Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Parking Authority of Baltimore City (PABC), in partnership with the Mayor’s Office on Disabilities, announced Monday that Phase 4 of ProjectSPACE, the parking program aimed at combatting the abuse of disability placards, creating reserved, accessible on-street parking for people with disabilities and making more available parking for everyone, will launch in Mount Vernon Oct. 30. As in Phases 1, 2 and 3, the fourth phase will require all people parking on-street to pay the parking meter, including vehicles displaying disability placards or tags.
“ProjectSPACE has been successful in the Central Business District, Harbor East, Fells Point and Federal Hill, increasing the number of available parking spaces by nearly 20 percent on some blocks and decreasing the number of disability placards stolen in Baltimore city by over 85 percent,” PABC Executive Director Peter Little said.
As part of ProjectSPACE, Phase 4 – the area is approximately defined as the streets bounded by Mt. Royal Avenue to the north, Guilford Avenue to the east, Franklin Street to the south and Howard Street to the west — reserves 40 on-street parking spaces for vehicles displaying disability placards or tags. Each space will be equipped with a single-space parking meter that meets the newest Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines. Additionally, the card readers and coin drops of 75 multi-space EZ Park meters throughout Mount Vernon will be lowered to meet the most-current ADA standards.
The meters will provide people with disabilities equal access to on-street metered parking. Meters that meet the ADA standards are marked with the universal accessibility logo. Payment will be required after Oct. 30 at all accessible meters. The cost to park will be the same for everyone, including those using a disability placard or tags. As in previously launched phases, all time limits for on-street parking spaces within the area will increase to four hours to give people with disabilities additional time to get to and from their destination.
ProjectSPACE is part of an ongoing, long-term solution to a major parking problem in Baltimore. Current policy in all areas of the city except for the Central Business District (Phase 1), the Fells Point and Harbor East neighborhoods (Phase 2) and Federal Hill (Phase 3) allows individuals displaying a disability placard or license plates to park on-street at meters free of charge. This often results in illegal use by motorists parking for long periods of time and thefts of disability placards. Disability placards were the No. 1 item stolen out of motor vehicles before ProjectSPACE Phase 1.