FACT: 1/3 of cars in traffic have reached their destination, but are looking for parking.
If you own a car, you've been there. In Baltimore, like many other cities, it can take 10-20 minutes of driving around to find a parking space. This October, the Parking Authority of Baltimore (PABC) is making more space for all with the expansion of its successful
initiative to Mount Vernon, in the area bordered by Mt. Royal Avenue (North), Guilford Avenue (East), Franklin Street (South), and Howard Street (West).
Starting in the Central Business District, ProjectSPACE launched in 2014 in partnership with the Mayor's Office on Disabilities to help ease Baltimore's parking problem by increasing the availability of parking for those with a disability and decreasing disability placard thefts.
Before ProjectSPACE launched, the city's policy of allowing free parking to vehicles displaying disability placards proved too tempting for some without disabilities to resist, leading to the widespread theft and abuse of these placards. By making parking meters accessible by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and requiring payment from all, even those with disability placards and license plates, the incentive to steal and abuse them was eliminated. This has freed up hundreds of on-street metered parking spaces in the areas where ProjectSPACE has launched -- the Central Business District (Phase 1), the Fells Point and Harbor East neighborhoods (Phase 2), and the Federal Hill neighborhood (Phase 3).
FACT: Before the launch of Phase 1, the average number of disability placards reported stolen to the Baltimore City Police Department was 23 per month. Since the launch, that average plummeted to just three.
In Phase 4 of ProjectSPACE, 40 parking spaces will be reserved on-street for vehicles displaying disability placards or tags. Each space will be equipped with a single-space parking meter that meets the newest ADA guidelines. Additionally, the card readers and coin drops of 75 multi-space EZ Park meters throughout Mount Vernon 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 once Phase 4 launches in October 2017 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, 2, and 3 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.
The Parking Authority of Baltimore is optimistic that phase 4 will leave a positive impact on the Mount Vernon community while supporting all residents and those visiting Baltimore! "Project SPACE has been successful in the Central Business District, Harbor East, Fells Point and Federal Hill, increasing the number of available parking spaces by nearly 20% on some blocks, and decreasing the number of disability placards stolen in Baltimore City by over 85%," said Executive Director Peter Little, "We expect to see similar results in Mount Vernon."
To learn more about ProjectSPACE, visit the Parking Authority of Baltimore's website here: