Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reasons to Be Car Free in DC: Now Accepting Plastic

New credit card reading meters
Booya. Yeah. You can now pay for on street parking with a credit card. Plastic. Sounds like a nice option, but this just confirms that parking in DC has moved beyond quarters, dimes and nickels. The most forward thinking agency in our fair city, DDOT, has  floated quite a few ideas to make street parking faster and more convenient for drivers. Multi-space meters, pay by phone meters and at some point in the future, in car metering will all part of the parking management system. 

Another option is pay by credit card. As of today most streets downtown require $2.00 per hour for parking. That's 7 and 1/2 minuets per quarter. In performance parking zones (near Nationals Park and DCUSA for example) the rates are variable and can go much higher. The mulit space meters readily accept credit cards and if you are using the rare pay by phone meters, your phone number is linked to your credit card per sign up. Having this option does make some sense. Now that tolls can also be paid without coins, having 20 quarters in your glove box just for parking seems unrealistic and unnecessary (that's 2 and 1/2 hours, btw).  

Now individual space meters are getting the credit card makeover. The city argues that it's good for businesses, getting customers in and out, deterring all day parking. But man, who knew. A sign of the times if there ever was one. Pulling out the plastic for curb side parking. And you still have to parallel park that thing yourself.

More Reasons to Be Car Free in DC.