sort of silent aggression; the 313 spaces now reserved line part of East Executive ave. as well as the entire western half of the Ellipse. The persons gypped in this expropriation of parking space, of course, are the out-of-town visitors to Washington who customarily have parked in the two-hour spaces in the Ellipse while touring the White House and other shrines. It is time to pay the visitors a little heed. Must street parking space be furnished so many employes of the Executive Office and Budget Bureau (in contrast, by the way, to the limited facilities available for most agencies)? If so, should not the Government be providing off-street parking lots, even though these might entail a little longer walk for the users? Better still, could not some of these employes reasonably be asked to patronize private lots as most Washingtonians must do, or even leave their cars at home and ride the bus?