Realm of Green Machines Expanding in DC
Your first instinct as you pull into a parking space on a busy city street will be to think, This is too good to be true. No meter?
And you'll be right. It is too good to be true and there is a meter, only now it's a green kiosk that spits out little white parking permits. The permits can be used along the stretch of street subject to the green machine's parking rules, so there's no need for meters controlling individual spaces.
They're supposed to be user friendly, but you couldn't tell that by this user. To my eyes, the instructions are really tiny. (I don't use them often enough to have internalized the pattern of button pushing. In fact, I forget from time to time that the machines don't take bills -- only coins and credit cards.)
After paying, you put the little white permit on your passenger-side dashboard, on the street side. There's a problem for motorcyclists. One rider was telling me last week that riders who wrap the permits around handlebars may return to find the permits gone, apparently appropriated by another parker.
This month, drivers are seeing more of the green multi-space machines downtown and along Connecticut and Wisconsin avenues, replacing the old silver box meters. Specifically, the District Department of Transportation says it is installing 101 of the new machines in downtown commercial areas near Verizon Center and the theater district, and on Wisconsin in Glover Park and on Connecticut in Cleveland Park. The 101 green machines replace 845 single space and double space meters, DDOT says.
Next Target: Constitution Avenue and the downtown business district will get the green machines early this summer.
The Rules: If you're like me and need a reminder, this is how they work. After you park, walk to the nearest of these pay stations. There may be somebody ahead of you in line, staring at the thing. Be patient.
The face of the green machine has a digital display showing the transaction information, including time of day, amount of time purchased and expiration time. Deposit coins or insert a credit or debit card. When you've put in the time you need, press the green button. The pay station will print out a receipt showing the amount paid, the date, and the expiration time. That's what you put on the passenger side dashboard. See this link for DDOT's guide to using meters.
What do you think of them?
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