Red top meters confuse some ticket writers

WASHINGTON — As D.C. deploys red meters to designate handicap street parking, some ticket writers are confused about how to enforce the rules for these new meters correctly.

Anyone can park at the red top meters for now. Eventually, the D.C. Department of Transportation will restrict parking at the meters to those with disability placards or plates.

Disabled drivers will still have to pay for the spots, but they will be able to park for double the time limit on the block.

The parking meters also carry different Parkmobile zone numbers than other meters, which can trip up parking enforcers, as Daniyal Sanusi learned.

In October, Sanusi parked at a red top meter in the 900 block of 11th Street NW. He paid for the spot using Parkmobile – an app that is becoming increasingly popular and allows motorists to pay to park with a smartphone.

But Sanusi received a parking ticket from the D.C. Department of Public Works for an expired meter, or not paying for the spot.

The ticket listed the spot under a different Parkmobile code than the one Sanusi entered.

“It was just very confusing to me. When I tried to contest it, I was told that I had no case,” says Sanusi. “It was very, very frustrating.”

After a visit to the meter listed on the ticket, Ticketbuster determined that the red top meter listed on the ticket was coded 23806 but the other meters on the block were listed as 22095.

The Department of Public Works, agreed to void the parking ticket. And in early January, the city sent Sanusi a postcard to inform him that the ticket was dismissed.

“We have taken steps to train Parking Enforcement Officers about this new procedure. During roll calls we have advised the (officers) to record the number on the meter. We are also including this in our training manual and it will become a module in our training curriculum,” says public works spokeswoman Linda Grant.

Sanusi wants all drivers to learn from his story.

“I would say that for now, avoid the red top meters. But if you do park there and get a ticket, take pictures of the meter and the sticker,” says Sanusi.

As the old saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words.

If you think you’re the victim of a bogus speed camera, red light camera or parking ticket in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, WTOP may be able to help you cut the red tape. Send us your case along with any documentation to ticketbuster@wtop.com.

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