New Signs at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD

Enforceable Signs for County Anti-ICEing Ordinance

Charging stations at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland now have new signs. The BGE EVsmart stations that opened in January originally had green and white signs with “electric vehicle parking only” and a logo depicting a car with a plug. Those signs were not enforceable under the Howard County anti-ICEing ordinance.

The local EV community advocated for an anti-ICEing ordinance and Howard County passed legislation in 2014. See: Video of Public Comments on Howard Co. Bill CB36-2014. The ordinance requires official signs that meet federal and state standards to designate a charging space before police can enforce the prohibition.

Official Signs Comply with Federal and State Standards for Parking Signs

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Policy Statement on June 17, 2013 to address regulatory sign standards for electric vehicle charging and parking facilities. Howard County has chosen to use the “NO PARKING EXCEPT WHILE CHARGING” (R7-113) signs at the utility-operated charging stations located on county-owned property.

Standardized signs are are a good idea even in places that don’t yet have an anti-ICEing law. They are the best way to communicate that spaces in front of EV charging stations are not parking spots, they are for electric vehicles while being recharged.

College Parking Regulations

The college has its own parking regulations which subject violators to citations and towing. According to the HCC Website, the Howard County Police may also issue fines for certain parking violations.

In addition to receiving a parking citation from the college, a person parked in a handicapped space, fire zone, or no-parking zone is subject to additional fines from the Howard County Police Department. Howard County fines are imposed at $350 per violation in a handicapped space, $150 per violation in a fire zone, and $40 per violation in a no-parking area. All fines issued by Howard County are payable to the Howard County Police Department.

HowardCC Parking & Transportation Webpage
Howard Community College EV Charging
Original non-MUTCD standard signs.

The Howard County Police Department’s Training Bulletin provides guidance to officers when responding to calls of non-electric vehicles parked in EV charging spaces.

See Also: Montgomery County Updates EV Charging Signs

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