Annapolis Anti-ICEing Ordinance Needs Refinement and Official Signs

Pip Moyer EV Charging Station ICEed by Truck

Signs Not Compliant

The City of Annapolis has an “anti-ICEing” ordinance that requires special signs and green pavement markings in order to be enforced. There continues to be complaints of gas vehicles blocking EV charging stations in the city especially at Pip Moyer Recreation Center where BGE installed a Level 2 station in 2019. The signs there do not comply with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) nor with the requirements of the city code.

Could Punish Innocent EV Drivers

The Annapolis anti-ICEing ordinance could potentially punish EV drivers who are not “actively charging” through no fault of their own. If the equipment fails mid charge or someone unplugs your car or you just misjudge the length of time your car needs to charge, Annapolis seems to apply the same $100 penalty for an electric vehicle that may unintentionally not be charging as for a gas guzzling SUV driver that ignores the sign. I am attempting to have the City Council reconsider this and clarify the code and fine schedule. I spoke to the Mayor and City Council via Skype at the May 24, 2021 meeting and submitted the written comments below.

Talking to Annapolis City Council via Skype

Formal Written Comments Delivered to Annapolis City Council on May 24, 2021

Last year the Annapolis City Council passed an ordinance (Code: 12.20.090.B) meant to keep people from blocking electric vehicle charging stations.

In order to be enforced, the EV charging spaces must be designated with signs and pavement markings with the following requirements:

1. Be at least eighteen inches high and twelve inches wide;

2. Be clearly visible to the driver of a motor vehicle entering the plug-in electric drive vehicle charging space;

3. State the maximum fine that may be incurred for a violation; and

4.Meet any applicable state and federal requirements for parking signs. A plug-in electric drive vehicle charging space shall also be indicated by green pavement markings.

I would like to bring to the council’s attention that EV charging stations on City-owned property, including the Pip Moyer Rec. Center, do not have signs that meet these requirements. This consequently means that the ordinance is unenforceable. I’ve seen gas pickup trucks and other non-electric vehicles blocking the charging station at Pip Moyer recently.

But more importantly, the Annapolis ordinance and penalty provisions could unintentionally punish EV drivers who may not be “actively charging” through no fault of their own.

The penalties in the FY 2021 Fines Schedule by Authority: R-27-20 is listed as follows:

Code Reference: 12.20.090.B. Description: Parking reserved for plug-in electric drive vehicles actively charging. Fine for Initial Offense: $100.00. Fine for Repeat or Continuous Violations: $100.00

I respectfully ask the Council to consider refining the language to focus this legislation exclusively on penalizing cars that run on gasoline or diesel that have no reason to be parking in an electric vehicle charging spot.

The wording, “electric drive vehicles actively charging” does not appear in the ordinance itself and there are occasions that an electric vehicle may have just finished charging or the equipment fails or someone unplugs a car that could lead to an electric car driver getting unfairly punished for trying to do the right thing by driving electric.

Thank you. Lanny Hartmann