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Visitor Parking Passes In D.C. Now On-Demand Only

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To avoid getting slapped with a parking ticket, request visitor passes ahead of time.
Wayan Vota: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcmetroblogger/2857625215/
To avoid getting slapped with a parking ticket, request visitor passes ahead of time.

The District is revamping and expanding its visitor parking pass program, allowing residents of more neighborhoods to get a free pass.

Any household in an area where residential parking restrictions are in effect may request a free visitor parking pass starting on October 1. DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders says the passes will no longer be mailed en masse to every eligible household; they have to be requested.

"We were sending these out before willy-nilly. Everybody was getting one and they were sort of looking at it and saying, what should we do with it?" Sanders says. "But we didn't know where they were or how they were using them."

Some observers worry the new system will be abused. Additionally, they complain that the same parking policy should not be imposed across the entire city; instead, denser areas with scarcer parking should be able to craft more restrictive parking policies to ensure that the visitor passes are not sold or used improperly.

DDOT says each new free visitor parking pass will be stamped with a holographic field so they can't be duplicated, and contain a special code to identify a specific area where the pass can be used, based on ANC boundaries. Pass holders will be provided with a map with those boundaries.

Violators could face a $300 fine.

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