Chinatown parking app on the way

The curbside is a coveted area in Chinatown and parking is a daily battle.

Now, the D.C. Department of Transportation says they have the answer. DDOT is rolling out a system called dynamic pricing. When parking spots fill up, prices go up. The goal: make parking more expensive to deter drivers from staying put for hours on end.

Using a $1.1 million dollar grant, DDOT will post sensors to detect traffic congestion and parking. Electronic meters will be able to update prices in real time, and using an app, drivers will be able to check for open spots.

“If you do it right, we will have at least one open space per block face and we want to push that information out to the public in a real time fashion,” Soumya Day, acting associate director of transportation operations for DDOT.

Some neighborhoods already have the system. The Chinatown program could begin by the end of the year.

DDOT says there could be an added benefit for bikers too. When this system goes completely electronic, these old meters can be retrofitted as bike racks.