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Oof – Metered parking will rise to $2.30 an hour June 1st and while we’re on the subject “My meter expired at 11:42:41 and it was now 11:43”

by Prince Of Petworth May 12, 2016 at 12:55 pm 92 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mike Rucki

Thanks to all who emailed about this rise from DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to implement adjusted parking meter rates as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015. The new rate structure was ordered by the Council of the District of Columbia last year, and establishes parking meter rates at $2.30 an hour for commercial and passenger vehicles citywide.

Approximately 14,850 parking meters across the District will be reprogrammed over the next several weeks. DDOT and the city’s pay-by-phone vendor will update software to accommodate the new rate structure, which takes effect June 1, 2016.

Following are the new rates:

Premium Demand Zones
$2.00 to $2.30 an hour

Normal Demand Zones
$.75 to $2.30 an hour

Commercial Loading Zones
$2.00 to $2.30 an hour

Commercial vehicle operators have the option of purchasing annual passes for $323, day passes at $25, or pay-by-cell for loading zone use. Information on the loading zone program can be found at www.godcgo.com/freight.

Motorcycle Parking
$0.25 an hour citywide”

And since we’re on the topic:

“Dear PoPville,

I just had a very frustrating parking experience. My meter was a few minutes from expiring, but I was on my way to the car to move. When I approached the car I could see a meter attendant coming towards it as well. I used my electric door opener to signal that I was on my way. Nonetheless, as I approached the meter attendant was writing a ticket. My meter expired at 11:42:41 and it was now 11:43. As I walked up I said to the meter attendant, “my parking is just expiring right now in one minute.” she responded, “well you are one minute too late”, wrote the ticket and printed it out and stuck it under my windshield. Annoyed, but resigned, I grabed the ticket off the windshield and went to leave. She stated ” I need to take a picture of that, you can’t take that” I said, well I have to go, and I grabbed it and put it in my car. She then printed a second copy ripped it off and put it on my windshield. I grabbed that ticket too and put it in my car and went to go leave. At that point she started taking pictures of my car, my license plate, and the meter. When I rolled down the window to ask what she was doing, since all that info is on the ticket, she started chanting “I’ve got you, I’ve got you. You are busted.” Obviously this is an annoying experience on many levels.

In this case, I am wondering a few specific things. First, who can we complain to about specific meter attendants. Second, is there any sort of grace period for a ticket? In this case my meter expired literally 20 seconds before a ticket was written. I guess if I had picked up my pace a little bit or not stopped at a crosswalk I might’ve made it to the car in time.”

  • I’m perfectly fine with this. Parking is subsidized as it is (i.e. underpriced for the demand), and anything that will make people consider their options for getting into and around town is a good thing. Yes, it is a disincentive to drive private, often single-occupant cars into town, but that should be lauded in a dense urban area such as DC.

    Is this regressive toward those of limited means? Of course it is. But ownership and operation of a private automobile is hardly a low-cost endeavor. Is public transit a universal solution? Hardly, given how WMATA’s priorities have been misdirected for a while (though they now seem to be under better leadership under Wiedefeld). And I understand that bicycling is not an option for all (though it’s lambasted by many who simply aren’t willing to try it – don’t fret unless you give it a try).

  • Anon Spock

    No grace period. You see a meter attendant coming, and you don’t run…seriously?
    The whole interaction seemed strange, but she told you she needed a photo. I think just pulling off would have easily solved the issue. Anybody can take a photo of your car; not something I’d get up in arms about.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      Yeah, also “I used my electric door opener to signal that I was on my way” seems passive aggressive. Just run.

      • textdoc


  • JohnH

    People love to complain man. They take pictures of the ticket on the windshield with the parking sign that you are violating to have backup for people who complain. It’d be like a patient complaining a doctor is writing down your test results.
    The timing stinks, but the fact of the matter is that the time was up when they went to check on it. And it may stink, but if you don’t think people have tried to pull fast ones on these attendants before, you’re quite mistaken. They’ll run out as soon as they see the person coming by to ticket and plead with them they are leaving, then just stay there or what not. They have probably heard every excuse in the book and they’re not gonna make exceptions left and right.

  • OffTheAvenue

    Where can specific meter attendants complain about the OP? Annoying…uh, yes.

  • Evan Tupac Grooter

    Crazy parking ticket person is crazy. Who thinks it’s a good idea to interfere with parking enforcement doing their job by grabbing the tickets when asked not to? Also, an expired meter is an expired meter. If you want to park there (even for 20 seconds) then pay for it.

    • Duponter

      I’m not defending much here, but once you put the ticket on my car, I’m going to do what I want with it and with my car. Why in the world should I sit there so you can take a photo. Just like I should have been faster getting the meter, I guess the metermaid should have been faster getting the picture.

      • JohnH

        It doesn’t take 5 minutes to take a picture. They take pictures so they can document the situation. And it takes them 15 seconds. Would you want someone moving their car if they just hit you and then pretend it wasn’t their fault? Probably not. This person just sounds like a jerk.

    • TBD

      An expired meter is an expired meter and I agree it’s annoying for the parking official to have to hear some variation of “but it’s only one minute over” probably several times a day.
      However, once the ticket is placed on a vehicle, does the officer have any legal right to command the vehicle owner not pick up the ticket once it’s been placed on their property?

      • anon

        No, I would say the officer does not. You an take your ticket and go. But I guess you risk having the officer write you another ticket if you don’t pull out – was this a new ticket, or the same one printed out again?

  • Truxton Thomas

    Way to escalate the problem and make it worse for yourself.

  • Neighborly

    How has no one talked about the ridiculous hike in the Normal Demand Zone rate? I understand disincentivizing driving (though I don’t agree), but it’s not like Metro is a reliable or safe option.

    • Anonymous

      You can always park in a private garage if you prefer.

      • Neighborly

        No thanks. That sounds quite unappealing. Instead of making one mode of transportation worse and more costly for everyone, maybe our government could first make another mode of transportation better. Looking at you, Metro…

        • textdoc

          WMATA is a multi-jurisdiction project, not solely the domain of the D.C. government.

        • Anonymous

          No one owes you a cheap parking spot. There’s clearly enough demand that they can raise the rates.

          • Neighborly

            Who said owe, friend? Moreover, my question was never about the ability to raise rates. Obviously they can. My question was should they. My opinion is that they shouldn’t.

      • Dartagnan

        I actually agree with neighborly. This is a ridiculous hike. There are places around the city were almost all the metered spaces sit empty at 75 cents an hour, while the two hour free neighborhood parking is all taken up. At $2.30 an hour this will definitely incentivize people to either park in the neighborhood (that is what I will do) or drive to suburban shopping centers.

        As so many people talk about the “market rate” of parking, if people felt that they weren’t getting ripped off then it may not be so common for people in DC to leave DC to go to suburbs and shop – where parking is mostly free.

    • Ben

      ” it’s not like Metro is a reliable or safe option.” – reliable I can’t argue but safe? Statistically Metro is safer then driving, walking, and biking.

      • Neighborly

        Statistically, I couldn’t agree more. But what about safety as it relates to crime? Metro doesn’t look too good there.

      • Jen

        ‘Safety’ as in not resulting in death, perhaps. But harassment is an ongoing issue, even in the middle of the day.

      • Duponter

        Right? People love to rail about the Metro and there are a ton of things terribly annoying and unreliable about it, but in the 17 years I’ve been taking it, it is actually pretty solid. Do I get annoyed when escalators are constantly out? Sure. Or when the train has to sit for single tracking? Sure. But in nearly all situations, it’s faster and cheaper than driving a car.

        • NH Ave Hiker

          “love to rail about Metro…” pun intended?

          • Duponter

            Actually it wasn’t, but good catch. Ha.

        • Caroline

          Disagree about it being faster, but I find Metro to be less stressful than driving to work. Metro takes almost three times as long as driving and the fare costs the same as it would to park, but I usually prefer to take Metro because I can zone out, or read, or work on a small craft while riding it.

          • Duponter

            Obviously that depends on route I’m guessing, but I can assure you in most long distances if you’re not switching lines and having to wait, it’s faster. Or at least more predictable. Certainly there are days you might get from Reston to downtown during rush hour faster than the silver line, but I doubt it’s nearly as predictable to drive than to Metro.

            I know going on red line from Brookland to Shady Grove it’s about half the time as it would be to drive.

          • Caroline

            Yeah, part of what makes my metro commute so long is having to switch lines and the 20-minute walk from the station to my office. It also helps with driving that my route never has any traffic!

          • anon

            Funny, in this situation, I always prefer to drive. I can listed to the radio, which keeps my mind active. And I can zone out more, in my car with doors locked (I seem to be able to drive on autopilot with part of my brain and think other thoughts with another part of my brain with no problem, never an accident in decades) – but I can’t zone out on public transportation.

          • west_egg

            @anon – “I can zone out more [while piloting a 4,000 pound machine].” Interesting.

    • CS

      I’m with you on this – I don’t think a $0.30 hike is a big deal in high demand zones, but you’re talking an over %300 hike on normal demand zones. I don’t think it’s going to keep people from driving to those areas – I think it’s going to get them to park up another block and squeeze parking out in neighborhoods where it’s probably already tight.

      • CS

        This is a reply to Neighborly by the way re: normal demand zones – I have no idea how it landed here.

  • Anonymous

    You do realize that’s her job. And you’re trying to interfere with her doing it. It sucks, because it’s annoying for you, but you didn’t need to escalate it. I’ll bet $5 you broke some other rule by interfering with her giving you the ticket and taking a picture of it.

    • Caroline

      You have to admit she was being unprofessional though. I think I’ve had this officer ticket me before– when I pointed out that the ticket was invalid and I would simply contest it online, she slammed it so hard onto my windshield that she knocked the wiper out of alignment. Work on your anger issues, lady!

      • Anonymous

        If the parking attendant writes in to popville (that would be funny), I’d recommend she chill also.

      • NH Ave Hiker

        yea, no one is saying that here. OP, you deserve the ticket because technically you were late (although could you argue time discrepancies?) but the attendant definitely was being unprofessional, too.

  • Stop Complaining

    These new rates are still absurdly cheap. For a good proxy of what parking should cost according to supply and demand, check out prices for garage parking.

    • Anon Spock

      There are some absurdly expensive garages, but generally per hour it’s about the same or cheaper for a garage. The time limited meters with rush hr, street cleaning, etc restrictions shouldn’t, in theory, cost more than the garage you can use all day.

    • stacksp

      They are working their way up to $3 bucks in small increments. $20 for event parking is fine by me

  • dcinsider2

    Am I the only one who feels sorry for the Parking Attendant?

    You hit your unlock to virtually tell the officer that you were “on your way?”

    I get that this is frustrating. Being late for anything can be annoying. Here’s tip, don’t be late.

    • Duponter

      Do I feel sorry for a parking attendant who is writing tickets 10 seconds after a meter expires when the person is clearly on their way to replenish it or get their car? No. Not really. I’m not defending the OP’s reaction to the situation really, but no, the parking attendant seems like a pretty horrible person.

      • MRD

        I disagree. I think they’ve got quotas, but even if they didn’t it’s a job that needs to be done.

      • CRT

        For doing her job? What’s the grace period in your mind? 1 minute? 10 minutes? 1 hour? How long do people get to park for free because they are too lazy/cheap to use the app and pay for more time? Cry me a river…

        • Duponter

          Who is crying? It’s just being a decent person. I have no doubt that meter maid has similarly been cut a break or two now and again. If I know you’re coming to put more money in or move, wtf does 10 seconds matter? Cut someone a break. By all means if no one is around or running toward you saying please I’M COMING, just let it go. Geez. If it were ten minutes, sure. Ten seconds?

          I have a feeling almost everyone who is defending the perfect here would seriously feel differently if the meter maid did that to them.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          Missing a meter by 19 seconds makes someone too lazy or too cheap? I mean, I think the OP handled this poorly, but I don’t have a problem with parking people being a little lenient on tickets rather than standing at one and waiting for it to expire. There is no way she put in all the required info to print a ticket in 19 seconds, so she clearly sat there and started to ticket before the meter ran. Maybe that is what they are trained to do, and I am sure they hear it from people constantly, but a little human decency is nice once in a while.

    • Goos-fra-bah

      To be honest, you can’t even argue against the parking attendant on ticketing her. She was late. Now, whether or not you would do that is your preference, and you are free to exercise that if you become a parking attendant yourself.

      As far as unprofessional behavior, in this instance the ticketed woman was clearly serving some attitude. Remember this: how many tickets do you get a day? Okay, now be a parking attendant, how many valid (as this one was completely valid, whether 1 second or 30 minutes) tickets do you give out and deal with outraged/pissy people.

      I’ve received a ticket for being 30 seconds late. Instead of whining about it and trying to blame someone for being an asshole, I paid my ticket and went about my life.

      The ONLY time I would contest a ticket is if I had viable proof that I was ticketed before my meter expired. Anywhere else, just take it and go. You’ve wasted how much of your life just by ranting/raving about some attendant?

      (P.S. Any “you” statements aren’t directed at you specifically, I’m speaking generally…sorry!)

  • Anon

    Or you could’ve simply accepted the ticket you deserved and challenged it online. I’m sure you’d get it revoked were it not for your awkward antics.

  • EKnievel

    .25 motorcycle parking? The parkmobile app doesn’t have/differentiate that vehicle option.

    • Anon Spock

      Shouldn’t come along with the app updates to be effective June 1? Or is that something that should be active now but isn’t?

  • Anonymous

    Expired is expired. You’ve earned yourself two now my friend

    • Caroline

      Is there actually a law that you have to wait around until formally dismissed by the parking attendant? They’re not a police officer. Once the ticket is written and in the system I don’t think you’re under any obligation to stay.

      • Anon Spock

        One ticket just reprinted. I doubt it on the law. He could have simply driven away rather than harass the woman.

        • Caroline

          Isn’t that what the OP did? Just said “sorry gotta go” and took the ticket and started driving? The officer was the one losing her shit.

          • Anon Spock

            No. He grabbed the first ticket, got in, then she reprinted it. He didn’t pull off but instead stopped to ask what she was doing. Anyone could take pictures of you in public, so I don’t see any reason why he was still there.
            I don’t think that last bit was needed, but op could have easily left once he saw she wasn’t going to budge.

          • Goos-fra-bah

            Remember there are always two sides to the story.

          • Caroline

            Good point. Maybe the OP didn’t want to tell us he pulled out a gun and shot the officer. Or that a UFO appeared and beamed her up to go to her home planet. Maybe this whole thing is made up and didn’t happen at all. I’m just going with the story as it was told.
            I got the impression the OP took his time driving away (put on his seat belt, waited until it was safe to pull out, whatever) instead of racing off. That would have given the officer enough time to print ticket #2.

  • textdoc

    The parking attendant’s “chanting ‘I’ve got you, I’ve got you. You are busted.’ ” sounds pretty juvenile, but other than that she seems to have acted appropriately.
    Yes, it sucks to get a ticket as a result of being 16 seconds late… but late is late. Next time RUN if your meter is about to expire.

  • textdoc

    Teeny-tiny meter complaint: When I went to Philip’s Shoe Repair on Saturday, I put a dime into the meter only to discover (upon wondering why it didn’t click and give me ~3 minutes) a tiny little notice saying that the meter takes only quarters and $1 coins. (Who even has $1 coins??)
    I understand that the value of nickels and dimes is getting ever smaller as D.C.’s parking rates increase… but if the meter doesn’t take commonly accepted coins, it ought to be marked more conspicuously.

  • Shawz

    I’d be curious if the OP even thinks the parking enforcement knew the meter expired 20 seconds ago. If I remember how meters work, they just say “expired” when time runs out, they don’t continue metering. The attendant has no way of knowing whether you’ve been parked 10 seconds or 10 hours extra.

    • Duponter

      If OP is to be believed, the attendant was likely at the meter before it expired. And I totally believe it – I have no doubt they sit around waiting for meters to tick to expired so they can ticket vehicles. That’s all fine. But as (sadly only a few) others have noted, a little human decency goes a long way in terms of cutting someone a break over what amounts to seconds.

  • Powertrip

    I can’t believe how many people are defending the parking attendant in this situation. Is there a requirement that these individuals lack an iota of human decency or empathy? I am sure this profession self selects for self important people who want to wield pseudo power over people.

    Yes, OP was late, and yes I understand once the ticket is printed there is basically nothing the attendant can do about it, but have some freaking empathy and don’t escalate the situation by making it worse. Be professional when you represent the district/state/government.

    I parked on 16th street in the pouring rain a few weeks ago in front of a church that I was making a donation to in the basement, and had unknowingly parked in a “no parking on Saturday AM” section (sign was completely faded out and there was a whole row of unticketed cars in front of me) and was away from the car for 60 seconds tops. Came back out to see a woman writing me a ticket, and after I tried to reason with her and got frustrated with her failure to stop she told me, “I’ma beat your ass.” I’d like to be able to report individual attendants too.

    Everyone on this chain berating this person for trying to move on with her day after someone else executed a power trip over them should go get a job as a meter maid.

    • Anon Spock

      You have her name on the ticket; is there no way to complain with dpw?
      On the unticketed cars, they make rounds throughout whatever area they’re assigned to, so yea, they’re going to miss some people. I imagine the time she came back is the time she finds the most cars. The fact that others aren’t ticketed at a given time is no indication of legal parking. Why not just take photos of the faded sign and fight it?
      Did the op meter maid act poorly? Yes, but the calls for leniency make no sense when everyone admits he was wrong with no real reason to have missed the expiration….he knew it was close, and he saw her coming.

    • JohnH

      The attendant wasn’t the one who escalated it. They asked to take a picture with the ticket after it was grabbed off by the person – which is a part of their job. They were….doing their job. It’s amazing how many people trash city workers and Metro workers for being lazy, but then when they aren’t they are suddenly horrible and lack empathy.

    • dc2bmore


  • JohnSmith

    As a DC resident, why can’t I purchase an annual street parking pass like commercial vehicles? “Commercial vehicle operators have the option of purchasing annual passes for $323, day passes at $25, or pay-by-cell for loading zone use. Information on the loading zone program can be found at http://www.godcgo.com/freight.”

    • Truxtoner

      Based on how many commercial vehicles, in particular, delivery trucks just park in a lane of traffic at literally any time of the day, I’m not sure why they bother paying for that either.

      I think what burns me the most about the parking attendant situation here is how terribly unflexible they can be (and rude to boot), but then when I’m on the bus coming to work every day, the bus has to maneuver through a maze of lane changes to get around Sysco and US Foods trucks sitting in a lane of traffic during rush hour. Every single day. Or worse, tour buses. This morning was a hellish nightmare of it. But were there any DC employees around to write any tickets? Nope. Would they even if they were? Nope.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t forget sunday morning. We COULD NOT ticket people parking illegally on their way to church.

      • Amber

        Several years ago I ran into a parking enforcement officer while I was walking from Starbucks to my office, and I asked why they don’t do something about the delivery trucks: Every morning the curb lane of M NW (in Georgetown) as you head inbound is marked as a travel lane, but there’s always delivery trucks. I said “Come on! Easy money for the city! They’re right there, every day! And then the cars have to merge, and it backs up to Key Bridge!” Her response?
        “Oh, we like to give them a break.”

  • navyard

    I wish the OP would post a photo of the ticket. I will reserve judgement on who was acting poorly until I see the expiration time on the ticket vs. the time the ticket was issued. It should also include the time expired. To further make your case, please upload a screenshot of the ParkMobile receipt.

    Also, if the OP had moved toward the car with the attitude of “oh no, I hope I got here in time” rather than “haha, I beat you”, maybe things would have ended differently.

  • stacksp

    No big deal honestly. As with everything in this city, prices go up every few years or so.

  • Franklin

    I always think its funny when metro apologists rant and scold drivers for their “subsidized” parking, and you should pay more to park on the street etc…

    All the while every single one of their metro trips is subsidized to the tune of $4. Every.single.trip.

    And that doesn’t even touch the yearly capital expenditures or the initial cost to build.

    But hey, whatever makes your boat float I guess.

    • lizcolleena

      Then wouldn’t it be fair to include costs of road construction in a comparison as well? I am not sure how this would net out, but it seems like you’re basically complaining that “metro apologists” aren’t comparing apples to apples, when neither are you.

      • Franklin


        65% of federal roads are and 32% of local roads (construction and maintenance) are funded by the gas tax, i.e. by the user.

        Half the silverline was paid for by the tolls (3 billion dollars worth) on drivers on one local road.

        If metro riders “paid their freight” which is what folks here are saying people should do with their metered parking, the actual cost per trip would be in the ~$12 bucks a ride by the time you add in capital and operational cost.

        Your metro ride is the most subsidized form of transportation out there. A little perspective is all thats being asked for.

  • Anonymous

    Increasing the meter rate to $2.30 an hour everywhere seems to be a recipe for encouraging people to park for two hours (or perhaps longer) on residential streets, rather than at the meters in the commercial areas. Not very pleasant for the residents of those neighborhoods.

    • Anon Spock

      I guess they should either move where parking is more readily available or get off street parking. Makes more sense than asking someone not to park in legal parking purely for your convenience.

      • Anonymous

        Just saying that DDOT shouldn’t be putting policies in place that make life more difficult for DC residents. More than tripling the cost of parking at metered spaces near businesses will mean that more of those spaces sit vacant while scarce neighborhood parking (for visitors as well as residents) becomes more scarce.

        • textdoc

          Isn’t that only for metered spaces that are close to residential streets, though? Seems like it wouldn’t be an issue for downtown D.C., only for other areas that are more mixed.

          • Anonymous

            I think that the announced increase is largest for the metered spaces that are close to residential streets, and that the meters closer to downtown were $2.00 and would go up to $2.30, while most of the meters that are near residential streets further from downtown are $0.75 going up to $2.30.

      • Shawnnnnnn

        Does it make more sense? I mean, I kind of think if I live somewhere and pay taxes there, it should probably be easier for me to use the street parking in front of where I live than someone who isn’t. I don’t think I should move to where parking is more readily available. There is parking. In front of my house. Moving or paying for off street parking when there is parking in front of my house is probably not more sensible than having policies in place that prefer me to park in those spots than some stranger to the hood who isn’t visiting me but is parking in front of my house.

        It’s fine. One day the residential blocks will be largely resident only parking and the city can force the plebes from Virginia and Maryland to park in a garage or in the middle of the Potomac for all I care.

        • textdoc

          +1. It would make sense to tighten up the existing restrictions regarding zoned street parking.

          • Anon Spock

            It could but enforcement seems as much a problem as the restrictions. Frankly, I don’t think this will be the catastrophic loss of parking that is imagined.

  • TacoPants

    Was this near 17th and Q? The parking lady is quite the stickler in that neighborhood. On Church street you’re allowed to park on the south side only on street cleaning days until 7pm, but you can’t put your car back on the north side until 7. She literally hangs out on the street and will give you a ticket if you move your car to the north side 1 minute early, or are more than 1 second late moving it from the south side. After the entire street getting tickets a few times because they were +- 5 minutes of the change, all the neighbors show up at 5 till 7, move their cars to the other side, then sit in their cars with their engines running until 7:01 while she tickets all the stragglers. It’s kind of a ridiculous situation. Seems the common sense thing to do would be to have a 15 minute overlap so people can move their cars with out having to be minute accurate with their movement.

    • Meter Maids are Make Work Jobs

      Yeah, but these are folks in make-work jobs with quotas to deal with.

  • Anonymous

    Since we can’t toll the bridges or roads into town, I see this as our tax on MD and VA drivers.
    Grumpy Cat says: GOOD.

    • Anonymous

      Not much of a tax if they simply park on the residential streets instead.

  • overonhst

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Parkmobile. This would have solved the OP’s issue. If you are going to be late, you can add more time from your phone. Super easy and worth the 35c fee vs. getting rung up for a ticket.

    • Nope

      Per Parkmobile, you can’t extend your time if you’ve already used up the maximum. So if that were the case here the OP could still get a ticket for parking longer than the slot allowed, presumably that could get difficult to prove, but no doubt would make for additional commentary here …
      “DC enforces the meter maximums. If you choose to park in a space for longer than the meter maximum indicates, paid or not, you are at risk for receiving an overtime at meter citation from DC enforcement.”

  • Meter Maids are Make Work Jobs

    I hope all of the people defending the meter maid in this thread get jaywalking tickets today and public intoxication tickets the next time you go out drinking.


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