bulgaria properties
Home arrow Tommy Blog arrow Tommy Proposes Curbside Parking Pilot Program
Tommy Proposes Curbside Parking Pilot Program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Charles Allen   
Tuesday, 08 January 2008

Faced with the crush of ballpark visitors driving on game days into Ward 6 neighborhoods, Councilmember Tommy Wells introduced legislation today creating a pilot zone around the Nationals ballpark and Capitol Hill retail corridors to manage curbside parking – protecting residential parking and increasing access to retail storefronts.

“Some of the best thinking in the country has gone into this proposal,” commented Mr. Wells. He added, “Parking is already at a premium in our neighborhoods, but giving free curbside parking to ballpark visitors isn’t managing the problem, it’s only inviting more congestion and traffic.”

The legislation creates a pilot zone around the new Nationals’ ballpark and throughout the residential neighborhoods that surround the stadium and the retail businesses near it. The pilot authorizes the Department of Transportation to work with the Ward 6 Councilmember to use performance pricing of curbside parking spots to better manage when, where, and how long vehicles can park.

Performance pricing will mean decreasing the time spent in hunting for parking, reducing the need for double parking, prioritizing residents in the residential streets, and ensuring reliable parking options for patrons on the retail streets.  As with any other commodity, under-priced or free parking inflates demand leading to shortages and congestion.  By setting parking rates based on demand, drivers may pay a little bit more to park, but they will be assured a spot when they arrive at their destination. 

“For Ward 6 residents, their Zone 6 parking sticker means they’ll see little difference in how they park their cars, but with better management, they should find that visitors stick to the retail streets and the residents become the priority for residential streets,” stated Councilmember Wells.

The pilot program will place solar-powered multi-space meters (similar to the ones already in existence on K Street and M Street, NW) throughout the ballpark impact area including retail and residential streets. On retail streets such as 8th Street, SE, all cars will be required to pay to park as they currently do, and the goal will be to ensure regular turnover of parking spaces. This not only supports retail activities, but ensures that patrons who come by car will be more likely to find a parking spot on the main retail street quickly and without circling the blocks or spilling into residential areas.

On residential streets, residents with a Zone 6 parking permit will not pay to park.  However, visitors would be required to pay for the 2-hour block of parking – which is currently free and overused by nonresidents.  The goal is to prioritize residential curbside parking for the residents and to remind visitors that they only have two hours by requiring a small fee. Experience in other cities has shown that even a minimal fee can help alter parking behavior, and it will work to discourage “squatting” of residential spaces by nonresidents.  Based on initial community feedback, the program will also develop a guest pass system to accommodate guests who are coming to the neighborhood to visit a resident.

Replacing old meter posts with multi-space “pay and display” meters creates an average of 2 to 3 additional parking spots per block and also allows payment with coins or credit cards (and in the future, also via cell phone).   This system will make enforcement of residential parking rules easier by allowing parking enforcement officers to simply check the remaining time on the receipt displayed on the car dashboard.  Collection and maintenance will also be more efficient as one meter can serve many spaces up to a couple of blocks, unlike traditional coin meters which each serve only one parking space.

Revenues generated by the meters will go to pay for the cost of the meters (which should pay for themselves in less than two years) and investments in non-auto transportation infrastructure (e.g., repairing sidewalks, improving transit stations, adding bike racks).

The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing which to be scheduled by Councilmember Jim Graham who chairs the Committee on Public Works and the Environment.  Councilmember Wells consulted ANC Commissioners and business and community leaders in December while developing this pilot proposal. He will host two open community meetings in the affected neighborhoods for residents to ask more questions and get additional details about the proposal. These meetings are set for:

• Tuesday, January 22nd, 6:30-8:00 pm, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I Street, SW
• Wednesday, January 23rd, 6:30-8:00 pm, Brent Elementary School, 301 North Carolina Ave, SE

Click Here to read the legislation that creates the pilot parking zone.

Readers have left 7 comments.
(1) Untitled
2008-01-11 20:04:16
Councilman Wells,
Hello Sir, I've been a Zone 6 resident at 408 South Capitol St for 14 years and am concerned over the upcoming parking situation with the new stadium and all. Currently the 400 block of South Capitol St (between D St and Ivy St SE, railroad tracks)only has zone 6 parking on one side of the street and a free for all on the other side and south end of the street. The only proposal I've seen is the picture that was in the January issue of The Hill Rag and it looks like South Capitol was not included in the DRAFT. I would like to recommend that South Capitol is included as a blue street (2hr meter parking for non-residents). Currently this street already has problems with non-residents parking on both sides and is being addressed with parking enforcement. Seeing that we are a straight shot and only 7 blocks from the stadium I foresee this being a huge problem for us and would really like for you to include both sides of our street into your plan.
Thank you,
Shawn W. Chada
(2) Untitled
2008-01-12 10:58:54
As the map and color key in the Hill Rag tell it.at least nine square blocks of Southwest streets (South of P St. SW) will be "spillover parking for fans on game days." Some cars might get there from the So. Capitol St. Bridge and return home that way. But won't cars coming on Maine Ave.or So. Capitol St.have to wind through the green residential streets - 4th St. SW, Delaware Ave. SW, First or Half St. SW - to get to their red "spillover" curb parking - and go home the same way?
(3) Untitled
2008-01-14 15:41:51
Will there be a "tow hotline" available on gamedays, for residents to report non-resident violators of "residential zones," allowing for a quick tow away of violators? The only way to train people not to park on our residential blocks is to RAPIDLY enforce the restrictions imposed. Officers need to quickly direct non-residents away from residential thoroughfares (i.e. block access for non-residents).
(4) Untitled
2008-01-17 08:21:37
Tommy's bill gives the Mayor the authority to set or change street parking rates without prior Council approval. It effectively gives the Mayor the right to allow baseball fans the right to park on Ward 6 streets - provided they pay for the parking. There is not enough parking at the stadium.
(5) Untitled
2008-01-17 09:04:12
Mr. Abely,

Your comments are incorrect. The bill must go through a public hearing and be voted on by Council for approval.

In addition, the proposal does exactly the opposite of what you suggest. The plan protects residential neighborhoods by creating streets that are off limits to non-residential vehicles, creates strict enforcement around areas where non-residential vehicles can park for only two hours as they do today (baseball games take 3-4 hours), and then creates more appropriate curbside parking for non-residential vehicles in areas where they can be accommodated. Without a plan, the neighborhoods are facing baseball fans trolling their streets for free and unlimited parking -- taking all the available curbside parking and leaving residents with no options.
(6) Untitled
2008-01-17 14:33:23
In reviewing the summary of the plan in the Hill Rag, they quote DDOT officials as saying that they have not ordered sufficient ticket machines for April 1, but will place the ones they have closest to the stadium and then fan out from them as they acquire more. I think this is backwards. If they place the performance parking first in the immediate environs of the ballpark, that will only encourage gameday parkers to search for cheaper parking north of 295 in the neighborhoods -- completely counterproductive. The fare dispensers should be installed outside the immediate ballpark district first.
(7) Untitled
2008-01-18 15:32:31
Charles, you're a nice guy. But I have to point out a factual error in your post. I understand that your job is to put positive spin out there for Tommy, so it's nothing personal. Of course, the bill goes to the Coucil for approval - all bills do. But the legislation Tommy drafted would in fact give the Mayor the authority to set and change parking rules in Ward 6 without Council approval or AnC approval. Just read the bill and you'll see. There is no language in the bill that protects Ward 6 residents from increases in parking fees. What the bill does is give the Mayor the authority to set and change parking fees in the zone (much of Ward 6). Tommy's bill does nothing to prohibit the Mayor/DDOT from increasing parking fees on cars with Zone 6 stickers. At minimum, the bill needs to be amended to give Zone 6 residents some protection from parking fee gouging.
Name : E-mail :
Website :
Comment(s) :
J! Reactions Commenting Software
General Site License
Copyright © 2006 S. A. DeCaro
Last Updated ( Friday, 11 January 2008 )
< Prev   Next >