To save money on its $8- to $9-million annual lighting bill, the District plans next year to remove 1,500 street lights along major Washington avenues.

About 1,000 of the 1,500 lights are located along arterial streets such as New York, Florida, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine avenues and Water and East Capitol streets.

Department of Transportation officials were uncertain of the location of the 500 other lights. No street lights will be removed from residential neighborhoods, officials said.

The city also will replace at least 1,000 incandescent street lights in Georgetown, Foggy Bottom and other neighborhoods with brighter, more efficient sodium and mercury vapor lights.

By both removing and replacing lights, the city estimates it will save $110,000 a year.

The measures were proposed in the city's fiscal 1982 budget released last week by Mayor Marion Barry.

Meanwhile, the city plans to install 2,000 additional parking meters downtown at sites to be designated. The meters are expected to add $750,000 a year to the $7 million the District's current 12,000 parking meters are to bring in this coming year.

Parking-meter rates went up two months ago from 50 to 75 cents and from 40 to 50 cents an hour, depending on the location of the meter.

To save money on lighting, the city must remove the 1,500 street lights rather than merely turn them off. The city pays PEPCO for repairing and maintaining the lights as well as for the electricity used in them. PEPCO charges are based on the number of lights being used.

The changes in street lighting from incandescent to mercury vapor, part of the transportation department's proposed $50-million operating budget for 1982, will significantly increase night lighting in the Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, Mt. Pleasant and Kalorama neighborhoods.

Until three years ago, the mercury lights were controversial because the light they shed had a blue tint. But new white mercury lights developed three years ago will be installed in the city, according to highway officials.

The city still has 33,000 incandescent lights, but has already installed 22,500 yellow-tinged sodium vapor lights and 13,300 mercury lights.

While the District is trying to economize in some areas, other plans call for large expenditures.

Included in the proposed '82 budget is $474,000 to design the $58-million reconstruction of the Whitehurst Freeway that is planned to start in 1984.

Few repairs have been made on the elevated road along the Georgetown waterfront because plans once called for its demolition and replacement by the six- to eight- lane Potomac River Freeway, connecting to the once-proposed Three Sisters Bridge. Both projects are now dead.

The freeway reconstruction will not enlarge or change the superstructure of the four-lane road, but will disrupt rush-hour traffic around Georgetown for almost two years.

The District plans major road and bridge repair and reconstruction during the next 10 to 15 years, including $30 million during fiscal 1982, most of it to be matched by about $75 million in federal highway funds. In 1982, two neighborhoods, Marshall Heights and Michigan Park, are slated to have major road improvements.

Also included in the 1982 budget is $465,000 to complete two major bike commuter paths in the city. One will be three miles long, running on top of the $50-million aqueduct the city plans to build along the old Glen Echo trolley line between the Dalecarlia Reservoir and Georgetown. The other will run along South Capitol Street from Portland Avenue to South Capitol Street Bridge.