D.C.'s Broken Parking Meter Problem Still Causing Frustration

The phone at one D.C. office rings hundreds of times per day with people calling to complain about the same thing: Broken parking meters.

So far this year, the city has received more than 75,000 reports of parking meters that don’t work. Last year they received 160,000 complaints about broken meters.

While the problem is getting better, people are at risk of getting tickets they don’t deserve.

The District is phasing out the old coin-based meters, but there are still thousands of them across the city, and lots of them are broken, leading to confusion and frustration.

“The good news is the numbers have come down substantially,” said Reggie Sanders of the D.C. Department of Transportation. “We’re down to about 30 percent of what was reported last year.”

The city still gets more than 300 complaints per day.

District officials say to call 311 to report a broken meter. Callers will be given confirmation numbers that they can write down and post on their dashboards, which should prevent them from getting tickets or at least help get the tickets excused, but there’s no guarantee.

The best way to avoid a problem is to not park at broken meters.

According to DDOT, there are currently 941 broken meters across the city as of close of business Monday.

The District is in the process of phasing in multi-space meters that take credit cards and the smart phone apps that allow you to bypass the meter, but that could take years to complete.

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