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Members of the disabled community often have fixed incomes, so many of them will object to having to pay for a benefit that used to be free, Mr. Townsend said. He said the District’s problem is that it needs to devote more of its parking fees and fines to the city’s parking inventory.

City officials said Monday that they will monitor the location of the reserved spots to make sure they are sensible and work to expand parking options overall.

DDOT attempted to roll out a version of the red-top meter program earlier this year, but it “got off to what we can characterize as a fairly rocky start,” Ms. Cheh said.

The agency started to enforce the rules before many red-top meters were installed and before the program was fully explained to the disabled community and others. Emergency legislation that froze the red-top program has expired.

“What we have now is anybody can park at the meters as they’re designated,” she said. “This bill is going to change that.”