Gabe Klein on How DC Built a Smarter Parking System

Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson is working on a piece about parking policy and was recently in Washington to discuss some of that city’s innovations with former District DOT chief Gabe Klein. The full Streetfilm is still a work-in-progress, but Clarence put together these clips where Klein explains the city’s pay-by-phone parking meter tech, which goes great with dynamic pricing, and its system for selling curb space for one-time uses like moving trucks, which cut down on fraud and looks like a smart way to prevent double-parking. Enjoy.

  • Nice beard! Is Gabe moonlighting as a craft cocktail bartender nowadays?

  • GK

    only at my house John 🙂

  • Ryan

    How are the pay-by-phone spaces enforced? There’s no visual cue (like a flashing green light) for parking enforcement officers, right?

  • Mr. Lazarus

    the beard is substantial enough to get its own parking spot! Nice!!

  • Jeffrey Baker

    We have this exact system in Oakland and it’s brilliant. Certainly a huge improvement over Oakland’s chronically broken coin meters.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    At least in Oakland the PEOs have a handheld computer that’s integrated with parkmobile. I believe they get a list of vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers that are currently paid. The zones are only a block long so it’s not that many cars.

  • Asher Of LA

    Is there any research supporting 2 hour (or 3 hour) limits? This is one of those things that people assume is a good idea, but I’ve never seen any evidence marshaled in its favor. The Shoupista crowd is also fairly skeptical of them, partly because limits are often poorly enforced, and partly because you can have the same effect through price – eg, charge people more after the second hour. More turnover is also more annoying for motorists and cyclists going through.

    I do see wisdom in the really short limits, for things like library book dropoffs, dry cleaners, cobblers, etc.

    Otherwise, pretty great execution.

  • Kevin Love

    I cringe watching someone cycling in a door zone bike lane… where the most dangerous place on the entire road to ride a bicycle is in the bike lane.

  • EDG

    Scan licenses plates to see who’s paid

  • GK

    Also the meters communicate with the pay by phone system, so when you pay by phone, within seconds the meters start flashing green vs. red. But also the enforcement people scan license plates that comapres against a database of PBP info.

  • D’BlahZero

    Having the ability to reserve space for events/moving trucks is brilliant. Too bad NYC can’t do something innovative like.

  • D’BlahZero

    Who wouldn’t be perfectly comfortable riding on such a provision? Looks quite welcoming to me:

    (be sure to throw in a few early-spring potholes to keep it interesting)

  • Kevin Love

    Yes, when we’ve got beautiful bike lanes like that, who would want something like this:

  • Charlie

    Boston started using parkmobile too and we were told the same thing: The parking officers can look up who has paid since the (old) meters won’t reflect it. The city is upgrading to the new smart meters like DC has so I suspect at that point the meters will be updated when someone pays via phone.


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