The Issue: The District’s “performance parking” pilot program, which has raked in $1.4 million in revenue in Ward 6, may be arriving in the H Street entertainment and arts district. During the past few years, the redevelopment of that district has brought a flurry of new businesses and patrons. Who can resist the balls at Sticky Rice or dancing the night away at the Rock & Roll Hotel? Soon, though, meters may pop up in places where parking is now free. Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A recently sent a request to the D.C. Council for approval of the plan. The multi-space parking meters would be installed from 12th to 15th Streets and H to F Streets NE; people would need to feed them from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Show Me the Money: The installation of the green-colored meters by the District Department of Transportation began last year to increase revenue, parking spaces (parking costs more during peak hours, which is supposed to force more turnover) and promote alternative modes of transportation. In the H Street district, officials would add meters in some meterless spots and upgrade existing coin meters. Despite improvements along H Street’s main corridor, the alleyways and side streets need maintenance, William Schultheiss, an ANC commissioner, told City Desk. The meters could help raise money for new streetlights and other neighborhood improvements. Bring them on!
Doing Away with Hospitality: The holidays are about giving and, in the District, parking spaces, especially free ones, are as popular as Robert Pattinson. Some neighborhood residents believe the move is premature. Some argue they already pay taxes and steep fees to park; their visitors should not have to endure the same costs. Capitol Hill residents complained to the Hill Rag that the parking program there “disrupts social networks” and “impinges on the quality of life.”
Next Step: A request was sent by the ANC to the city council, which would need to give the multi-space meters a green light. To appease residents, visitor passes may be an option, Schultheiss says. Park away while it’s free!