The District Department of Transportation’s new multispace parking meters in Georgetown, Adams Morgan, and along K Street are a triumph of modern municipal innovation. They’re solar-powered, they automatically notify DDOT when they need maintenance, and they free up lots of sidewalk space. DDOT spokesman Erik Linden says the agency has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from motorists.
But there’s one thing the newfangled devices can’t do that the old ones could—accommodate a bicycle lock. And D.C.’s bike-riding community is miffed.
“There’s nowhere to park your bike in Georgetown,” says cyclist Ari Goldstein, a Catholic University grad student, unlocking his bike on 18th Street NW. “It’s all right here [in Adams Morgan]. It could definitely be better.”
Eric Gilliland, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), says the problem threatens to worsen when it warms up and more people start cycling. “In Adams Morgan, there’s no place to park aside from the parking meters,” he says. “Some forethought should have been put into this.”
DDOT removed 168 old-fashioned meters from the area and replaced them with 21 of the stout green machines. Bicyclists lost more parking spots to the new machines downtown, but the problem is particularly bad along 18th Street, Gilliland says, because Adams Morgan “has the highest rate of bicycle commuting and bicycle usage in the entire city.”
Linden says his agency is “putting the wheels in motion” to have bike racks installed in Adams Morgan by spring and is also looking to install new racks in Georgetown and along K Street.