D.C. to fix confusing parking signs

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – There’s a problem with some parking meters in the District that the city is promising to fix pretty quickly.

The trouble is signs on some meters don’t match up with how the meters actually work.

“Do the parking signs match the requirements of a meter? Most of them do, but some don’t and we need to fix the ones that don’t. That’s an immediate issue we need to solve,” says Angelo Rao, manager of the District’s parking and streetlight program.

He says the issue will be resolved “within months.”

Another confusing problem in the city involves multiple signs detailing multiple parking rules in the same place.

“All these issues sometimes come into one block, where I swear you need to have your attorney with you to know where to park. Doesn’t it feel that way? Let’s be honest. It is that way. I admit it,” says Rao.

Another concern Rao says will be addressed soon involves D.C.’s Visitor Parking Pass program. Through this program, some residents get a yearly pass they can lend to out-of-town visitors. The pass allows visitors to park for longer than two hours on Residential Permit Parking blocks.

But some worry the passes can and are being abused in a city where street parking can be hard to find.

Right now the passes are free, but Rao says in the future, they probably won’t be.

“It’s like candy. Who wouldn’t want a free card to give to their visitors at all times. But is it appropriate to the way we’re managing the curbside (parking)? That’s the tough question,” says Rao.

He hopes proposed changes to the program can be drafted by February or March of next year.

Rao spoke Tuesday night at the D.C. Department of Transportation’s Parking Think Tank Summit.

Between August and October, DDOT held six community meetings to get opinions from the public about the city’s parking problems and how they might be fixed. DDOT also held an online chat, and allowed people to take an online parking survey. The survey got 680 responses. Last night’s parking summit was an opportunity for DDOT to detail what it heard from the public.

Although the meetings are over, Rao encourages anyone with parking concerns to e-mail him at angelo.rao@dc.gov or call him at (202) 671-1370.

Additionally, anyone who needs to report something such as a broken parking meter or a damaged sign should call 311.

Watch the Power Point presentation from the summit.

Information on the Visitor Parking Pass Program can be found online.

Follow @mbaschWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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