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Perhaps in an attempt to blunt the backlash against red-top meters, DDOT posted a release to its site today announcing that its slow rollout and tepid enforcement would be extended through May 1.
But that appears to be too little, too late for the D.C. Council, which voted this afternoon to halt the enforcement of meters that designate parking for handicapped drivers.
The newly installed handicap-only meters that DDOT has been rolling out over the last couple of months will eventually be 9 percent of the city’s public parking inventory, 1500 spots, after a February pilot program that saw the installation of 400 meters. Though DDOT says they’re designed to fight placard fraud and prevent disabled drivers from parking longer than the allotted time without paying, opponents have said it would place an undue burden on drivers. After hearing concerns from constituents, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser introduced legislation to stop ticketing from taking effect, and the council voted in favor.
For the next 90 days, it appears, all drivers will be able to use the meters, paying (or not paying) as they normally would.
DDOT spokeswoman Monica Hernandez tells us that the agency is waiting on details from the Council before it updates the site, but adds, “In response to those various concerns that did come our way, we’ve been tweaking the program.”
As far as we’re concerned, tweaking an otherwise reasonable program seems like the sensible thing to do, but far be it from the council to let reason stand in the way of grandstanding for votes. After all, there’s an election coming up!
Photo via DDOT