Washington DC approves plan to expand ‘performance parking’

A council committee in Washington DC has approved a plan to allow city officials to manage the demand for parking spaces by adjusting parking prices, taking inspiration from San Francisco’s SFpark program.

Under the plan, city officials would be able to adjust parking meter rates, length and times of operations, parking fines and residential parking regulations. Called ‘performance parking,’ the program has been tested throughout the city in recent years. The Washington Post reports that the parking plan also directs that money raised by the program be used locally to improve bus services and to foster the use of alternative transportation.

According to the DCdot site, performance-based parking manages the demand for parking to achieve three key elements:

1. Protect resident parking: Higher kerbside parking meter rates combined with more stringent parking restrictions in residential neighbourhoods in the pilot areas help preserve kerbside parking for residents in areas where business or entertainment uses draw lots of visitors.

2. Protect businesses: Performance based meter rates and time limits are designed to encourage brief kerbside parking with high turnover while discouraging long-term parking that would deprive businesses of customers. Visitors with long-term parking requirements are encouraged by the higher meter rates to utilize off-street parking facilities.

3. Promote non-automotive transportation and reduce congestion: Higher kerbside meter rates encourage walking, biking and transit use in lieu of auto travel in congested places.

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