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It may not please everyone, but the city has finally released its proposed changes to the controversial visitor parking pass program.
Currently, every household on parking pass-eligible blocks in wards 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 automatically receives a free pass in the mail that visitors can use to park in the resident’s neighborhood. Under the new system, the program will expand to the entire city except for portions of Ward 2, but residents will have to register by phone or online to receive the passes.
District Department of Transportation Associate Director Sam Zimbabwe hopes the new system will better tailor the supply of the passes to demand. “Last year, we sent out over 100,000 visitor parking passes,” he says. “We have no idea if that’s what the demand actually is.”
But the policy change is unlikely to satisfy critics who argue that the system makes it too easy for people to park for free or that registering for the passes is an undue burden.
The rules are open for a 30-day comment period. Once approved, the changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015. The current passes, set to expire in September, will be extended through the end of 2014.
Image from the DDOT website