WASHINGTON — Red-top parking meters for the handicapped have been in place in D.C. for a few years, but because the rules have lagged, the meters have been available to anyone. That will soon change.
The District Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that starting in January, red-top meters in the city’s Central Business District will be for the exclusive use of people in vehicles with handicapped tags and placards.
“What we decided to do was to focus on the area where we saw the greatest demand for curbside access for people with disabilities,” said DDOT spokesman Terry Owens.
The Central Business District extends from 23rd Street Northwest in Foggy Bottom to 2nd Street Northeast in Capitol Hill and from Embassy Row on Massachusetts Avenue Northwest south across the National Mall to D Street Southwest.
Red-top meters elsewhere in the city will be phased out.
Handicapped parkers using red-top meters will get double the time allotted to other parking meters. Non-handicapped people who use the spots will subject to a $250 fine.
DDOT says enforcement will begin in January 2017 after the city has had the chance to sufficiently notify the public and send informational postcards to holders of disability placards and license plates.
Outside the Central Business District, handicapped parkers will continue to be allowed to park free at any parking meter.