DPW Objection Delays Expansion of Performance Parking Plan on Capitol Hill
by Larry Janezich
Damon Harvey, DDOT’s Parking Performance Based Parking czar, told ANC6B’s Transportation Committee last night that expansion of the Performance Parking Program north of Pennsylvania Avenue to East Capitol Street has encountered opposition from the Department of Public Works. The reason, he explained, was ANC6B’s request for special parking restrictions around Eastern Market designed to protect residents on one hand and accommodate Eastern Market vendors on the other.
Harvey explained that DPW had declined to sign off on the request for restrictions on Sunday parking and on different parking restriction times for different sides of the same blocks around Eastern Market. Harvey did not have the objections of DPW in writing, saying only that DPW had asked for “more specificity” and that DPW was “not comfortable with the concept.”
Commissioners faulted Harvey for not bringing DPW’s reservations to the ANC’s attention in April when he learned of them and was only now bringing the issue back to the ANC.
The Performance Based Parking Plan, which Harvey described as “dynamic pricing on curbside parking” started in 2008, and will begin to go city wide in every major traffic corridor later this year, with a series of public meetings scheduled to start in September. The first expansion will be in the downtown’s Golden Triangle, followed by Penn Quarter/Chinatown, and McPherson Square. Parking in these areas will increase per elapsed time, just as metered parking does around Nationals Stadium on game days.
Harvey also mentioned new rules for sharing Performance Based Parking funds with the community, saying that the Mayor had “changed the configuration of how the funds would be shared,” taking into account the new zones which will be participating in the program. Details will be forthcoming. Commissioners expressed disappointment that ANC6B’s request for $50,000 from the Performance Parking Fund for landscaping improvements at Eastern Market Metro Plaza was not in the pipeline as ANC6B had believed.
Also forthcoming, will be details on the new visitor pass system for residents and businesses located in Performance Based Parking Zones. Harvey was not at liberty to share everything he knew regarding this new system but said more information will be released in the next few months. It seems certain, however, that costs for all aspects of resident and temporary visitor parking will increase – perhaps substantially.
The Transportation Committee subsequently agreed to set up a meeting with DPW to see what their specific objections to ANC6B’s expansion request are. If no way forward is apparent after this meeting, the four commissioners whose single member districts are directly affected: Pate, Frishberg, Garrison, and Oldenberg, will attempt to formulate a fallback position that will result is something less than a full loaf in order to accommodate moving ahead with the Performing Parking Plan north of Pennsylvania Avenue so as not to fall behind the other zones where the plan will be implemented this fall. The consensus was also to reach out to Councilmember Grasso, who serves on the Council’s Transportation Committee. Finally, Committee voted 7 – 0 to recommend that ANC6B formally request inclusion in the new system for administering visitor’s passes which will be announced in the coming months. Commissioner Frishberg also urged colleagues to push for inclusion of the $50,000 in landscaping funds for Eastern Market Metro Plaza, to be used in conjunction with the forthcoming redesign of the Metro Plaza being proposed by a group of Barrack Row stakeholders. Councilmember Wells will host two public meetings on the redesign, one on Monday, July 8 and a second on Saturday, July 13, details TBA.