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Red Top Meter Program Frequently Asked Questions

What are Accessible Parking Meters?

Accessible Meters are parking meters, with a distinctive red top, or red-poled space markers that are reserved and accessible for the exclusive use of persons with disabilities.

The Accessible Parking Meter program does the following:

  • Provides reserved and accessible on-street metered parking spaces for persons with disabilities who have qualified placards or license plates.
  • Allows additional time to park
  • Requires payment from everyone parking at these meters.
  • Meet latest ADA Accessibility Guidelines

Where are Accessible Parking Meters?

Accessible Parking meters are located in the Central Business District (CBD) and the Stadium Event Zone. The CBD includes areas south of Massachusetts Avenue, east of 23rd Street NW, west of 2nd Street NE and north of D Street SW. The Stadium Event Zone includes both Nationals Stadium and Audi Field. The zone is bordered by the District’s Southeast Waterfront/Anacostia River, I-695 (SE/SW Expressway), 2nd St. SW/Delaware Ave. SW, and 5th St. SE.

When will the Accessible Parking Meters Program be implemented?

Approximately 370 accessible parking meters spaces were implemented in the CBD in May 2017. The program is expanding to the Stadium Event Zone in March 2020. Approximately 30 accessible parking meter spaces are installed in the Stadium Event Zone. Payment and time restrictions will be enforced beginning March 30, 2020. Enforcement will also be in effect during stadium events (which can include Sundays and Holidays) from 7AM-12AM.

What are the rules for disability placard and plate holders who park at a non-accessible meter within the CBD and Stadium Event Zone?

Placard and plate holders parking at non-accessible (not Red Top or Red-Poled) meters within the CBD and Stadium

Event Zone must pay the meter fee and park for the time limit posted on the meter or sign.

What are the parking rules outside of the CBD and Stadium Event Zone?

Parking rules outside of the CBD and Stadium Event Zone remain unchanged. Placard and plate holders can park for free at any parking meter outside of the CBD and Stadium Event Zone for up to double the posted time limit on the meter (up to 4 hours).

How do you pay for parking at Accessible Meters?

As with all other meters, payment at Accessible Meters can be made either by coin or credit card at the meter, or use Parkmobile, the District’s pay-by-cell service, to pay for parking.

In the Stadium Event Zone, payment at Accessible Meters can be made through Parkmobile or at a street kiosk located on each block. At the kiosk you will be required to enter your license plate number and pay accordingly.

Parkmobile service charges are waived for Accessible Meters only.

Can I use the ADA Pay By Cell Zone or Accessible Meter payment on the meter in a non-ADA Parking space?

No. The zone number or Accessible Meter payment is assigned solely to the designated accessible parking space. If used in a non-ADA space, the customer is subject to the standard time limit of the non-ADA space.

How do I know I’m in an area with Accessible Meter Program enforcement?

Accessible Parking meters in the respective zones will be demarcated with an “All May Park, All Must Pay” program decal. These decals will be installed in the Stadium Event Zone in March 2020; will roll out to the CBD in late 2020 and to other areas of the District as the program is expanded.

Is the Accessible Parking Meter program applicable on both sides of the boundary streets (boundaries of the CBD or Stadium Event Zone)?

Yes. The program is applicable on both sides of the boundary streets.

What if I don’t have a placard or a Disability License Plate and I park at an Accessible Parking Meter in the CBD or Stadium Event Zone?

If a vehicle is parked at an Accessible Meter in the CBD or Stadium Event Zone without a placard or Disability License Plate then a $250 fine will be issued.

What if I have a placard or a Disability License Plate and I forget to pay the Accessible Parking Meter?

If a vehicle is parked at an Accessible Parking Meter in the CBD or Stadium Event Zone with a placard or Disability License Plate and does not pay the meter then a $35 parking citation will be issued.

What if I have a placard or a Disability License Plate and overstay or feed the meter?

If a vehicle is parked at an Accessible Parking Meter in the CBD or Stadium Event Zone with a placard or Disability License Plate and overstays or feeds then meter then a $35 parking citation will be issued.

Enforcement is looking for valid payment from the meter and Parkmobile during meter enforcement hours and days.

They are also timing vehicles for time limits (not applicable solely in the Stadium Event Zone during events).

Enforcement is also looking for valid disability credentials for vehicles parked in the designated accessible spaces at all times (24/7/365).

Does the Accessible Parking Meter program affect off-street parking such as parking garages and private lots?

The Accessible Parking Meter program will not affect off-street parking options such as private garages and lots.

Why was the Accessible Parking Meter program created?

The Accessible Parking Meter program was created to help increase the availability and accessibility of parking in the District for persons with disabilities. The Accessible Parking Meter program is designed to:

  • Provide persons with disabilities greater access to curbside parking in high demand, congested areas downtown by setting aside reserved, accessible parking meters within the CBD and Stadium Event Zone.
  • Enable the District Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works to manage the limited available curbside space in high demand parking areas by encouraging parking turnover at metered spaces.

What was the District’s policy for vehicles parking at meters with a placard or license plate?

Prior to the Accessible Parking Meter program there was no policy in the District for vehicles parking at meters with a placard or license plate. Any driver with a placard or license plate could park for free anywhere, on any street in the District, for twice the time (up to 4 hours) allotted at any parking meter. Starting May 8, 2017, vehicles with placards or plates parking at meters in the CBD must pay the meter fee and park for the time posted on the meter or sign. Placard and plate holders may park at any Accessible Meter and pay the meter fee and receive additional time.

Where can I find information about obtaining placard or license plate?

Parking permits, placards and vehicle tags are offered by the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): https://ddot.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ddot/publication/attachments/disability_parking_application.pdf

Will the Accessible Parking Meter program be expanding into other areas of the city?

Yes, the program will be expanding into other areas of the District in the future. Please continue to visit parkdc.com and ddot.dc.gov for updates.