- (Image: Courtesy DDOT)
A new batch of 1200 credit card-based parking meters will roll out across D.C. next month, District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein announced Friday.
The District first began testing a small batch of the individual solar-powered meters at the beginning of the year. Now the pilot program is being expanded to more neighborhoods.
"These meters will available in the highest usage areas in business districts. 1200 meters are not enough to convert the entire system in the city, but strategically it makes sense to install the first group of these meters in areas where they are most needed," Klein wrote in a posting to the department's d.ish blog.
Look for the new meters in the following neighborhoods starting in late October:
- North of Dupont Circle
- Independence Avenue SW
- U Street Corridor
- Part of Foggy Bottom
- West end of downtown
DDOT has been testing a variety of new parking meter technologies over the last year. Pay-by-phone meters have already been installed downtown, and Klein further writes that he has committed to expand that option citywide by the end of the year.
The announcements come at the same time that the D.C. Council is debating rolling back recent increases in parking meter rates and hours. While Klein is a big proponent of making it easier to pay for parking, he's less enthusiastic about decreasing how much it costs:
I was downtown on Sunday with my wife to do some shopping, and we drove around for 25 minutes, and finally left because we could not find a space for my tiny Smart car. This is what often results from free, or under-priced parking. I would have gladly paid $2 to get a parking space, and I think most other people would too. The rub is carrying around quarters for some people, and the reliability of the meters, and we agree with that. Who lost besides me? The retail stores did.