Earlier in the year, I investigated commuter parking in the Navy Yard area. I looked at how many out-of-state license plates were parked in the same spot multiple times, and how many of those cars were parked there all day, in violation of the 3 hour parking limit. My goal was to show that DC should just charge people for the use of the parking space and get some revenue that could be used to fix our broken sidewalks and other improvements, and that charging for parking would not likely harm DC residents.
Well, I can report that DC has fixed the problem, though not in the manner that I had suggested. Instead of having operable parking meters that would collect revenue, DC installed signs that prohibit parking during the morning and evening rush hours, and started enforcing that prohibition. Now, when I get to work around 7:30, instead of the same dozen cars parked there every day, the street parking is empty because it’s restricted before 9:30am.
It’s bad for revenue, in that DC will have to continue periodically enforcing the restriction but won’t have any meter money to show for it. It’s bad for pedestrians, because the parking lane used to provide a buffer between the sidewalk and the travel lanes, and the wider street further encourages speeding along the 25mph speed limit boulevard. It’s also bad for those commuters, who now have had to find other places to park (don’t feel too bad, though, I’ve recognized some of them in other nearby free parking areas).
I’ve got a question in with DDOT about the meters, which were installed there in September but are still not operating.