D.C. details upcoming changes in street parking
The District Department of Transportation has released more details on the major changes scheduled for this month in the parking payment and enforcement system.
Crews will begin immediately to update more than 100,000 parking regulation signs and nearly 17,000 meters to reflect changes in District law regarding street parking. These are the changes you need to be aware of:
-- The District is completing the conversion of meters to the approved higher rates. ($2 per hour at most meters.)
-- Payments will be required on Saturdays at all metered spaces.
-- Payments will be required till 10 p.m. in many of the city's high-demand areas.
-- The conversion of all the signs and meters to reflect the new rules should be done by Jan. 19. But its very important that you look at the sign and the meter when you park. That's what you go by to make the payment. Doesn't matter if it's Jan. 16 or Jan. 21, go by the rules posted for the block where you're parking.
Read on for more details.
The fee you pay reflects the type of zone in which you are parking. There are two types of zones in the city.
-- Premium demand zone: Parking costs $2 per hour. These are in the busiest commercial districts. Those are also the sections of the city in which you're most likely to find parking meters, so the vast majority of the city's parking meters will charge this rate.
-- Normal demand zone. Parking costs 75 cents an hour. There are a couple thousand of these meters in areas where the demand for street parking is less intense than in the premium zones.
Nighttime enforcement of the payment rules is being extended to 10 p.m. in these premium demand zones:
-- Adams Morgan
-- Georgetown Historic District
-- Penn Quarter/Chinatown
-- U Street NW corridor
-- Downtown Central Business District
-- Maine Avenue and Water Street SW
-- The National Mall
-- Wisconsin Avenue NW from Van Ness Street to Western Avenue
Sports fans and others familiar with the city's night life know that meters in Georgetown and around the Verizon Center already require evening payments.
There was a moratorium on this in most parts of the city. That's going away now. The problem, according to the District Department of Transportation, was that people were staying for a long time at these free spaces on Saturdays, so local businesses were not getting the benefit of turnover, allowing more shoppers to come into the blocks. So the District government has lifted the moratorium to encourage drivers to move on so others can come in and park. (Remember, the parking enforcement officers won't let you extend your stay, even if you come out and feed the meter again. You've got to move the car.)
I continue to invite your comments on these very significant changes. Nobody's going to want to pay more and nobody is looking forward to hauling around more quarters. But do you think the city is justified in doing this for the additional revenue, to match what some other big cities are charging and to encourage drivers to move on so others get a crack at those spaces? What adjustments in the city's street parking system would you like to see in light of these changes?
January 5, 2010; 11:57 AM ET
Categories: Driving | Tags: District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock, parking enforcement
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