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Yesterday blogger Nikki Peele wrote a long post on her blog, Congress Heights on the Rise, noting several problems with the installation of “new” parking meters in Anacostia.
Today, Peele noted, “It took less than 24 hours” for the District Department of Transportation to move on the meters.
In addition to rates being wrong—-the meters charged the downtown D.C. rate of 25 cents for 7.5 minutes, instead of 75 cents for an hour—-the meters didn’t take credit cards, charged for Saturday parking, and were of “poor, tacky quality.” It looked like they were removed from Northwest and installed in Anacostia without a second thought.
I talked to Peele, who says that while she isn’t sure what the final solution for paid parking should be, “It probably starts with comment engagement; sitting down with the community and the BID [Anacostia Business Improvement District].” Multispace meters should be an option.
Overall, Peele says the process was “a series of failures and they all track back to things that people here already perceive: That residents of Anacostia deserve lower quality and less engagement.”
Besides taking out the meters, DDOT boss Terry Bellamy posted an apology on the agency’s blog:
I want to thank the residents and community leaders who have contacted me about the installation of parking meters on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue in Anacostia. Let me begin by saying that I have directed our staff to remove the parking meters today. They were installed without notice to the community, an oversight I apologize for on behalf of DDOT…. Again, thank you for being passionate about your community and for contacting me about this issue. It is our goal to provide equal service to every ward and every resident of the District, and we welcome your help in ensuring we do it right.
Photo courtesy Nikki Peele