Parking spaces for tour buses in D.C. will be doubled by spring this year before the tourist season peaks. D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hoping that this measure will streamline the traffic and improve passenger safety on and off motor coaches.
Every year about 1,200 motor coaches drop off passengers each day during the peak season in D.C., which comprises one-third of about 25 million annual visitors to the District, as per 2015 data from the National Park Service. The increase in parking spaces is also expected to lessen traffic congestion and air pollution.
L’Enfant Plaza and 700 block of Frontage Road SW, and Virginia Avenue SW near the Museum of the Bible are some of the newly allotted parking zones that are already functional. Other areas along Thomas Jefferson Drive NW are being currently designated as tour bus parking zones.
By next spring, parking spaces will also be enforced in other zones including 400 block and the 1100 block of Independence Ave SW. Three car parking spaces will be available in each space costing $6.90.
DDOT consulted NPS, Destination D.C., and the American Bus Association before selecting locations for parking spaces near museums, memorials, monuments and other places. During selection, DDOT looked for places with sufficient sidewalk capacity and parking spaces for cars, and walkable areas like crosswalks.
The city earns about $7.5 billion in revenue from tourism, supporting more than 75,000 tourism-related jobs.