City Desk

Council Stops Red Top Meter Enforcement

Perhaps in an attempt to blunt the backlash against red-top meters, DDOT posted a release to its site today announcing that its slow rollout and tepid enforcement would be extended through May 1.

But that appears to be too little, too late for the D.C. Council, which voted this afternoon to halt the enforcement of meters that designate parking for handicapped drivers.

The newly installed handicap-only meters that DDOT has been rolling out over the last couple of months will eventually be 9 percent of the city's public parking inventory, 1500 spots, after a February pilot program that saw the installation of 400 meters. Though DDOT says they're designed to fight placard fraud and prevent disabled drivers from parking longer than the allotted time without paying, opponents have said it would place an undue burden on drivers. After hearing concerns from constituents, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser introduced legislation to stop ticketing from taking effect, and the council voted in favor.

For the next 90 days, it appears, all drivers will be able to use the meters, paying (or not paying) as they normally would.

DDOT spokeswoman Monica Hernandez tells us that the agency is waiting on details from the Council before it updates the site, but adds, "In response to those various concerns that did come our way, we've been tweaking the program."

As far as we're concerned, tweaking an otherwise reasonable program seems like the sensible thing to do, but far be it from the council to let reason stand in the way of grandstanding for votes. After all, there's an election coming up!

Photo via DDOT

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  • Logan

    Yep let's not anger all those MD and VA voters who have been getting free parking all day at parking meters around Federal buildings by using Gradma's handicap placard.

  • Denise Wiktor

    The real reason to let things be is a law, passed by Council already exists to allow it. L16-1075. It was then incorporated into the DC Municipal regulations i
    Title 18 of the DCMR (below). Now what is Bellamy planning to do with all the blue topped meters we have?

    2704.4 Until such time as the study described in § 2406.9(f) is completed and the Director of the District Department of Transportation has established reserved parking spaces in accordance with the conclusions reached by the Director in the study, individuals issued special license tags for persons with a physical disability, regardless of which state, territory, or possession of the United States issued the license tags and individuals issued special parking permits persons with a physical disability by the District may park a motor vehicle without cost for double the posted time period in parking zones that are restricted as to the length of time parking is permitted, provided that:

    (a) The vehicle may not park in those zones or during times in which the stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles is prohibited or which are reserved for special types of vehicles; and

    (b) The person with the disability is present in the motor vehicle displaying special license tags, either when that motor vehicle is driven into or when it is driven out of the parking space.

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