Mandated Parking Meter Changes to Take Effect
Moratorium on Saturday Meter Payments Ends This Month
This month, as mandated by the FY2010 Budget Support Act, the District will begin enforcing parking meter payment requirements on Saturdays at all metered spaces in the city. Crews will begin updating the more than 100,000 parking regulatory signs and nearly 17,000 meters to reflect the change immediately. Enforcement is effective once the signage is changed. Motorists should carefully check the days and hours of enforcement posted on the parking meters and curbside signs. The conversion of all signage and meter decals is expected to be completed by January 19.
In addition to the Saturday enforcement, DDOT is also simplifying the District’s parking meter rates. To comply with the new legislation, there will now be only two types of parking meter pricing zones: premium demand zones and normal demand zones.
· It will cost $2.00/hour to park in premium demand zones, which include the busiest commercial districts.
· It will cost $0.75/hour to park in normal demand zones.
The District’s premium demand zone rate is comparable or lower than the premium rates in other major cities across the nation including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia where rates are $3 an hour or more.
DDOT will also change the hours of enforcement for parking meters in the city’s busiest commercial districts where on-street parking is often scarce. Nighttime parking enforcement hours will be extended to 10 pm in the following “premium demand zones:”
Georgetown Historic District*
U Street, NW Corridor
Downtown Central Business District
Maine and Water Streets, NW
The National Mall
Wisconsin Avenue, NW (from Van Ness Street to Western Avenue)
(*Meters in Georgetown and around the Verizon Center are already in operation in the evenings)
Previously, District law prevented the enforcement of meter payment requirements on weekends, except in areas designated exceptions by the Mayor. Under this moratorium, many drivers would park for free for long periods of time, frustrating people looking for short-term, curbside parking to patronize local businesses. With paid parking evenings and Saturdays, there will be more turnover in spaces which will allow for more residents and visitors to find available short-term parking in commercial areas. In addition, extended enforcement will reduce congestion and pollution caused by drivers circling for curbside spaces.
Motorists need to balance the needs between paying or waiting/searching for a parking spot. Searching for spots and driving around the block numerous times is a waste of time, resources, and increases greenhouse emissions.
The changes in rates and enforcement are part of a comprehensive overhaul of the District’s aging parking meter system. DDOT has already installed multi-space meters throughout commercial corridors in the District replacing many old and non-functioning single space meters. In 2010 DDOT plans to roll out a number of parking meter pilot programs including pay-by-cell, in-car metering systems, and solar-powered single space meters that take credit card payment. Each of the pilot programs will explore the latest in parking meter strategies and technologies.
DDOT is confident many of these new parking meter solutions will provide 1) a better return on tax payer’s investment, 2) a variety of options, 3) reduced maintenance, 4) a variety of easy payment options, and 5) increased reliability.
For more information about the District’s parking operations and policies, please visit www.ddot.dc.gov.