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350 Red Top Parking Meters in the Central Business District Now “for the exclusive use of persons with disabilities”

by Prince Of Petworth May 8, 2017 at 9:30 am 13 Comments

parking meter

From DDOT:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will begin the new Red Top Meter Program Monday, May 8, 2017.

Beginning next week Red Top Meters will be designated for the exclusive use of persons with disabilities with qualified placards or license plates.

Red Top Meters are parking meters with distinctive red tops located in the Central Business District (CBD). The CBD includes areas south of Massachusetts Avenue, east of 23rd Street NW, west of 2nd Street NE and north of D Street SE.

There are 350 Red Top metered on-street parking spaces in the CBD. All Red Top Meter users must pay for the reserved spaces, but the meters allow additional time to park (up to 4 hours). The fine for parking at a Red Top Meter without a placard is $250.

Red Top Meter users can either pay with coin or credit card at the meter; or with Parkmobile, the District’s pay-by-phone service. Outside of the CBD, the rules remain the same for persons with disabilities. Metered parking for placard, and license plate holders is free for up to four hours.

Motorists with the qualified placard or license plates who park longer than the time allowed on the meter will be subject to a $30 fine for an expired meter.

The goal of the Red Top Meter program is to increase the availability and accessibility of on-street metered parking in the CBD for persons with disabilities. Please visit www.parkdc.com to learn more.”

  • Anonthony

    Does anyone know why they chose red, when that medium blue color seems to be the universal indicator of handicapped access?

    • I’m purely speculating here, but I imagine it is because red is more eye-catching. That way a person can better see it when trying to park their car/find a spot (and know not to park there if they aren’t handicapped). You can see they use the light blue sticker on the bottom part of the meter.

    • Anon Spock

      They used blue for regular meters that are ada compliant by gett being shorter. I’m not sure which came first though.

      • saf

        The blue ones.

  • Marty

    I will be interested to see usage data after 6 months or a year. I hope that if certain meters aren’t heavily utilized, they are put back into “regular” circulation.

    • anon5

      Chances are high that the utilization rate will be high, just not by actual disabled people.

  • Eric

    Do handicap people have to pay at all parking spaces now in the city?

    My neighbor is handicapped and she was wondering out aloud when we read this story just now. Does popville know?

    • AnonV2

      Yes, it’s in response to the rampant abuse of the handicapped placard system that let commuters park for free at meters downtown. All must pay now, but there are many more spaces set aside. They tried to roll this out a couple of years ago, but of course screwed it up and couldn’t legally enforce the new regulations. For a while there these red tops were marked as handicapped only BUT available for anybody to use, so that was doubly confusing.

      • Anon Spock

        Confusing but awesome if you knew. The red tops were always available.

  • JB

    It would be helpful if the city marked the actual parking spaces, rather than just the meters. Especially because they’re using an unusual color (red) to indicate that these are reserved for handicapped people.

  • I Rex

    More like for the exclusive use of able-bodied Maryland drivers with a disability placard…

    • Pete

      Yep. 90+% of the vehicles parked on a weekday in my block of NoMa are luxury cars with MD plates, “handicapped” cards, and able-bodied drivers that shamelessly bounce right out of them. Some are even crazy-small sports coupes that no handicapped person could even climb in and out of (think Mercedes C-class). The culture of this city is just so rotten to its core in many ways.

    • Sydney

      Or sporty, hard-to-climb-up into, aggressively rustic-type vehicles that boast, “Look at me! I’m a hardy sportsman!” But, yes: “the person might have a hidden disability, like heart disease” — for which the best treatment is, um . . . walking. Recently witnessed a couple of Virginia gentlemen at Judiciary Square toss up [someone’s] placard in the rearview iheir Jeep, then sprint over toward the hockey game at Verizon Center, a block a way. Neat, eh? At least now, ACTUAL disabled people will have a decent chance at getting a spot.


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