Parking meter upgrades to increase accessible parking options for people with disabilities emerging in Federal Hill this spring
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Parking Authority of Baltimore City (PABC), in partnership with the Mayor’s Office on Disabilities, announced today that Phase 3 of ProjectSPACE, the parking program aimed at combatting the abuse of disability placards, creating reserved, accessible on-street parking for people with disabilities, and making more available parking for everyone, will launch in Federal Hill on April 17, 2017. As in Phases 1 and 2, the third phase will require all people parking on-street to pay the parking meter, including vehicles displaying disability placards or tags.
“I’m excited that people with disabilities will soon have the accessible parking spaces they need to be able to enjoy Federal Hill,” said Mayor Pugh.
“Project SPACE gets at the root of two problems at once,” said Peter Little, Executive Director, Parking Authority of Baltimore City. “It removes the incentive to steal disability placards, which were being stolen at an average of 23 per month before Project SPACE, and it makes more parking spaces available, which helps popular areas like Federal Hill.”
As part of ProjectSPACE, Phase 3 reserves 24 on-street parking spaces for vehicles displaying disability placards or tags. Each space will be equipped with a single-space parking meter that meets the newest Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Additionally, the card readers and coin drops of 57 multi-space EZ Park meters throughout Federal Hill will be lowered to meet the most-current ADA standards. The meters will provide people with disabilities equal access to on-street metered parking. Meters that meet the ADA standards are marked with the universal accessibility logo. Payment will be required after April 17 at all accessible meters. The cost to park will be the same for everyone, including those using a disability placard or tags. As in previously launched Phases 1 and 2, all time limits for on-street parking spaces within the area will increase to four hours to give people with disabilities additional time to get to and from their destination.
ProjectSPACE is part of an ongoing, long-term solution to a major parking problem in Baltimore City. Current policy in all areas of the city except for the Central Business District (Phase 1) and the Fells Point and Harbor East neighborhoods (Phase 2) allows individuals displaying a disability placard or license plates to park on-street at meters free of charge. This often results in illegal use by motorists parking for long periods of time and thefts of disability placards. Disability placards were the number one item stolen out of motor vehicles before ProjectSPACE Phase 1. By removing the financial incentive to park on-street free of charge in Federal Hill, PABC anticipates increased parking turnover similar to the effect Phases 1 and 2 have had on parking in the Central Business District, Fells Point and Harbor East neighborhoods. Ultimately, ProjectSPACE makes it easier for everyone to find an available parking space in Baltimore City.
“The launch of ProjectSPACE in Federal Hill presents an exciting opportunity to support many of our seniors and community members who have a disability,” said Councilman Eric Costello. “Furthermore, it supports our community's need for more available parking, and has proven to cut down on auto larceny from placard theft—an issue we hope to curb significantly with the implementation of Phase 3."
Each phase of ProjectSPACE introduces accessible parking meters to a designated area of the city. The new single-space meters and multi-space EZ Park meters will be accessible for people with disabilities, unlike the old crank-turn meters, as determined by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. ProjectSPACE Phase 3 is launching in Federal Hill—in an area approximately defined as the streets bounded by E. Montgomery Street (North), Ostend Street (South), Light Street (East) and Sharp Street (West). The campaign plans to expand to Mount Vernon and the remainder of Baltimore City in Phases 4 and 5.
ProjectSPACE Phase 1 launched in July of 2014 and is an area defined as the streets bounded by Franklin Street (North), President Street (East), Key Highway (South) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (West). Following the success of Phase 1, Phase 2 of ProjectSPACE launched in September of 2016 and is the area defined as the streets bounded by Eastern Avenue (North), Wolfe Street (East), Thames Street (South) and the Inner Harbor water near Pier Six (West). Phase 3 will launch next in Mt. Vernon.
For more information on ProjectSPACE, visit www.MoreSpace4All.com and join us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Parking Authority of Baltimore City
Parking Authority of Baltimore City (PABC) is a quasi-governmental agency of Baltimore City and a registered 501c3 with a mission to find, or create, and implement parking solutions for Baltimore City, and to be the resource on all things "parking" in Baltimore. PABC oversees the management of 17 parking garages, numerous lots, over 800 EZ Park Meters, over 1,500 reserved residential handicap parking spaces, and 46 residential permit parking areas.
About the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities
The Mayor's Commission on Disabilities was created by the City of Baltimore Ordinance #93-237 to promote equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. The Commission assists the City in assessing the accessibility of city facilities, programs and services for citizens with disabilities; providing information and education programs to city government, businesses and industries concerning issues relevant to citizens with disabilities; and complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).