Photo by PoPville flickr user Joseph Leonardo
“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) recently announced the launch of parkDC: Chinatown/Penn Quarter, the multimodal value pricing pilot, which is expected to make parking easier and reduce congestion. The pilot will encompass all 1,300 metered on-street parking spaces in the area bounded by H Street, NW; E Street, NW; 11th Street, NW; and 3rd Street, NW. This pilot will use the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area as a laboratory to test state-of-the-art strategies to make it easier to find parking spaces and reduce congestion. The project will accomplish this by doing the following:
(a) Providing real-time parking-availability information so customers spend less time searching, and
(b) Changing parking pricing so more spaces are available,
(c) Making parking signage more easily understood.
The parking management strategies will also be applied to curbside spaces set aside for delivery vehicles, and motor coaches in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area. Pricing for loading zones will roll out citywide in 2015, and this pilot will use pricing to help manage demand for these spaces.
“DDOT is committed to keeping its promise to the residents of the District of Columbia by delivering innovative projects and engineering that will help shape the future of transportation in the District,” said DDOT Director Matthew Brown. “Value-based pricing among other pioneering ideas are outlined in our moveDC plan, DDOT’s multimodal long-range transportation plan that is expected to create a city that’s more livable, sustainable, prosperous and attractive.”
Beginning early 2015, customers will begin to see new parking meters and signage. Multi-space meters will transition to pay-by-space instead of the current pay-and-display formats. Customers will now need to make note of their space numbers before paying, but they will no longer have to walk back to their vehicles to put the receipt in the dashboard.
DDOT will also be testing various parking space occupancy detection technologies in the area, including sensors, fixed cameras and movable cameras. The real-time occupancy information will be used to make price adjustments based on demand, and provide parking availability information to customers.
Customers can expect to see the first price adjustments in the summer of 2015. Based on typical usage levels, meter prices will be adjusted quarterly to encourage shorter stays on high-demand blocks and incentivize use of lower-demand blocks. In addition, to help inform their travel decisions, customers will be able to see where parking is available downtown, and how much it will cost, through an app and a website. Together, demand-based pricing and real-time parking occupancy information will make it easier to find spaces, reduce time circling, and help travelers choose the best mode to get downtown.
The pilot will be completed at the end of 2016 with a full evaluation of the project’s impact. Lessons learned from the pilot will help outline eventual deployment throughout the District.”