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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Washington

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Washington, DC. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Washington's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Washington. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Washington, DC. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Washington, DC

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Washington,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Washington, DC

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Washington, DC

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Washington, DC

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Washington, DC, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Washington, DC

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Washington, DC

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Washington, DC.

 Greek Grocery Store Washington, DC

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store Washington, DC

Latest News in Washington, DC

H Street’s Reliable Raw Bar Brine Is Coming to Dupont

H Street NE’s essential seafood spot Brine will open a surprise second location across town next month, filling out the high-profile address that housed Russia House for the past 30 years.An underwater menu filled with items like lobster rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp, crab cakes, and East and West Coast oysters will make its way over to the new Brine Dupont (...

H Street NE’s essential seafood spot Brine will open a surprise second location across town next month, filling out the high-profile address that housed Russia House for the past 30 years.

An underwater menu filled with items like lobster rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp, crab cakes, and East and West Coast oysters will make its way over to the new Brine Dupont (1800 Connecticut Avenue NW). Opening day is Friday, February 3, with reservations going live via Resy on Monday, January 30. The nearly 3-year-old original (1359 H Street NE) comes from Aaron McGovern and Arturas Vorobjovas (Biergarten Haus).

Russia House, McGovern’s Dupont destination for caviar, vodka, and Eastern European standards like borscht and pierogis, was supposed to reopen in its original form last spring after a long pandemic hiatus. But soon after Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine, the historic building sustained over $20,000 in property damage. Vandals targeted Russia House simply due to its name, McGovern said at the time, stressing that it’s a U.S.-owned company that “has nothing to do with Russia or the attack.”

Now McGovern’s newly announced game plan is to revive the D.C. corner as an extension of his reliable raw bar. The Romanesque and Classical Revival townhouse, built in 1906, welcomed Russia House as a private club in 1991 before opening to the public in 2003. The nautical replacement seats 47 across two dining rooms and a bar, plus a seven-seat private patio out front.

Brine’s popular weekday happy hour $1 off all oysters, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and all night on Tuesdays. Also look for whole Maine lobsters daily and a fresh catch of the day. While options lean heavily on the surf side, the menu also carves out room for some “turf” selections like a burger and steak.

Other crowd-pleasing imports could include Cajun-influenced oysters Rockefeller with broiled andouille sausage, red pepper corn succotash, Parmesan, and cornbread crumble; po’boys; truffled mushroom mussels; and daily specials like grilled branzino or lobster risotto.

Where to Order Takeout and Delivery Right Now in D.C.

D.C. restaurants mastered the art of takeout and delivery during the pandemic as a means to survive. Nearly three years later, many have kept up to-go capabilities, while newer places have incorporated delivery into business models from the start. As a result, the range of food options to enjoy at home is wider than ever before.Offering takeout and delivery is still a necessity for many area establishments still in recovery mode. Remember to tip your courier ...

D.C. restaurants mastered the art of takeout and delivery during the pandemic as a means to survive. Nearly three years later, many have kept up to-go capabilities, while newer places have incorporated delivery into business models from the start. As a result, the range of food options to enjoy at home is wider than ever before.

Offering takeout and delivery is still a necessity for many area establishments still in recovery mode. Remember to tip your courier at least $5, and place an order over the phone or through a restaurant’s website, as opposed to a third-party delivery app, whenever possible.

Read More

If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

At this Glover Park standby, dumplings come 10 to an order. Find standard combinations like pork and chive, soup-filled dumplings, or less common fish and cilantro, along with other Chinese dishes like hot and sour soup, lo mein, and lunch specials. Order online for takeout or delivery.

The home of the original Fauci Pouchy is also famous for its Italian combo subs absolutely stuffed with sliced meats. The growing deli also maintains a Western Market food hall stall and a Northern Virginia location in Tysons Corner, with a Potomac outpost coming soon. Order online for takeout or delivery.

Shaw’s long-running Mexican counter that got its start as a food truck sends out an array of well-packaged tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and bowls with proteins like Mojito chicken, pork carnitas, smoked brisket, and spicy ground beef. The abundant menu also includes queso, arepas, fried yucca, and large-format margaritas. Order online for takeout or delivery.

The second-story tavern attached to Ivy City’s commercial salmon-smoking facility sends out smokehouse fish boards, bagels and lox, crab cakes, po’ boys, smoked and grilled wings, and more. Order online for takeout or delivery.

The popular Chinese-Korean counter with locations in Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Bethesda, and Shirlington comes from chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno. Dishes like spicy bulgogi stir fry, double-fried chicken wings, and soy-glazed brisket over rice all travel well. Order online for pickup or delivery here.

The catch-all menu at the growing nautical chain includes game day starters like gumbo, wings, calamari, and spinach and artichoke dip, plus lots of seafood-stuffed sandwiches, burgers, and surf-and-turf entrees. There’s locations in Middleburg, Leesburg, NoMa, and Potomac. Call for takeout orders.

Lines used to snake down the street during busy weekday lunch hours at this 33-year old favorite, known for its lemony avgolemono soup, meatballs, spanakopita, and more. Greek Deli & Catering is now on DoorDash to cater to those working from home.

Co-owners and Eater Young Guns (‘18) Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod started this local fast-casual brand to introduce Indian food to a broad audience. Choose from premade bowls highlighting chicken tikka, lamb kebab, shrimp, spiced beef, sweet potato tikkis (a vegetarian-style cutlet), and more. Customers can also build their own, choosing from a base of vegetables or rice and adding mains, veggies, and toppings. The fast-growing brand maintains locations in Navy Yard, Arlington, Mt. Vernon Triangle, and Fairfax. Order online for takeout or delivery.

H Street’s punky, party-ready sushi dive mastered the art of delivery right before the pandemic. Order creative rolls with fillings like tempura-fried sweet potato, poke bowls, soba noodles, buckets of tater tots, and lychee martinis from an array of aggregated platforms. For those not into the super-fresh fish, the menu includes lots of vegan options. Order online.

Bullfrog has grown from a cramped bagel counter inside an H Street bar to a wholesale purveyor with multiple shops and a deep list of cafe clients. Founder Jeremiah Cohen’s soft rounds can be found at the Bullfrog Bagels by Eastern Market, a stall in the Tastemakers food hall in Brookland, and food truck in Tenleytown. Order online for same-day or future pickup or delivery orders. There’s window service in Eastern Market and the Atlas District, too, with a Western Market stall coming soon.

Taylor Gourmet founder Casey Patten launched a second act with this Philadelphia-style sandwich shop in 2019. The tiny store is best known for its cheesesteaks built with grass-fed beef and Cooper sharp provolone. A second location debuted downtown last fall with pizza by the slice or whole pie. Order online for takeout, delivery, or catering orders.

Steps away to Nationals Park, Basebowl offers much more than ramen bowls for lunch and dinner these days. There’s fried wings, soft shell crab tempura, gyoza, dumplings, and all sorts of takeout-friendly sushi rolls. Assemble ramen at home with broths like beef bone tomato, miso, spicy curry, and more. Order online for takeout or delivery.

At this Glover Park standby, dumplings come 10 to an order. Find standard combinations like pork and chive, soup-filled dumplings, or less common fish and cilantro, along with other Chinese dishes like hot and sour soup, lo mein, and lunch specials. Order online for takeout or delivery.

The home of the original Fauci Pouchy is also famous for its Italian combo subs absolutely stuffed with sliced meats. The growing deli also maintains a Western Market food hall stall and a Northern Virginia location in Tysons Corner, with a Potomac outpost coming soon. Order online for takeout or delivery.

Shaw’s long-running Mexican counter that got its start as a food truck sends out an array of well-packaged tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and bowls with proteins like Mojito chicken, pork carnitas, smoked brisket, and spicy ground beef. The abundant menu also includes queso, arepas, fried yucca, and large-format margaritas. Order online for takeout or delivery.

The second-story tavern attached to Ivy City’s commercial salmon-smoking facility sends out smokehouse fish boards, bagels and lox, crab cakes, po’ boys, smoked and grilled wings, and more. Order online for takeout or delivery.

The popular Chinese-Korean counter with locations in Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Bethesda, and Shirlington comes from chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno. Dishes like spicy bulgogi stir fry, double-fried chicken wings, and soy-glazed brisket over rice all travel well. Order online for pickup or delivery here.

The catch-all menu at the growing nautical chain includes game day starters like gumbo, wings, calamari, and spinach and artichoke dip, plus lots of seafood-stuffed sandwiches, burgers, and surf-and-turf entrees. There’s locations in Middleburg, Leesburg, NoMa, and Potomac. Call for takeout orders.

Lines used to snake down the street during busy weekday lunch hours at this 33-year old favorite, known for its lemony avgolemono soup, meatballs, spanakopita, and more. Greek Deli & Catering is now on DoorDash to cater to those working from home.

Co-owners and Eater Young Guns (‘18) Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod started this local fast-casual brand to introduce Indian food to a broad audience. Choose from premade bowls highlighting chicken tikka, lamb kebab, shrimp, spiced beef, sweet potato tikkis (a vegetarian-style cutlet), and more. Customers can also build their own, choosing from a base of vegetables or rice and adding mains, veggies, and toppings. The fast-growing brand maintains locations in Navy Yard, Arlington, Mt. Vernon Triangle, and Fairfax. Order online for takeout or delivery.

H Street’s punky, party-ready sushi dive mastered the art of delivery right before the pandemic. Order creative rolls with fillings like tempura-fried sweet potato, poke bowls, soba noodles, buckets of tater tots, and lychee martinis from an array of aggregated platforms. For those not into the super-fresh fish, the menu includes lots of vegan options. Order online.

Bullfrog has grown from a cramped bagel counter inside an H Street bar to a wholesale purveyor with multiple shops and a deep list of cafe clients. Founder Jeremiah Cohen’s soft rounds can be found at the Bullfrog Bagels by Eastern Market, a stall in the Tastemakers food hall in Brookland, and food truck in Tenleytown. Order online for same-day or future pickup or delivery orders. There’s window service in Eastern Market and the Atlas District, too, with a Western Market stall coming soon.

Taylor Gourmet founder Casey Patten launched a second act with this Philadelphia-style sandwich shop in 2019. The tiny store is best known for its cheesesteaks built with grass-fed beef and Cooper sharp provolone. A second location debuted downtown last fall with pizza by the slice or whole pie. Order online for takeout, delivery, or catering orders.

Steps away to Nationals Park, Basebowl offers much more than ramen bowls for lunch and dinner these days. There’s fried wings, soft shell crab tempura, gyoza, dumplings, and all sorts of takeout-friendly sushi rolls. Assemble ramen at home with broths like beef bone tomato, miso, spicy curry, and more. Order online for takeout or delivery.

The Best Trivia Nights Around D.C., According To DCist Readers

Residents of the greater Washington area take trivia night very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it’s become quite common to see local trivia contestants compete on — and even win — Jeopardy! The show recently featured two locals, including Patrick Curran, a Breadsoda Monday night trivia regular who had a short-lived but exciting streak on the show.This excitement led us to r...

Residents of the greater Washington area take trivia night very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it’s become quite common to see local trivia contestants compete on — and even win — Jeopardy! The show recently featured two locals, including Patrick Curran, a Breadsoda Monday night trivia regular who had a short-lived but exciting streak on the show.

This excitement led us to record a Get Out There segment for WAMU 88.5 based on a question we asked readers: What are some of the best trivia nights around D.C.? As the replies came flooding in, we spoke to Joseph Laposata, a host for District Trivia who told us bluntly: “D.C. is sort of the Mecca of bar trivia. There is a lengthy tradition of pub trivia in the United Kingdom, but that’s very different. That, I would say, is a lot more casual and less academic. Bar trivia, in the Americanized version of it, is harder, and that is part of the appeal … It is because of the people who live here. This is the type of place where people want that. You have 100 locations where people are really fascinated by this.”

Truly, there are hundreds of options for trivia around the region. One independent company alone, Pour House Trivia, hosts more than 70 regular trivia nights across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. There’s even an annual trivia convention here.

A number of these events are fundraisers and most come with fun prizes, including cash. Some still host virtual options born of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few events are unique in theme or format: Songbyrd Music House hosts a music-themed trivia. The Dew Drop Inn in Northeast D.C. hosts queer trivia on the second Wednesday of every month. Atlas Brew Works’ Ivy City taproom hosts different niche trivia nights, with recent events highlighting Star Wars and Game of Thrones, and an upcoming one focused on Friends. And there’s even a trivia night combined with standup comedy and a karaoke battle at Highline RxR in Crystal City.

To help guide newcomers to the local trivia scene, here’s a non-comprehensive list, guided by recommendations from our social media followers:

In the District:

Outside the District, there are a number of independent companies that host trivia nights in Maryland and Virginia — too many to shout all of them out, but here are a few that stood out:

DCist is supported by a community of members … readers just like you. So if you love the local news and stories you find here, don’t let it disappear!

Where’s DC’s snow? Blame La Nina

Almost two months into winter and still only trivial snow is in the forecast. Without the first inch of snow accumulation just yet, some D.C.-area residents may be wondering what is causing this pattern shift.Blame it on La Nina.The National Weather Service said a La Nina refers to “persistent colder-than-normal (0.5°C or greater) sea surfac...

Almost two months into winter and still only trivial snow is in the forecast. Without the first inch of snow accumulation just yet, some D.C.-area residents may be wondering what is causing this pattern shift.

Blame it on La Nina.

The National Weather Service said a La Nina refers to “persistent colder-than-normal (0.5°C or greater) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.”

La Nina is historically not favorable for snowfall in the D.C. region. The cooling of the equatorial Pacific shifts jet stream patterns across the globe and typically enhances the Pacific jet stream. This punishes the West with wintry weather but floods much of the country with warmer temperatures.

This year is the third La Nina winter in a row in the D.C. region. An early January snow last year helped push snowfall totals in the second of three consecutive winters to 13.2 inches, which is still shy of D.C.’s annual average of 13.7 inches.

The first in our three consecutive La Nina winters in 2020-21 only produced 5.4 inches of snow for the season.

A notorious high pressure ridge sitting off the Southeast coast during La Nina winters sends the storm track west of the D.C. area. This allows a milder southeast wind flow ahead of Pacific storms, allowing precipitation to be rain instead of snow.

The only La Nina winter that sticks out like a sore thumb is 1995-96 winter, which produced the historic Blizzard of 1996. D.C. ended up with 46 inches of snow, which tied as the second largest seasonal snowfall in the nation’s capital.

When looking at data from the past five winters, the first inch of snow is trending later in the season. In recent years, especially during the recent La Nina winters, it has been occurring in January.

Looking ahead, Wednesday offers the only chance for snow to kick off the next system. But the first inch of snow will not fall before precipitation changes to rain.

Thereafter, the La Nina influence will keep D.C. on the soggy side rather than the snowy side of weather systems going into the first half of February.

Chad Merrill

Chad Merrill is a meteorologist and digital weather content producer for WTOP. Prior to joining WTOP, Chad was a meteorologist in the private industry and television. He loves to share his passion with listeners and readers and is eager to hear from anyone who has any weather questions!

Opinion D.C. can’t grow population without addressing parking

The recent declaration from D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) that she wants to boost the number of people who live in D.C. is certainly a worthy goal, but the District’s policy of allowing residents to store cars on city streets at very little cost drives opposition to new housing. Without addressing this regressive policy, little new housing will be built in places where people most w...

The recent declaration from D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) that she wants to boost the number of people who live in D.C. is certainly a worthy goal, but the District’s policy of allowing residents to store cars on city streets at very little cost drives opposition to new housing. Without addressing this regressive policy, little new housing will be built in places where people most want to live.

D.C. courts and the Office of Planning have delayed construction of several housing complexes in dense Northwest D.C. neighborhoods, driven by the efforts of locals who want to protect on-street parking — and don’t want more people with cars living near them. Though those opposing these developments insist their opposition is rooted in concern about affordable housing or that they want to protect historic neighborhoods, limiting competition for residential parking is among their primary motivations.

These groups spend enormous time and effort talking to government officials about the need to protect parking, and they expend considerable resources defending each and every on-street parking space. As a result, the plethora of on-street parking contributes enormously to road congestion and slows buses.

But the efforts to conserve on-street parking are ultimately futile, because the absurdly low cost of parking in places such as Dupont or Adams Morgan (where parking permits cost just $50 a year while off-street parking costs $2,000 a year or more) means there are many more cars registered to park in these neighborhoods than available spaces. The city’s effective subsidy for car owners — which dwarfs the value of the proposed subsidy for bus riders and electric bicycles — has resulted in numerous people using vehicles as storage containers. Some cars parked in Adams Morgan have not been driven in years.

Rather than subsidize bus riders or e-bikes, D.C. should end its subsidy for car owners and charge a market price for residential car storage on city streets and prohibit parking in any space where it impedes buses or creates a safety hazard. A fair price for on-street parking would also reduce opposition to new housing, because more residents would not mean more cars being stored on the street.

The D.C. Council has competing interests, of course, but for the past decade it has effectively decided — intentionally or not — that in this global city of nearly 700,000 residents in a metropolitan area of more than 6 million people, preserving as many on-street parking spots as possible is its highest priority. And for this folly, we pay a price in increased congestion, slower mass transit, more dangerous streets and a near-paralysis in housing construction.

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