As expected, Tommy Wells just introduced to the city council the "Performance Parking Pilot Zone Act of 2008
", which would create a three-year pilot project to "better manage curbside parking, especially around the stadium
and the impacted area." Wells said the goals of the bill are to protect residential parking in neighborhoods and to support local business, and commented that "it is clear that a couple thousand well-managed curbside spaces are better than two-to-three times as many unmanaged spaces." Council chair Vincent Gray co-introduced the bill, and council members Catania, Brown, Barry, and Bowser signed on as co-sponsors. I should have a link to the text of the bill itself later today, but if you can't wait, read my entry from a few weeks ago describing the plans
, since I'm too lazy this morning to re-summarize.
* The areas to be covered by the pilot include all areas south of the Southeast-Southwest Freeway from 10th Street SE to 12th Street SW and from the freeway north to East Capitol Street between Washington Avenue, SW and 11th Street, SE.
* Fines would start at $50 for parking overtime and would just upward if needed "to dissuade ballpark patrons from parking illegally in neighborhoods";
* Sixty percent of the meter revenues would be used to repay the cost of the new multi-space meters (pictured at left) and related signage, 20 percent would be deposited in the city's Transportation Unified Fund, and the rest would be used for "non-auto transportation improvements" within the zone, such as streetscape upgrades for pedestrians, biking infrastructure improvements, and better bus and rail signage.
* A "pay-by-cell phone" zone could be created to allow for electronic payments for parking. (Cool!)
Specifics still to be spelled out:
* Designations of streets as residential, retail, or ballpark-adjacent, which will govern which type of parking restrictions a street has;
* Rates for the meters;
* Days and hours of meter operations;
* Parking time limits and Residential Permit Parking restriction hours;
* A guest-pass system to allow residents to better handle visitors.
Two community meetings have been scheduled
, on Jan. 22 at 401 I Street, SW, and Jan. 23 at 301 North Carolina Ave., SE. Both are from 6:30 to 8 pm. There will also be a hearing at some point by the council's Committee on Public Works and the Environment, chaired by Jim Graham. And it will also no doubt come up for discussion at this Friday's council Committee on Economic Development oversight roundtable
on "Parking and Traffic Plan for the Nationals' Stadium" (Jan. 11 at 10 am).
Here's a Tommy quote from the press release: "Some of the best thinking in the country has gone into this proposal. Parking is already at a premium in our neighborhoods, but giving free curbside parking to ballpark visitors isn't managing the problem, it's only inviting more congestion and traffic."
I imagine this is just the beginning of a flood of information on the plan. Stay tuned.