A D.C. Council committee has approved “performance-pricing” for parking meters—basically it means you pay more to park at certain meters during peak hours. Mayor Vince Gray hopes it will raise an extra $3 million in revenue, and Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh thinks it will help with traffic congestion, WAMU reports.

On the congestion front, San Francisco has been trying out rate adjustments since last year. The city planned to increase empty spots (and reducing congestion caused by people looking for an open meter) by raising meter prices to $4.50 an hour. But even more importantly, the city reduced the cost of parking garage spaces to make up for the high rates at the meters—since those garage spaces were going unused. “Garage rates are now frequently lower than the rates at surrounding meters, with some garage rates as low as $1 per hour,” the program directors said in a release.

This seems like a smart idea—and definitely one of the puzzle pieces in reducing traffic congestion downtown. Though it’s one that D.C. wouldn’t be able to implement easily, since the city’s parking garages are privately owned.

Photo by Wayan Vota via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License