By Rebecca Sheir
Neighborhood Commissioners in D.C. are protesting Mayor Adrian Fenty’s proposed increase of traffic fees and fines. The hikes are intended as a budget fix for 2011, but critics say the increases unfairly target drivers.
The mayor’s proposed budget would raise fees for annual residential parking permits, increase fines on more than 70 moving violations, and hike parking rates in most commercial areas to $3 an hour.
AAA and ANC Commissioners are meeting this morning in Freedom Plaza, to protest what they call Fenty’s “Bad Drivers Pay, Budget Problems Go Away” philosophy. They say it undermines safety, lessens confidence in local government and law-enforcement efforts and threatens tourism. They predict it will send more drivers and residents to traffic court, to fight the fines and fees.
Earlier this week, under questioning by D.C. Council member Jack Evans, Fenty acknowledged his administration might have to reconsider hiking parking-meter rates, because of what he calls “outcry” from the public.