“Pay-By-Space Parking Makes its Debut in Penn Quarter and Chinatown”

PbS rollout Map
“Week 1 is on the right of the map and week 2 is on the left.”

From DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced today it is launching a new, simpler way to pay for and manage parking in the Penn Quarter and Chinatown areas of Washington, DC.

Pay-By-Space parking will improve the parking experience for vehicle drivers. Pay-By-Space means drivers will now park in defined spaces, read the four- or five-digit space number on space marker posts, and then enter the number at the payment kiosks, or on their mobile devices with Parkmobile. There is no need to display a receipt on a dashboard.

Between October 13 and October 27, 2015, DDOT will roll out Pay-By-Space parking in the area from E Street to H Street, NW and 3rd Street to 11th Street, NW, as shown on the map above.

The launch area encompasses the streets around the Verizon Center, National Portrait Gallery, National Building Museum, MLK Jr. Library and Ford’s Theater. It includes approximately 1,000 on-street parking spaces.

“Paying for parking will be much more efficient,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo. “Each space now has a unique number and is defined by the space marker posts. Just enter the number and pay for your space”

Pay-By-Space parking will allow DDOT to keep track of parking space usage. In early 2016, drivers will be able to access parking availability information to make it easier to find a spot.

Questions may be directed to (202) 671-2700 or 311 or go to parkdc.dc.gov for more information.”

35 Comment

  • this really just seems like a faster & cheaper way for the city to ticket drivers faster while paying less people to monitor spaces

    the find a spot option is cool but if you are two blocks away headed to an open space downtown chances are its gone by the time you get there

    • So? Follow the rules or don’t park on the street.

      • haha thanks
        that was stated because the city is attempting to make it seem like this is meant for the drivers and how it will make the parking experience that much better
        when in reality the largest difference i see is a more efficient way for the city to ticket

    • The find a spot option seems decidedly uncool since it will result in an even greater proportion of drivers in this city staring at their smart phones rather than trying to avoid killing the rest of us.

    • This makes the city a lot more money. Previously if there was a remaining balance of time on a meter the next driver would be able to use that time. Now, the meter fee leaves with each parker, and people often pay over again for a parking space which may already have been paid for over the time used. It’s always a scam. This is why I don’t trust DC gov.

      • “Previously if there was a remaining balance of time on a meter the next driver would be able to use that time.” Individual meters had already been replaced by pay stations in most locations, so that particular ship had sailed well before this latest change.

      • “I hate DC government because I can’t save 50 cents on parking from time to time by catching the tail end of someone else’s parking meter payment.”

        It takes all kinds, I guess.

  • So will all the spaces be giant SUV sized spaces, seems like it will reduce parking available b/c there will be space for 4 compact cars but only 3 spaces.

    • Concerned w/ this as well.. I car2go a lot and love sneaking into tiny spots.

    • Yes, I actually parked in one of these spaces by Chinatown today – I was confused to see it at first. I had the option of entering the space number, or the park mobile number for the block. I entered the park mobile number using my phone, as always. But noticed the large space was painted on the street, so yeah, less actual parking spaces will be available than when the big and smaller cars just squeezed onto the block together. Which doesn’t really make any sense from a city revenue point of view.

  • This innovation brought to you by 1952.

    I thought we purposely moved away from this model because different sized cars allow more flexibility in maximizing space.

    Sometimes a car there a while looks like it is being rude but overall it’s better for small cars to sneak into gaps

    • Unfortunately this doesn’t take into account the incompetence of many meter maids who couldn’t be bothered to check whether or not mobile payment had been used. Leading to many incorrect and contested tickets.

      • Wouldn’t this system pose the same problem? Or is the thinking that this will make it easier for the meter maids to check for mobile payment?

    • I’m genuinely curious; how does this result in less parking spaces? The street space in these areas are already metered and therefore, a pre-determined size; and isn’t each car required to park at a metered space? My guess is that the meters will be eliminated and the spaces marked on the payment instead. Unless they plan on making the spaces larger during the process (and I don’t see a reason why that would occur), it will result in the exact same number of spaces currently available.

      • “The street space in these areas are already metered and therefore, a pre-determined size” — In most (?) areas of D.C., individual meters have been removed and replaced by pay stations. (Not sure offhand whether that’s the case in this particular area.) This means that more cars can fit into the same space, since they aren’t assigned to ridiculously large spaces.

      • I am not positive, but I believe at least some of the streets don’t have individual meters – they have the one green box that you print a ticket out at. So there are not individual spaces and you can put as many cars as can fit on the block.

  • Lots more tickets, less spots for cars, more drivers on cell phones. Great job DC. This is painfully bad, those spots are the size of giant SUVs.

  • Every time there’s a change in the paid parking system — going from manual meters to digital meters, going from individual digital meters to pay stations, going from pay station zones to individually marked spaces — I have to wonder how much the change costs and whether someone is getting kickbacks.
    Although some changes have been clear improvements — like going from meters that accept only coins to pay stations that accept credit cards — this particular change has a significant drawbacks (fewer spaces for cars) and no significant benefit that I can see.

    • Meant “a significant drawback,” singular.

    • One benefit: less bumper tapping when someone tries to get into a small space. Another benefit: the city can eventually change parking prices in near real-time to manage demand. One more: drivers can avoid wasting time looking for a spot that doesn’t exist (once the app comes out).
      I’m not sure those outweigh the negatives, but there’s some positives too.

      • I don’t see any of these as positives. Some will still bump bumpers even when using big spaces.

      • I’d be inclined to agree. I’d be willing to bet that on most blocks the lack of a defined space lets 1-2 more cars fit in, at best? Depending on the spacing and who leaves/stays and where those gaps fall, I’m quite curious if more cars actually DO fit in, or if it just seems logical that they would.

        Given the benefits of not having a MD-plate try for 35 minutes to maneuver into a spot, blocking traffic and tapping bumpers, and being able to ticket fools who park outside the defined space, I’m more supportive of this than I am against it – until proven otherwise.

        I do think the whole concept of an app showing you available spaces is pointless (since unless the space is right next to you, ,you’ll likely miss it) and will make drivers focus even more on their phones.

  • So will DDOT be installing sensors in the pavement to detect available parking spaces, or will a space only appear to be taken when someone has paid to park in it?

  • Blithe

    With this system, does the person parking get a receipt? If not, what proof does the driver have to verify that they did, indeed, pay for the space? Would this make it more difficult to contest tickets?

  • I Dont Get It

    Did the Nasty Neighbor post disappear? I had an unrelated comment to make.

  • As someone who’s dealt umpteen times with being unable to find street parking because the valet services for restaurants in the area dick-park to deliberately eat up what would otherwise be usable space for others, I’m all for this change.

    • What exactly is “dick-parking,” and how would the pay-by-space system stop valet parking services from doing it?

Comments are closed.