Parking meter upgrades to increase accessible parking options for people with disabilities in Fells Point and Harbor East gets official launch date.
BALTIMORE – The Parking Authority of Baltimore City (PABC), in partnership with the Mayor’s Office on Disabilities, announced today that Phase 2 of ProjectSPACE, the parking program aimed at combatting the abuse of disability placards and creating more accessible on-street parking options for people with disabilities, will launch September 27. Phase 2 of ProjectSPACE will go into effect in Baltimore City’s Fells Point and Harbor East neighborhoods and, just as in Phase 1 that launched in 2014, will require all people parking on-street to pay the parking meter, including vehicles displaying disability placards or tags.
“We spoke with several citizens including one woman with a disability who had never been to Fells Point because she could never find a parking space close enough to her destination,” said Peter Little, Executive Director, Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities. “With ProjectSPACE, she and many others will have a greater chance of finding an available parking space on-street.”
As part of ProjectSPACE, Phase 2 reserves approximately 70 on-street parking spaces for vehicles displaying disability placards or tags. Each space is equipped with a single-space parking meter that meets the newest Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Additionally, the access points of approximately 95 multi-space EZ Park meters throughout Fells Point and Harbor East have been lowered to meet the most-current ADA standards, which allow people with disabilities to have accessible on-street parking anywhere within ProjectSPACE. Payment will be required after September 27 at both types of meters. The cost to park using a disability placard or tags will be consistent with the cost to park without a disability placard or tags. All time limits for on-street parking spaces within ProjectSPACE will increase to four hours to give people with disabilities additional time to get to and from their destination.
“I think it’s perfectly reasonable that I should pay to park,” said Toni Kasko, a disability placard holder. “I think there should be equal access for everyone and I should have to pay just like anyone else.”
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 (ProjectSPACE Phase 1) allows individuals displaying a disability placard or license plates to park on-street at meters free of charge, often resulting in illegal use by motorists parking for long periods of time and theft 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 all day and free of charge in Fells Point and Harbor East, PABC anticipates increased parking turnover similar to the effect Phase 1 has had on parking in the Central Business District. Ultimately, ProjectSPACE makes it easier for everyone to find an available parking space in Baltimore City.
Each phase of ProjectSPACE introduces highly accessible parking meters to a designated area of the city. The new single-space meters and retrofitted multi-space EZ Park meters utilize technology to make it easier for those with disabilities to use, unlike the city’s old crank-turn meters which are inaccessible as determined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. While ProjectSPACE Phase 2 is launching in Fells Point and Harbor East—an area approximately defined as the streets bounded by Eastern Avenue (North), Wolfe Street (East), Thames Street (South) and Inner Harbor water near Pier Six (West)—it will continue to expand in phases to Federal Hill, Mount Vernon and beyond. ProjectSPACE Phase 1 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).
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).