Yesterday David Alpert of the Greater Greater Washington blog reviewed the proposed Residential Parking Protection Pilot Act. This Ward 6 pilot act, which has a hearing at 11am today, will require that one side of all residential streets within a RPP zone be reserved for Zone parking permit holders. Alpert stated without balance the parking bill will hurt business then followed up with his five suggestions to improve the RPP program.
I do not agree with the blanket nature of the program. In my eyes all residential streets are not equal in nature but these modifications to the RPP program appear to treat them as such. The armchair urban planner in me believes that in mixed use high-rise districts, such as Penn Quarter and Mount Vernon Triangle, the on-street parking on commercial corridors should be metered to encourage high turnover. Long term parking should be primarily in parking garages which all these new construction buildings have. Modest amounts of RPP can be setup on street segments that lack retail space. Having a resident’s car, which has an RPP permit that costs $15/yr, squatting in a spot in front of Busboys for six days straight without moving will harm our retailers and in turn impact vibrancy of the neighborhood.
The above map mock up represents my rough draft vision of how parking permit zones and meters could be outlayed in the Mount Vernon Triangle (and surrounding area) considering the future plans for development in the Mount Vernon Triangle Action Agenda. My map preserves metered parking on both sides of streets that have significant commercial uses (such as 7th, H & K Streets). It also allows other streets that are purely residential and church uses to have both sides of the streets available for RPP.