New parking zones in D.C.
Back in January, when the District was raising the prices at meters, drivers said that what they really hated about the higher fees was lugging around all those quarters. Since then, the city has been working on a variety of payment methods: pay-by-space, pay-by-license plate and pay-by-phone.
Transportation Director Gabe Klein continues to push innovations in the use of D.C. streets, which I think is a good thing, whether it's about parking or streetcars or bike lanes or bridge building. But as someone who still has trouble figuring out the no-longer-new multi-space meters, I'm sympathetic to parkers who puzzle over some of the pilot programs.
Have you had good or bad luck with the various systems that the District is launching? Do you park at enough locations across the city so that you've had to learn several new systems? (Some drivers thought it was tough enough just figuring out the change in the nighttime parking rules introduced in June.)
In addition to the locator map above, DDOT offers a list of the parking programs launching this month:
1) Parkeon will operate pay-by-space meters in the 900-1200 blocks of Independence Avenue SW. Multi-space meters replace the single-space meters in that zone. Enter the number of the space when paying with a credit card or bills. (Many drivers will prefer that to the older style of multi-space meters that accept credit cards or coins but not bills.) Parkeon also offers a pay-by-phone option.
2) Duncan Solutions will be operating pay-by-space meters on several streets in Friendship Heights: the 5300 block of Wisconsin Avenue, the 4300 and 4200 blocks of Jenifer Street and the north side of the 5200 block of 44th Street. Pay with a credit card or coins. (This location is north of the area covered by the map above.)
3) ParkMobile will operate a pay-by-phone pilot that will cover about a thousand metered spaces in Foggy Bottom, on Reservoir Road in Georgetown, and around Nationals Park.
Drivers can sign up at www.parkmobile.com, where they can also download a mobile application to pay for parking from a smart phone. ParkMobile will waive its transaction fees during this pilot program. See a video explaining how ParkMobile's pay-by-phone system works.
4) Cale Parking Systems USA will operate a pay-by-license plate pilot in the 1300 block of U Street NW. Drivers will enter their license plate numbers in multi-space meters. Parking enforcement officers will be able to tell who has paid for parking by electronically reading the tag numbers. They can pay with a credit card or coins, and there will also be a pay-by-phone option.
If that sounds confusing, or ominous, look for vendor staff who will be on the street to offer assistance.
DDOT says it's going to evaluate these pilot programs for three months and see what works best for the long-term.
Already in operation
Some of you already have used the pay-by-phone pilot DDOT launched in April at 700 spaces around Dupont Circle, Union Station, and downtown on K Street, I (Eye) Street and New York Avenue NW. Sign up for that service, offered by Verrus Mobile Technologies, Inc., at paybyphone.com or call 1-888-510-PARK (7275). See a video explaining this service.
DDOT also is testing solar-powered single space meters that take credit cards as well as coins.
Drivers parking in the District may well have to live with the results of these experiments for a long time. DDOT invites feedback on any of the pilot programs by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 202-673-6813. I'd like to hear from you, too, either here in the comments area or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you're sending a letter to me for potential publication in The Post, please include your full name, home community and a phone number where I can contact you.)
| July 22, 2010; 9:54 AM ET
Categories: District, Driving | Tags: DDOT, Dr. Gridlock
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