ProjectSPACE

Project SPACE  

ProjectSPACE Meters meet most recent ADA guidelines

ProjectSPACE
Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. What is Project SPACE?
  2. Where is Project SPACE currently?
  3. Who does it impact?
  4. When does it go into effect?
  5. Why was Project SPACE created?
  6. Isn't there free parking for those with disability placards or license plates mandated by law?
  7. What was Baltimore City's Policy for vehicles parking with a disability placard and/or tag?
  8. Does Project SPACE affect off-street parking such as parking garages and private lots?
  9. What is the policy for parking at meters that do not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines?
  10. What is the Americans with Disabilities Act and how does it affect ProjectSPACE? 
  11. Where can I find information about obtaining a handicap placard and/or tag?

Q1.

What is ProjectSPACE?

A1.

ProjectSPACE does four things.

  1. RESERVES on-street parking spaces for people with disabilities in metered areas.
  2. INSTALLS accessible single-space parking meters at the reserved spaces.
  3. RETROFITS existing multi-space EZ Park meters to meet most current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards
  4. REQUIRES payment from everyone parking at ADA accessible meters

ProjectSPACE is a joint project between the Parking Authority of Baltimore City and the Mayor's Commission on Disabilities. In addition to the above, ProjectSPACE also increases the duration limit for parking at the meter to at least four hours to give people with disabilities additional time to get to and from their destination.
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Q2.

Where is Project SPACE currently?

A2.

Phase 1 (Central Business District) is bordered by:
North – Franklin Street
East – President Street
South – Pratt Street/Key Highway
West – Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
For a map with meter locations, click here.

Phase 2 of ProjectSPACE (Harbor East/Fells Point) is bordered by:
North – Eastern Avenue
East – Wolfe Street
South – Thames Street
West – Inner Harbor water near Pier Six
For a map with meter locations, click here.

Phase 3 (Federal Hill) launched April 17, 2017, and is bordered by:
North - E. Montgomery Street
East - Light Street
South - Ostend Street
West - Sharp Street
For a map with meter locations, click here.

Phase 4 of ProjectSPACE (Mount Vernon) will go into effect late-October 2017 and is bordered by:
North – Mt. Royal Avenue
East – Guilford Avenue
South – Franklin Street
West – Howard Street
For a map with meter locations, click here.

Additional areas will be added in the future so please continue to visit our website for updates.
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Q3.

Who does it impact?

A3.

Anyone who parks in Baltimore City, particularly in the areas included in Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 of ProjectSPACE, including employees, patrons, business owners, residents, and visitors.

In Phase 4 (Mount Vernon), 40 parking spaces will be reserved for those with disability placards beginning late-October, 2017. These reserved spaces are equipped with parking meters that meet the newest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Payment is required.
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Q4

When does it go into effect?

A4.

The effort has been successfully in place since 2014 in the city’s Central Business District, and was launched in Fells Point and Harbor East in September 2016 as well as Federal Hill in April 2017. In late-October 2017, it will go into effect in the Mount Vernon community. More areas of the city are to be added in the future.  For a map outlining the area of Phase 1, see this map, this map for Phase 2, this map for Phase 3 and this map for Phase 4.
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Q5.

Why was ProjectSPACE created?

A5.

ProjectSPACE was created to help ease Baltimore’s parking problem by increasing the availability of parking for those with a disability and decreasing disability placard thefts.

Before Phase 1 was launched, it was extremely difficult to find available on-street parking Downtown. The city’s policy of allowing free parking to vehicles displaying disability placards proved too tempting for some without disabilities to resist, leading to the widespread theft and abuse of these placards. While census data from 2010 shows that approximately 10% of Baltimore adults are eligible to apply for disability placards, vehicles with these placards were sometimes taking up 100% of the parking spaces on some downtown blocks, often parking all day.

By removing the free parking associated with disability placards and license plates, the incentive to steal and abuse them was eliminated. Before the launch of Phase 1, the average number of disability placards reported stolen to the Baltimore City Police Department was 23 per month. Since the launch, that average plummeted to just three.

Faced with the prospect of paying full price for parking at a metered location, those who were using disability placards for the free parking and not the accessibility in Phases 1, 2, and 3 now park elsewhere or do not drive. This has freed up hundreds of on-street metered parking spaces. Prior to the launch of Project SPACE, 95% of the parking spaces on some of the busiest downtown blocks in Phase 1 were occupied, making it nearly impossible to locate an available parking space. Since the launch, 77% of the same blocks are occupied, increasing the number of parking spaces available by 18%. 

People with disabilities now find it easier to locate a parking space, either at a multi-space parking meter or at one of the single-space meters reserved for people with disabilities. In many cases, they are also paying less than before ProjectSPACE because they were paying to park at a garage, where it would cost three times as much.

Phase 4 and future phases will expand the areas of accessible parking for people with disabilities.
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Q6.

Isn’t free parking for those with disability placards or license plates mandated by law?

A6.

No. There is no Baltimore City or Maryland state law requiring free parking for people with disabilities. The policy of allowing those with disability placards and license plates to be exempt from the required payment of parking meters was created after the 1990 passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which found the traditional crank-turn parking meters to be non-accessible. The multi-space EZ Park meters that were introduced in 2004 use newer technology with no crank-turn mechanism. We lowered the credit card reader and coin drop locations in the EZ Park meters in Phases 1, 2 and 3 to meet the newest ADA standards. New single-space meters installed in the reserved spaces throughout Phases 1, 2 and 3 are even lower than ADA standards to be more accessible for those with disabilities.
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Q7.

What was Baltimore City’s policy for vehicles parking with a disability placard and/or tag?

A7.

Baltimore City, like many other cities, had a policy (not law) that allowed vehicles displaying a disability placard or tag to park on street for free due to traditional parking meters not meeting Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. This policy will no longer be in effect in Phase 1 (Central Business District), Phase 2 (Fells Point & Harbor East) and Phase 3 (Federal Hill), and Phase 4 (Mount Vernon) of ProjectSPACE. All parkers in these areas, including those with a disability placard and/or tag, will be required to pay for on-street parking.
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Q8.

Does ProjectSPACE affect off-street parking such as parking garages and private lots?

A8.

Off-street parking options such as private garages and lots will not be directly affected by ProjectSPACE. However, as a result of the program, more commuters may choose to park off-street, which will create more on-street parking spaces.
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Q9.

What is the policy for parking at meters that do not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines?

A9.

If you are parked at a meter that does not meet ADA guidelines, and you are displaying disability plates or a disability placard, you are allowed to park for double the duration of the meter up to 4 hours.
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Q10.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act and how does it affect ProjectSPACE?

A10.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990 to increase access for people with disabilities. The ADA provides requirements for accessible parking options for people with disabilities, and ProjectSPACE meets all of these requirements. For more information about the ADA, please visit www.ada.gov.
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Q11.

Where can I find information about obtaining a handicap placard and/or tag?

A11.

People with disabilities can contact the Motor Vehicle Administration. More information can be found here: www.mva.maryland.gov/About-MVA/Disabilities.
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Media Stories

ProjectSPACE Expands in Baltimore
May, 2017
The Parking Professional

ProjectSPACE Launches in Federal Hill
April 17, 2017
ABC2 News

PABC to launch Phase 3 of ProjectSPACE Monday

April 13, 2017
The Daily Record (News Briefs)

PABC to launch Phase 3 of ProjectSPACE in Baltimore Monday
Daily Record Staff
April 12, 2017
Daily Record

Federal Hill to Get 24 More Paid Parking Spots Reserved for Disabled Drivers
Ethan McLeod 
Monday, Mar 27, 2017 10:27am
Baltimore Fishbowl

ProjectSPACE Coming to Federal Hill April 2017
March 27, 2017
citybizlist

Sweet Spot: Expanded On-Street Parking for Drivers with Disabilities Comes to Federal Hill
Zoe Zellers
March 27, 2017
Fox 45 News

Parking Authority of Baltimore City Launches Project SPACE Phase 2
Baltimore CityBizList
September 27, 2016
Click here to read the article.

Handicap Parking No Longer Free
CBS Baltimore
September 26, 2016
Click here to watch.

Project Space - Phase 2 Details
Comcast Newsmakers
Parking Authority of Baltimore City
September 14, 2016
Click here to watch.

Project Space - Phase 2 Details
Comcast Newsmakers
Mayor's Office on Disabilities
September 14, 2016
Click here to watch.

Phase 2 of ProjectSPACE starts mid-September
WMAR In FOCUS
August 29, 2016
Click here to see the story.

Parking Program Aims to Make Sure Disabled People Get to Use Reserved Spots
Baltimore Fishbowl
by Stephen Babcock
August 24, 2016
Click here to read more.

Parking Authority of Baltimore City’s ProjectSPACE to Launch September 27
Baltimore Sun
by Colin Campbell
August 23, 2016
Click here to read the online article. Click here to download the story from the print edition from August 24, 2016.

Parking authority, city to launch the second phase of ProjectSPACE
The Daily Record
August 22, 2016
Click here to download the story.

Parking Authority of Baltimore City’s ProjectSPACE to Launch September 27
Citybizlist
August 22, 2016
Click here to read more. 

Phase 2 of ProjectSPACE is about to go into effect
Insight on Disability, WCBM
August 21, 2016
 

Coming soon: More on-street parking for city drivers with disabilities, but at a price

Handicap parking meters to be expanded to Fells Point, Harbor East
citybizlist, July 13, 2016
Click here to read more.

Baltimore announces expansion of plan requiring disabled drivers to pay for handicap spots in Fells Point, Harbor East
Baltimore Sun
by Andrew Dunn, July 13, 2016
Click here to read more.

Baltimore City Debuts Parking Meters For Drivers With Disabilities.
WBAL Radio 1090
Click here to read more.

City to Reserve Hundreds of Parking Spaces for Disabled
Yvonne Wenger, Baltimore Sun 02/02/14

The number of coveted parking spaces available to the able-bodied on crowded downtown streets is about to shrink as Baltimore begins reserving metered spots for disabled drivers. Earmarking 200 metered spaces in the central business district is the first step in an 18-month plan to reserve 10 percent of spaces citywide. Officials hatched the plan to accommodate disabled drivers and combat the theft of handicapped placards — which until now have let drivers park anywhere in the city for free and have been a favorite target of thieves.
Click here to read more.

Spring Launch Planned for ProjectSPACE
Ursula V. Battle, Baltimore Times 02/07/14

A new parking program aimed at creating more on-street parking availability by curbing the abuse of handicap hangtags is coming to town. The Parking Authority of Baltimore City and the Mayor's Commission on Disabilities have partnered to launch ProjectSPACE. Set to launch sometime late March or early April, ProjectSPACE requires that all people parking on street pay for parking, including those who possess a disability placard. In addition, the program will reserve more than 200 on-street parking spaces for people with disabilities, making it easier for them to reach their destinations.
Click here to read more.

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