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Sweet Spot: Expanded on-street parking for drivers with disabilities comes to Federal Hill

Sweet Spot: Expanded on-street parking for drivers with disabilities comes to Federal Hill (MGN)

BALTIMORE (WBFF)—The third phase of a new parking meter program is heading to the congested Federal Hill neighborhood next. ProjectSPACE creates more reserved, accessible on-street parking for people with disabilities, curbs drivers from stealing or abusing handicapped parking signs, and ultimately provides more parking for everyone. Not to mention, all time limits on parking meters will be extended so that once you find your sweet spot, you can stay there longer. Following the successful execution of Phases 1 and 2 of this project, Phase 3 kicks off on April 17 in Federal Hill.

ProjectSPACE requires everyone parking on-street to pay parking meters including those drivers with disability tags, removing the incentive for some to steal or misuse these in the name of finding a good, free parking spot.

“I’m excited that people with disabilities will soon have the accessible parking spaces they need to be able to enjoy Federal Hill,” said Mayor Catherine Pugh.

“ProjectSPACE gets at the root of two problems at once,” explained Peter Little, Executive Director of the Parking Authority of Baltimore City.

“It removes the incentive to steal disability placards, which were being stolen at an average of 23 per month before Project SPACE, and it makes more parking spaces available, which helps popular areas like Federal Hill.”

Phase 3 sets aside 24 on-street parking spaces for cars with disability placards or tags. Each spot will have its own parking meter, which meets the newest Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Furthermore, the card readers and coin drops of 57 multi-space EZ Park meters throughout Federal Hill will be physically lowered to meet current ADA standards, offering equal access to street parking for all.

There’s good news for all drivers -- all time limits for on-street parking will now increase to four hours to give those with disabilities additional time to get to and from their destination.

“The launch of ProjectSPACE in Federal Hill presents an exciting opportunity to support many of our seniors and community members who have a disability,” said Councilman Eric Costello. “Furthermore, it supports our community's need for more available parking, and has proven to cut down on auto larceny from placard theft—an issue we hope to curb significantly with the implementation of Phase 3."

According to ProjectSPACE, Phase 3 in Federal Hill includes the streets bounded by E. Montgomery Street (North), Ostend Street (South), Light Street (East) and Sharp Street (West). It’ll next expand to Mount Vernon and then the rest of the city in Phases 4 and 5. The first phase began in July 2014 in the area “defined as the streets bounded by Franklin Street (North), President Street (East), Key Highway (South) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (West).

The second phase launched in September 2016 in “the area defined as the streets bounded by Eastern Avenue (North), Wolfe Street (East), Thames Street (South) and the Inner Harbor water near Pier Six (West).”

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