Pay by phone for parking in DC starting Monday
Drivers parking at 700 meters around Dupont Circle, Union Station, and on select downtown streets will be able to pay for parking by phone starting Monday, April
17th 12th, DDOT announced.
To use the system, drivers will go to paybyphone.com ahead of time and register the car's license plate, a mobile phone number, and a credit card. When parking in an eligible space, they will then be able to call 888-510-PARK and enter a location code posted on signs. Parking enforcement officers will have access to this information on their handheld devices so they know not to ticket cars using pay by phone.
The system can also send a text message when time is about to expire, and the driver can call back to add more time remotely up to the maximum time limit allowed by that meter.
You can go to Verrus Mobile Technologies' paybyphone.com now or call 888-510-PARK (7275) and sign up for an account. 700 meters will support pay by phone in the initial pilot, around Dupont Circle, Union Station, and on I and K Streets and New York Avenue downtown. Update: Here are maps of the pilot streets for Dupont north and south of the circle, Union Station, and I and K.
If it works well, pay by phone will make parking a much less painful process. If a downtown garage charged $2 or even $5 per hour for parking, most drivers would find that remarkably cheap, but the $2 maximum meter rate in DC feels very burdensome when parking for two hours requires finding 16 quarters, even though grabbing a latte on the way out could cost just as much. Credit card meters are one solution, but pay by phone is even better.
Better yet, pay by phone could make it possible to meter residential streets for non-residents. In many neighborhoods, like Dupont Circle, some metered spaces remain available during busy times while the residential side streets are packed with restaurant-goers and the roads are filled with people circling for parking. Some neighborhoods, like the ballpark performance parking district, have addressed this problem by prohibiting non-resident parking on one side of the street, but at some times of the day that means that the resident side of the street is pretty empty.
Why not let people park on the resident-only side of the street, but for a premium? It could cost more than the meters, and enough to ensure that it doesn't completely fill up with non-residents, but if spaces are going begging and the residents aren't using them, charging something high is better than banning its use altogether.
- Bikeshare is a gateway to private biking, not competition
- Long-term closures: A solution to single-tracking?
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools
- Metro policy for refunds after delays falls short, riders say
- M Street cycle track keeps improving, draws church anger
- Prince George's County struggles to get trails right
- O'Malley announces first projects using new gas tax money