Signs Posted at Columbia Association EV Charging Stations

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Three Year Effort Pays Off
On March 4, 2013 I contacted the Columbia Association, a non-profit community organization that had recently used a U.S. Dept. of Energy grant and their own funds to install five EV charging stations at four of their facilities in Howard County, Maryland. I thanked them as an EV driver and suggested they post “no parking except for electric vehicle charging” signs at the charging stations since there were often gas vehicles parked in front of them.

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Other EV drivers also contacted them about the ICEing problem. The response we got was that they had designed blue signs that said, “Electric Vehicle Charging Station.” They added that they were not willing to post signs that restricted parking to electric vehicles only, in part, because there were no enforceable regulations similar to those for handicapped spaces.

So, we worked with the Howard County Council to get an anti-ICEing law passed in the summer of 2014. Then, things got complicated. Read about the difficulties and drama in these posts:

Howard County Proposes Legislation to Prohibit “ICEing” July 10, 2014
Anti-ICEing Bill Passed in Howard County July 27, 2014
Signs Planned for Columbia Association Charging Stations Sept. 19, 2014
Is Graffiti the Right Response to ICEing Problem? Nov. 16, 2014
Police Ticketing Vehicles That Block EV Charging Spots in Howard County, MD Dec. 11, 2014
UPDATE: Howard County Parking Enforcement Feb. 10, 2015
Police: No Authority to Ticket for ICEing on Private Property March 31, 2015
Howard Co. PD: Anti-ICEing Law Enforceable Only on County Property May 7, 2015
Howard County Anti-ICEing Law Update – Police to Enforce on Private Property Jan. 21, 2016
Message to EV Advocates from Howard County Council Member Jen Terrasa Feb 3, 2016
Howard County Anti-ICEing Bill CB7-2016 Public Hearing Feb. 17, 2016
Howard County Passes Update to Anti-ICEing Law March 7, 2016
Signs Removed to Prevent Enforcement of Anti-ICEing Law March 15, 2016
Columbia Association Asks Police Not to Enforce ICEing Law March 30, 2016
Private Property Anti-ICEing Law in Effect for Howard County May 11, 2016

Allows Police to Enforce Under Anti-ICEing Law
At the April 28, 2016 Columbia Association Board Meeting, we were told that official signs that conform to the standards set in the anti-ICEing law for the police to enforce on private property were being ordered and would be posted. Ten weeks later, after realizing the signs hadn’t been posted, I contacted the Board and President of Columbia Association to follow up. After some discussion, the signs were finally posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

It took over 40 months, countless emails, phone calls, meetings and getting two laws passed. But now we have what I simply asked for in 2013: official, serious-looking signs that will  discourage ICE drivers from blocking the charging stations.

Thanks to all the EV drivers who wrote, testified and otherwise supported this effort. Thanks also to the President, Board of Directors, staff and Village Board members of the Columbia Association. Their continued support of electric vehicles through providing charging infrastructure contributes to a better environment which benefits the entire community.

@Lanny