11/20/2019DC Gives Meter Maids Power To Issue Lane Violation Photo Tickets
Washington, DC gives meter maids the ability to issue photo tickets to cars that appear to stray into a bicycle lane.
The District of Columbia is mobilizing twenty-six meter maids to issue photo tickets to cars that might momentarily stray into a lane set aside for bicycle use. DC officials announced the plan last week, celebrating it as an efficient use of city resources.
"The new law will give us an opportunity to take a photo and mail it to the resident -- even if they drive off before we can give it to them," Department of Public Works Director Chris Geldart said in a statement.
The city's latest budget contained the language granting meter maids the power to issue any type of ticket, including a parking ticket, without affixing the ticket to a vehicle that "leaves the site of a violation."
DC employs 272 meter maids who were responsible for generating $67,800,305 in profit from the 1.4 million parking tickets issued last year. DC's meter maids are highly efficient at their job, each generating an average of $249,265 in profit for the city -- not counting additional towing and fee revenue. The city is hoping to add a new revenue stream with the bicycle lane citations that will be even easier to issue as the city expands the network of bicycle lanes beyond the current total of 56 miles.
The DC government has a goal of taking away another 22 miles of driving lanes from motorists and giving them to the exclusive use of people who commute by bicycle. According to official Census data, 145,764 workers commute by automobile to the District compared to just 17,023 who told surveyors that they rode a bicycle to their job.
Well funded special interest groups like the Washington Area Bicyclist Association have heavily lobbied DC officials to take away even more lanes from drivers. The city has also taken away parking spaces to provide 2300 spots for parking bicycles.
Motorists are among the District's primary sources of revenue. Last year, the city pocketed $324,531,271 from the 2.7 million speed camera tickets issued by the private firm Verra Mobility (formerly American Traffic Solutions).