WASHINGTON — Parking at meters in Penn Quarter and Chinatown neighborhoods may mean paying up to $7 an hour.

The District Department of Transportation is implementing a demand-based pricing parking meter rate schedule, effective Monday. 

DC Meters staff were out Monday changing stickers on meters. Meter rate changes are new to Chinatown and Penn Quarter, but DDOT has been doing rate changes since 2014.

Parking meter rates will cost between $1-7 per hour and will adjust up or down based on the time of day and day of the week.

Ninety-three blocks of on-street parking are included in the rate change. The spots are located in the area bounded by H Street NW, 3rd Street NW, E Street NW and 11th Street NW.

The new rate schedule is similar to the peak/off-peak pricing of the Metro system. Rates will increase during peak periods when parking demand is high and decrease during off-peak periods when the demand is low.

On weekdays, there are three periods when the rates will change:

  • Weekday AM period: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Weekday mid-day period: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Weekday PM period: 4 p.m - 10 p.m.

Meter rates on Saturdays will stay the same all day.

"It's a lot it's already so expensive to park in DC, and sometimes you can't avoid driving to DC," Wynette Yao said. Yao works in Chinatown.

"There are pros and cons to both, $7 isn't really that much when you're already paying $5," John Key said. Key says he frequents the Chinatown area.

The DDOT plans to adjust the meter rates every three months and will post the rates on the DDOT website prior to when the changes take effect.

The rate change is part of a pilot project to improve parking availability and to ensure that more on-street parking spaces are available, said the DDOT.

The DDOT plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot project, collect public feedback and may apply the rates to other locations in the District.

For more information on the new parking rates call 202-671-2700.

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New parking meter rates in downtown D.C.
The new demand based parking meter rates will go into effect on Monday.
DDOT