|Our "new" meters. Can you see the crazy?|
Makes no dollars or sense
The signs have been there for weeks - slate gray metal poles cropping up on both sides of Martin Luther King Jr, Ave in Anacostia's Business District.
Understandably, the idea of parking meters coming to a community that had free parking is being met with some resistance. In part, the outrage stems from the lack of community input or notice that the parking meters were even coming. The parking stems just appeared one day, and according to a long-time Anacostia street vendor, Council Member Barry was even in the dark about their arrival.
Today, the Parking Operations crew was back and this time they brought the "heads" for the "new" parking meters and boy are they anything but.
Anacostia, meet your "new" parking meters! Old coin operated parking meters from Northwest (peep the meter ID numbers). The days of free parking are over. You will now be required to pay for parking Monday thru Saturday.
Your "new" parking meters come equipped with battle scars, dents, dings, missing paint, and slots for you to deposit your coins. The "new" stickers don't even make sense. Paid parking is Monday - Friday but is enforced on Saturdays.
I'm doing something that I always said I would try not to do, blog while mad but I can't help it. This tomfoolery has to stop. To be clear, I am not mad because of the appearance of the parking meters themselves (although I find the idea of parking meters in Anacostia now ill-timed and ill-informed).
I am HEATED because I am tired of constantly having to highlight cases like this where Ward 8 and East of the River is constantly getting the short (and old) end of the stick. Why is it okay for nice new (and modern) things to go west of the river but those of us East of the River have to settle for cast-offs, hand-me-downs and lower class service (if service at all)? Let me rephrase that, I am not just mad, I am disappointed and sad.
My taxes (and parking meter fees) paid for those shiny new meters on Barracks Row, U Street, and Adams Morgan. Why do I have to come home to Mickey Mouse stuff just because my zip code is 20020 or 20032?
|A work in progress.|
I just don't understand it! Who makes these decisions? Who says, "well just send those old meters we took out of the Golden Triangle and install them in Anacostia?"
I can't even articulate what that does to a community's morale. It's hurtful, it's insulting, and it's infuriating. I am so mad right now I can barely type (please excuse the typos) because this is the type of stuff that we are fighting on a regular basis. Forget trying to get improved services, we are just trying to get the standard level of things that the rest of the city enjoys - like cupcakes and parking meters. I am constantly having to argue/shame my way into getting things in Ward 8 and I am not the only one.
While the city contractor was installing the "new" heads for our "new" parking meters several people on the street asked him if these "new" meters would be able to take credit cards? His response? "No." I then asked him why we didn't get the new multi-space machines because frankly these stick meters are hideous, especially in a historic district like Anacostia. His response, "We [Anacostia] have to first raise the $20,000 to pay for that expensive machine."
Really? I guess I better get started on my Parking Meter Telethon right away.
Maybe the contractor who installed the "new" parking meters was wrong. Maybe we will get those add-on credit card readers that go over the old parking meters, but I have to ask the question, "Why didn't we just get the new meters that already had that capability?! Why not a multi-space meter? Why did we have to get the old meters period? Is the Anacostia business district less than other DC business districts?"
Someone on Twitter told me that perhaps I was making a big deal out of nothing, perhaps we will get the ParkMobile service because that program is supposed to be for the whole city. I have no idea if the ParkMobile program will be extended to Anacostia and at this point I am not even really optimistic. BTW to even use ParkMobile you have to have a cell phone or a smart phone.
When it comes to city services and amneties there seems to be "the city" and then there is "East of the River" and those two don't always mean the same thing. I haven't seen a single sign or indicator that ParkMobile is going to be activated for Anacostia going to happen and if so I am almost afraid to see what they will look like. I hope we do at least get ParkMobile because if not, I guess I better start stocking up on my rolls of quarters.
If this is the "new" Ward 8 I kind of prefer the old one. At least then the parking was free.
P.S. DC really needs to inform their contractors to be polite. I very nicely asked one of the gentleman doing the install a question and he wouldn't even turn around to acknowledge me. I guess he got the memo, we don't really matter here in Anacostia.
Update 11/18: According to @DDOTDC they will be coming out today to fix the meters because either the signage is wrong or the heads were installed improperly. Currently the posted meter rates are 25 cents per every 7 1/2 minutes. The correct rate is 75cents per hour.
|"If I don't turn around maybe she will just go away."|
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