Story at a Glance
Starting later this month the District will provide reserved metered parking spaces for persons with disabilities at distinctive “red top” meters.
“The end result will be improved accessibility to parking for persons with disabilities in the District of Columbia.”
— Terry Bellamy, DDOT Director
(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced it will implement a new program designed to improve access for persons with disabilities to businesses and services in the commercial areas of the District. Starting later this month the District will provide reserved metered parking spaces for persons with disabilities at distinctive “red top” meters. This new program sets aside curbside parking spaces for the exclusive use by persons with disabilities and eliminates the free parking in metered spaces that has become a prime incentive behind the fraudulent use of disabled parking placards and license plates.
“The end result will be improved accessibility to parking for persons with disabilities in the District of Columbia,” said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy. “Right now, they suffer because the placards and plates that are issued to persons with disabilities are abused by people who just want to park for free. We’ve worked hard with the disabled community to devise a solution that will correct that and provide dedicated spaces for persons with disabilities.”
DDOT has identified locations in the Central Business District as well as the Federal corridors in the southwest quadrant of the District where these special “red top” meters will initially be installed.
- Each of these locations will provide designated accessible parking spaces reserved for use only by vehicles displaying valid disability placards or license plates.
- Vehicles with valid disability parking placards or plates may pay to park at the “red top” meters for the time limit and effective hours posted on the meter.
- The “red top” meters will provide up to twice the time for parking that is generally provided on the block.
- Motorists in vehicles displaying placards or license plates issued to persons with disabilities will be required to honor the posted restrictions and payment requirements at non-reserved meters the same as all other motorists.
For ease of use all “red top” meters will be ADA accessible. Payment may be made by cell phone, wireless devices with access to our web application, or at the designated meter with coin or credit. To learn more about pay by phone parking, the wireless program applications and how to enroll go to www.parkmobile.com or call (877) 727-5758.
Persons with disabilities will be assured exclusive use of reserved “red top” metered parking spaces during regular hours of meter operation. Motorists without valid disabled placards or license plates will be prohibited from parking at the reserved “red top” metered spaces during regular hours of meter operation, and are subject to ticketing or towing.
With this program the District joins with its neighbor, Arlington County, in adopting an “all must pay policy”. The Commonwealth of Virginia enacted legislation in 1997 to allow local jurisdictions to adopt their own rules requiring disabled drivers to pay for parking and in 1998 Arlington launched its all must pay policy.
The District will continue to recognize reciprocal parking privileges for qualified persons with disabilities with valid placards or license plates issued by other jurisdictions and will evaluate additional “red top” meter requests for any metered block. Examples of corridors where DDOT will consider additional “red top meters” include government buildings and on any blocks with special traffic generators such as the Convention Center, recreational and entertainment centers, and medical service facilities. To request consideration for curb side space in a commercial area to be designated for parking for persons with a disability, call the Mayor’s Call Center at 311. You may also contact Mr. Damon Harvey at Damon.Harvey@dc.gov, (202) 671-2800, or by mail at 55 M Street, SE, 6th Floor, Washington, DC, 20003, regarding this new program.
Additional information is available at the DDOT website’s parking services page.