Motorists Are DC's Newest ATMs: AAA

Parking fees and moving violations could get higher in D.C.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    More tickets, more traffic violations, and higher costs equals more money for D.C. -- and the mayor wants it.

    In Mayor Adrian Fenty’s 2011 budget proposal, he's asking for increased parking fees and fines on 71 moving violations and an expansion in the use of speed cameras and red-light cameras. He’s also seeking to raise the annual residential parking permit fee for city residents.

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    The budget proposal would raise the cost of parking at a meter for 15 minutes at the National Mall, downtown and into Northwest to 75 cents, or $3 per hour. Last year, the rate was raised from a $1 an hour to $2 per hour.

    On Wednesday, AAA held a press conference announcing its opposition to the proposal, saying it would kill tourism and commerce and unfairly punish drivers.

    “The 2011 proposed budget by Mayor Fenty makes motorists D.C.’s newest ATM machines," AAA spokesman Lon Anderson said. "We’re talking probably a couple hundred million in revenues when you add it all up.”

    Some ANC commissioners spoke out at the press conference, saying they too oppose the increases.

    “You cannot balance the budget on the taxes and fees of our residents," Commissioner Kelvin Robinson said. "You can’t tax people out of their vehicles. At this point the mayor’s budget proposal is just that -- a proposal. It still needs to be approved by the city council."

    Fenty said after announcing the budget proposal that the parking meter fees wouldn't necessarily be final. The city would consider scaling them back or adjusting them at different times of the day until they found a fee that worked.