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Reston Town Center Paid Parking Has Been Discussed For Years

by Karen Goff — March 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm 109 Comments

Parking garage at Reston Town CenterWhen Reston Town Center announced last week it would go to a paid parking system in August, many residents and merchants were shocked.

They should not have been.

There has been talk of instilling a paid system for at least five years — which was nearly 10 years out from a Metro station serving the town center. The Silver Line’s Reston Town Center station is expected to open in 2020.

But Reston Town Center officials say that the 7,000 spaces spread over seven garages are already seeing increased commuter parking as people leave their cars there all day, then jump on a bus to the Wiehle-Reston East station.

That’s why RTC says parking will be $2 an hour starting Aug. 1. Payments can be automatically made via an app, which will also help you locate your car and available parking spots. It is expected that merchants will validate to offset some of the costs. Employees will be able to purchase monthly passes.

Ray Ritchey, Executive Vice President of Boston Properties, which owns the town center, laid out the financial boost of paid parking in a 2011 shareholders call:

“We’ve still got 8,000 parking spaces out there that we have no value on. This is just free parking. So when Metro comes, guess what? We have to put in parking controls, so the commuters don’t come and take the parking spaces and use Metro. So if we just charge $4 a day per space, either in terms of the what that consumer pays directly to us or what we factor in on the renewal of these leases, because we now are going to pay parking. And on the 8,000 spaces, that’s $8 million a year.

And at a fixed cap rate, that’s $130 million of additional value just with paid parking. So you put the value we created in terms of the land and the value created just with the parking, that’s $300 million of value before we put a shovel in the ground and create value the way we normally do it, which is going vertical with office buildings. [It’s] $300 million of value for the Metro stop coming to Reston Town Center.

Another Boston Properties executive said in 2012 that paid parking would happen eventually.

“If you think about it logically, it really is an urban environment in a suburban setting, Peter Johnston, Boston Properties senior vice president and D.C. regional manager, said in 2012.

  • meh

    Pay to park at RTC and deal with validation of parking or drive to Tysons and not have to deal with it…..What a tough choice. I’ll be voting with my wallet on this one, since I suspect a petition will be a fruitless effort

    • Viviana Murphy Kelly
    • TBex

      Can you cite any evidence that parking at Tysons is free? I’ve parked at various structures in Tysons and never paid less than $7 for the day.

    • TBex

      I’m sure any free parking in Tysons will slowly disappear as more things get built there. It’s an untenable situation to keep socializing the costs of parking to nondrivers as the number of nondrivers increases.

      • John Farrell

        “Socializing”

        The cost of parking is not being absorbed by society at large but by the tenants whose employees and customers are 80% or more drivers. So that cost of parking is already being born by the entities generating the demand for parking.

        Boston Properties is double dipping and rent seeking. Which is to be expect by someone who thinks they control a monopoly.

        • TBex

          You pulled that 80% stat out of nowhere. Nobody actually knows. And to quote myself from above:

          The proportion of clientele who drive is probably being inflated by the free parking. Studies have consistently shown that parking provided for no extra charge encourages car use more than any other factor (NOT parking is basically giving up something you’re paying for anyway in the price of items if the parking is “free”). So imposing a cost of parking would change whatever the proportion is now. source: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/01/the-strongest-case-yet-that-excessive-parking-causes-more-driving/423663/

          Furthermore, the metro and more housing going up in that area will further reduce the proportion of clientele who’ll drive, and it’s against the merchants’ and BP’s best interest to force those new patrons to subsidize the parking of the drivers. Lastly, the increase in density planned will invariably drive up the number of potential cars in that area too (even while the proportion of cars to people drops), and those additional cars are going to be circling around looking for parking, messing up everyone’s experience immensely, unless a) BP invests in more garages (and who knows where they’d even put them, or b) curbs demand for parking by raising the price until supply and demand reach equilibrium.

          • susie

            Who are you and how much is Boston Properties paying you?

          • Mike M

            She’s not very good. I wonder if they would pay me?

          • Mike M

            I always liked a gal who could quote herself without embarrassment. Authors who use their own work as citations are fun.

        • Ming the Merciless

          They are not “rent seeking”. Nobody else built the garage. They built it. They have a right to profit from it. They don’t even have a monopoly on parking. People are free to park on the street, or walk, or take the bus. If people want the convenience of parking, there is no reason they should not be charged for it.

          • Mike M

            Actually, they do have a lot of monopoly power at the RTC including the pubic parking. I don’t dispute that it is their right to reach deeper into the pockets of their clientele. But that is exactly what they are doing.

          • Ming the Merciless

            You’re in a needlessly contentious mood today.

            They don’t have a monopoly. Period.

          • Mike M

            Who owns the rest of the public parking in that area? Who owns the most? They know what they are doing. There is a certain game about real estate. It’s called . . .

            By the way, I said they have monopoly power! Not a complete monopoly, but they are edging that way as best they can.

          • Ming the Merciless

            I was responding to Farrell, who said they had a monopoly. Your interjection is superfluous.

    • Ming the Merciless

      (a) $2 to take the Toll Road and spend 20-30 mins driving each way
      (b) $2 to park for an hour in RTC and only have to drive five minutes to get there

      That actually IS a choice. If it is only a “wallet choice” (and not “eff you BP”) then you should lean towards (b).

      • meh

        It’s the former and not the later. I’ll cut the nose to spite the face.

    • qwerty

      Seriously? I’d rather poke my eyes out with a fork – or pay a couple bucks to park – than go anywhere near the hellhole known as Tysons Corner.

  • LK

    I don’t understand where this money is going? Just into Boston Properties’s pockets? Does any of it come back to Reston or the construction of the metro?

    • Mike M

      Just into Boston Properties’s pockets? YES
      Does any of it come back to Reston or the construction of the metro? NO

    • TBex

      Parking structures are expensive, and money is fungible. So yes, it’s going into BP’s pockets, but the cost of building and maintaining the parking structure is coming out of BP’s pockets. Because that’s how business works. Just because you have it set in your head that parking is a free resource, does not make it so.

      • Mike M

        You are missing the point. BP has not been going broke covering it’s parking investment with the current arrangement. Parking has not been free. It’s been “baked” into their leases, as you said. Now it just wants to see if it can get away with dipping into another source directly.

        • TBex

          Well, BP is not a charity, so breaking even is not necessarily the goal.

          • Mike M

            They are making a profit and with this move they seek to make even more. I don’t fault them for that. I fault them for their disingenuousness. I wonder about the effect on the overall community. Vendor set will change? Clientele will change? Neighboring developments will incur additional direct and indirect costs? We shall see.

    • susie

      Mortimer Zuckerman is the CEO of Boston Properties – he’s already a billionaire and runs the sleazy NYDailyNews. So that is who is getting the money.

    • Ming the Merciless

      Why should any of it go anywhere else but to BP? They built the structure, they own it, they and they alone should profit from it.

  • Mike M

    Not taking sides on this, I can say the Boston Property rep has not made a coherent argument for two reasons:
    – Metro won’t be there 1 August.
    – There is value in the spaces and it has funneled back to Boston Properties through what they charge their renters.
    The case he makes is basically: We can extract more out of this installation, so we will do so. I can’t argue with that. The market will either reward or punish them. I think they will win, and the neighborhood will lose. Other retail outlets will benefit. But why be disingenuous about what they are doing. Just say so as they did a few years back. We are jacking up prices because we think we can.

    • TBex

      “2) There is already value in the spaces and it has funneled back to BP through what they charge their renters. By the way this is a lot more efficient, than putting in parking controls.”

      Why would that be more efficient? Method 1: charge for parking through tenant rents, which are for retail/residential spaces that are far cheaper to construct and relatively cheap to maintain relative to parking structures. Ignore that many residents/customers are not using the parking, since they may have alternate parking arrangements or alternate modes of transport (even before the metro opens; there’s Uber, buses, bikes, a good old-fashioned walking if your lucky enough to have a work arrangement that makes it possible). Method 2: don’t bake the cost of some largely unrelated resource (the parking structure) into rent, and charge people directly for usage of that resource. Since usage of the resource directly affects cost of maintenance (more cars in and out means more overhead in enforcing restrictions, more frequent repaving of surfaces, etc).

      We’ve gone many years in the suburbs employing method 1, but it’s no more efficient. It’s just more convenient for drivers, which we’ve catered to hand-over-fist with our business arrangements and our built environment. It’s an untenable situation and it must stop. And it’s being stopped here. And you’ll have to get used to it.

      • Mike M

        I am not sure you understood me, and I am not sure I understand you. To restate my point about efficiency: If the landlord simply bakes his costs plus profit into leases, he doesn’t have to invest in the overhead necessary to implement and maintain the parking fee operation. It is absolutely more efficient. The one weakness of this method is that it does not pop the supposed Metro riders.

        You called parking an unrelated resource. It’s absolutely a directly related resource. Just ask the vendors.

        • Chuck Morningwood

          The reason for the owner to do this is to cut out the merchant from taking a slice and put it directly into the pockets of the property owner.

          • Mike M

            Currently, BP is covering the costs of their investment in parking from their leases. Now they are trying to get even more by going after the clientele. The merchant may get less business, and maybe have to raise prices, and maybe close out.

        • TBex

          “You called parking an unrelated resource. It’s absolutely a directly related resource. Just ask the vendors.”

          Why should a person who does not drive have to pay inflated costs to cover the people who do drive? Why should somebody who parks one car and buys five items have to pay five times the parking costs of the person who parks one car and buys one item?

          • Mike M

            In short, because it’s more efficient for everyone. I think you underestimate the proportion of clientele who drive.

          • TBex

            The proportion of clientele who drive is probably being inflated by the free parking. Studies have consistently shown that parking provided for no extra charge encourages car use more than any other factor (NOT parking is basically giving up something you’re paying for anyway in the price of items if the parking is “free”). So imposing a cost of parking would change whatever the proportion is now. (source: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/01/the-strongest-case-yet-that-excessive-parking-causes-more-driving/423663/)

            Furthermore, the metro and more housing going up in that area will further reduce the proportion of clientele who’ll drive, and it’s against the merchants’ and BP’s best interest to force those new patrons to subsidize the parking of the drivers. Lastly, the increase in density planned will invariably drive up the number of potential cars in that area too (even while the proportion of cars to people drops), and those additional cars are going to be circling around looking for parking, messing up everyone’s experience immensely, unless a) BP invests in more garages (and who knows where they’d even put them, or b) curbs demand for parking by raising the price until supply and demand reach equilibrium.

          • Mike M

            Aaah! So you a warrior in the war against cars! Reminds me of the bike riders who think they own the roads. Guess what? We live a in car-centric society. That won’t change any time soon. The RTC could not survive off those who walk and bike.

            Actually, it’s in the interest of everyone but those who don’t drive. You are right about that. They are a minority and will be so for a long time, maybe more than 20 years. Since they are such a minority their additional burden is spread so far across the much larger body of driving clients that I am confident that inconvenience outweighs the inefficiency of the overhead associated with pay parking. If you want to parse vendor costs to that level of detail you will find they routinely incorporate costs into their general pricing schemes that serve only a subset of their clientele. How they balance that is their call because they close or thrive based upon those decisions.

          • TBex

            Ha. If we’re such a minority, why are all development projects in the interest of walkable communities? And major infrastructure projects related to non-car transit and adding tolls to roads?

            Face it. Your specific interests are increasingly of less interest to the public as a whole. No different than all those suckers who think voting for Trump is going to bring manufacturing back to America; free parking is not going to get your car-centric culture back.

          • Mike M

            Fair question. Simple answer: Revenue.
            Here’s my question: You think they are developing that way to look out for everyone’s else’s true interest? By the way, I didn’t say they can’t or even shouldn’t do this. So, mark me as a Trumpy and be done? Hmmn. I view that as a concession.

            In my experience most bikees and anti-car warriors are feeling the Bern.

          • TBex

            You’re wrong. This is in everybody else’s true interest. Cars take up a lot of space, both when parked and when driving. And in the transition between those two states. And both roads and parking have to be built for peak usage (even though cars can’t both drive and be parked at the same time). It is an overwhelming burden on society and it can’t be sustained. This isn’t about removing cars from the equation, it’s about allowing them to exist sustainably in an environment where we all have (and judiciously weigh, with due consideration of all the costs, which means having to actually bear the costs and not have them abstracted away) many options.

          • Mike M

            I am wrong and the developers are looking out for everyone? Sorry.
            And our roads. They were built for cars. You are mistaken. This whole issue is about BP making more money. My beef is they should say so, then deal with the consequences.

          • TBex

            Well, BP isn’t a charity, so that’s surely true. BP has built a parking garage and has the right to monetize it however they see fit. If they raise the price too high, it will hurt their business. If the price is too low, they’re giving up revenue they could bring in to offset the costs of building the parking. Building and maintaining the parking garages did surely cost a lot of money, and there’s no argument about that. I can’t speak to what their books and profit look like because I’ve never seen them.

            As long as we’re speculating on BP’s books. How about your books, Mike M? What kind of car do you drive? Late model? Luxury brand? Is it possible you could have chosen a slightly less nice car and then spent that leftover money on paying for the resources you use when you use and store that car? I don’t know; I’m not looking at your books either. It’s your responsibility; not mine. Stop trying to make it mine.

          • Mike M

            I am not a publically held firm. But BP is. See http://ir.bostonproperties.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=120176&p=irol-reports

            The issue was BP’s disingenuous and the motive of BP. Exactly, My car is none of your business. Why are you trying to make it yours.

          • TBex

            I’m not. But I don’t want to pay for your car in the cost of goods/services/rent I pay to RTC. Publicly held or not doesn’t really matter here; they’ll publish the filing they have to publish. If I were a shareholder, I’d fully support the decision to monetize the garage while decoupling garage costs from retail/residential costs.

          • Mike M

            Again. You have a bias against cars. I have already shown how you already pay for things baked into retail prices that you might rather not pay for. It’s up to the vendor. Not you. Your only choice would be to buy somewhere else, but most vendors follow the same practices.

      • John Farrell

        Why is incorporating the cost of parking into the rent untenable?

        It’s been working effectively in most of the world for more than 100 years.

        • TBex

          It has worked very poorly! Because people aren’t internalizing the costs of their car use, they use cars very unjudiciously; they don’t carpool, they don’t take alternative forms of transit that should cost less, but don’t because “free” road use and “free” parking are readily baked into everything. This lead to everyone driving, which leads to a lot of traffic and wasted space alotted for parking, which spreads everything further and further apart, which makes it more difficult to get anywhere without one’s own personal car, which continues to exacerbate the cycle. There is not enough space for us to keep doing that if we want to have a productive metropolitan area where people can move about freely. And this is to say nothing of environmental/energy issues inherent in non-judicious car use.

          • JoeInReston

            You just pivoted from the best economical parking solution for a mall/property owner to the best economical parking solution for society in general.

          • TBex

            They’re one in the same.

          • Mike M

            You have an agenda!

          • TBex

            So do you! You want free parking.

          • Mike M

            I stated that I do not care. Repeatedly. Are you a greenie?

          • TBex

            You sure aren’t arguing like someone who doesn’t care.

            I believe in the greenhouse effect and that the temperatures raising on average over time could be destabilizing. But this isn’t about that; the cars could be electric and the power to charge them could be coming from solar panels, and the problems of a spread out built environment would still exist.

          • Mike M

            Some of us are changing the world, Joe. We have to because people just don’t know what’s good for them!

            Others of us are just out to make a buck, and we use those mentioned above as useful idjits.

          • cRAzy

            Well, then, keep your bicycle off my “free” road. They were built for me, the dreaded single occupant vehicle. Get your own “free” bike path.

          • TBex
          • Mike M

            Soooo, you have found alternative reality and given us a link to it. Thanks for that.

            Coupla thangs:
            1) Bikes were here before cars.
            2) Ox carts were here before bikes. Ever hear of Ox Road?
            3) Road history in this area started with Buffalo herds.
            4) Indians improved upon the Buffalo trails.
            5) Colonists improved upon Indian roads for Ox carts.
            6) Armies improved upon Indian Roads as well. Although it’s a misnomer, Braddock Road was named for the biggest military expedition in North American history at the time. It resulted in a road from Central Maryland to Pittsburgh. Another Road built in that war connect Philly with Pitt. These roads were built for wagons, mules, and Ox Carts.
            7) Nearly every road investment made in our current local network in our lifetime was made for cars.

          • TBex

            It wasn’t until cars that roads were reserved 100% for any type of vehicle, and that was the work of the car lobby after cars started getting a bad rep because they were (and, incidentally, still are) giant death machines.

          • Mike M

            So, cars bad! Got it. In fact I already attributed that thought to you. Lucky for us BP will solve this problem with parking fees. They are so righteous! You’re making my head spin.

          • TBex

            Cars are great! I want a car (specifically, an ambulance) to get me straight to the hospital if I’m hurt. I don’t want that ambulance to be stuck in traffic because every lazy Restonian who couldn’t be troubled to walk half a mile or grab a bus to RTC was out there clogging the roads. I don’t want to live in a tortured hellscape where the roads are 400 feet wide and every business is an isolate island in a GIANT sea of parking lot. Free parking is one of many business/policy decisions that turn a good thing into a terrible thing.

          • Mike M

            OK. I’ll help you pack. Where will you move?

        • Ming the Merciless

          What is the mechanism for including the cost of parking in the rent? Is there actually a line in the contract to this effect, with a dollar value on it?

          • Mike M

            Ming, it’s the same mechanism for the cost of air conditioning and the sidewalk outside the store. Now if your’e a troglodyte and you prefer to walk in the mud, you might ask yourself, why am I paying for that air conditioning and sidewalk?! But then, that reasoning might be part of why you would be a troglodyte.

          • Ming the Merciless

            False comparison. Try again.

          • Mike M

            What’s false about it? You asked what’s the mechanism to cover the cost of parking and is it a line item. It is not a line item. I answered your question directly.

            That’s the beauty and power of price. It can account for any and all costs in one simple number, each simple transaction. Oh look! You’re back in Economics class!

          • Ming the Merciless

            You failed econ the last time, and you’re failing it again.

          • Mike M

            Oh please, do explain. Think it through. What did I say that was not spot on?

          • Ming the Merciless

            All of it.

          • Mike M

            Indeed. Is that smoke coming out yer butt?

          • Ming the Merciless

            I don’t think you’re any smarter than the last time we talked about it. Don’t feel like getting stuck to the Tarbaby of Stupid again.

          • Mike M

            I accept your concession.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Glad you concede that you’re (a) stupid, and (b) wrong.

          • Mike M

            If you declare me stupid and wrong, then I guess you owe no further explanation, Dr. Ming. Well done.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Ain’t no point in ‘splainin’ again if’n ya didn’t get it the first time, chief.

          • TBex

            Yeah, that dude’s depressingly dumb. I’ll know better next time.

          • TBex

            Perhaps you’d like BP to pay for your gas to get there then, too? Yes, some things are baked into the cost of business (like, for instance, the cost of pens and other office supplies any business has to buy), and other things are luxury goods people should pay for if they’re going to have (for instance, the ability to take up 15 square feet indefinitely in a neighborhood where real estate is valuable). Where do we draw the line? That’s a policy and business decision people will have to make. I would advise both government and businesses to NOT subsidize parking, and to make sure the associated costs are internalized by people who choose to use those resources. My advice doesn’t actually matter; consumer and economic forces are going to push them in that direction anyway.

          • Mike M

            No. That is silly because the parking was an investment made by the landlord. How he recoups the costs is up to him, but an efficient method is to “bake” it into the rents. My gas is not something the landlord bought. In answer to your question, THAT is where “we draw the line.”

          • TBex

            Next time you build a multi-block development project, you do draw the line wherever you think you should, and let the chips fall where they will.

          • Mike M

            Again, I don’t care. I just said they were lying about their motive. I look forward to seeing where these chips fall. I also said I think it is an inefficient way to cover their costs.

          • TBex

            I think you’re wrong on all counts. It is a much more efficient way to cover their costs, and it will help them make RTC better for a lionshare of consumers and BP themselves over the long run. I’d believe a lot of people will drive to Tysons for free parking instead of go to RTC, which will probably result in Tysons’ parking garages being overwhelmed and switching to a pay model as well. But even if Tysons is the car destination and RTC is the “non-car” destination, RTC will still be better off.

          • Mike M

            My efficiency argument is that parking fees require additional overhead to implement and maintain. Baked into the lease is more efficient. Your argument is that parking fees are better for the environment because cars are bad. I don’t hear BP making that argument yet. They just want to make more money. I wish them luck.

          • TBex

            Your efficiency argument is wrong. Your interpretation of my argument is SO MANY KINDS of wrong. You are not very smart. You shouldn’t control anything. You probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive. I’m done with this thread.

          • Mike M

            I need to introduce you to Ming.

  • El Southie

    sure it has

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Now that the merchants are going to be stuck with higher overall location costs — parking subisidies and rent — I wonder what the average price increase to the consumer will be.

    On the other hand, what do I care? I never went there much before (except maybe to use the bathroom as we pedalled past on the W&OD). Now, I have less reason to stop there.

    It’s your loss, RTC merchants. Good luck with that.

    • GB

      I never went there much before (except maybe to use the bathroom as we pedalled past on the W&OD). Now, I have less reason to stop there.

      It’s your loss, RTC merchants. Good luck with that.”

      Is it…?

  • Scott

    Greed – I feel bad for some of the stores, but with so many other options in the area, my consumer dollars will now go elsewhere.

    • Chuck Morningwood

      Hear, hear. I don’t think of this as a boycott. I prefer to think of it as taking advantage of better economic opportunities.

      • TBex

        People who think like you are probably not the target demographic of these business anyway. Good riddance.

        • JoeInReston

          RTC has been continually going upscale with each new business. Your saying good riddance to the low and mid scale customers who won’t shop their as much?

        • Mike M

          Many of “these businesses” may just get squeezed out by this price increase.

          • TBex

            Doubt it. I bet, now that parking isn’t creating an upward pressure on rents, lower-scale shops will be able to open. It’s a lot easier to recoup high overhead on luxury goods for which cost is little object than lower-tier retail.

          • Mike M

            I don’t think rents are going down. And I expect lower scale shops will lose business. So, we shall see, but yours last sentence is where RTC is headed. You contradict yourself.

          • TBex

            Doubt it, but we’ll sorta find out (although it’s not like we get to play out the counterfactual at the same time).

  • John Farrell

    It’s impressive that the Boston Properties PR department provided the information included in this article so quickly.

    Reston Association’s hack a flack could take a lesson.

    However, a discussion in an investor phone call hardly constitutes prior warning to tenants, employees, customers or the community.

    It would be interesting to read the parking provisions in the RTC tenant leases.

    Exactly what proof does BP have that some or any all-day parkers are getting on a bus to Wiehle station and not going to work, eat or shop in RTC. Or that more are doing it now than have done so in the past. It would be interesting to have an independent traffic engineer review the methodology for that research.

    Clearly, adjacent property owners are going to be negatively impacted by Boston Property’s money grab. I expect to see a demand for a proffer to eliminate “pay for parking” next time Boston Properties needs a land use approval from Supervisor Hudgins. She already has done it in recent PCA for another applicant.

    • Karen Goff

      John: Actually I found this on my own, not from BP. But I agree with you on prior warning.

    • JoeInReston

      “Exactly what proof does BP have that some or any all-day parkers are getting on a bus to Wiehle station and not going to work, eat or shop in RTC. Or that more are doing it now than have done so in the past.”

      It is all bs, as you suspect. The RTC already has policies designed to direct bus commuters to specific less desirable garages to protect their office and retail customers. If this was solely about protecting parking spaces, they could simply extend their bus commuter bans to all garages.

    • Ming the Merciless

      It is not a “money grab” to charge people for the use of your own property.

    • Mike M

      It is a money grab. And it is their right. They are in it to make money. But why lie? Your question about their proof is quite valid.

  • Nyla J.

    This is the perfect example of the current Reston identity crisis.

    Delusion: We’re Reston, this great utopian planned community! Yay community!

    Reality: Reston SOLD OUT long ago.

    • Mike M

      Just don’t mention certain names with this point. It’s gettin’ so a feller just don’t know what credit to lay at the Founder’s feet at tall!

  • Richard

    I really don’t have any objection to Boston Properties installing paid parking at RTC. I don’t like it, but as a resident of Reston, I don’t really have a choice. This is a private company’s decision. I’m not going to actively boycott the RTC, but once those gates go up, I can assure you that I’ll be going there less often. The only times I typically go there during the week are for business lunches. I’ll just take those guests to other good restaurants in Herndon, Lake Anne, or elsewhere to avoid the added expense and hassle. It’s only a few bucks, but for some reason it has an impact on me, kind of like a few cents discount per gallon of gas. I’ll also postpone any RTC visits until the weekends. Those postponements may end up being permanent if I find what I need someplace else in the meantime.

  • Ming the Merciless

    If we look at the Fairfax County task force report on Reston, as well as the Comprehensive Plan, we can see firstly that neither one asserts that parking should be “free”. Secondly, we see that they want developers to implement “traffic demand management” (TDM) to reduce vehicular traffic near the metro stops.

    How do you reduce vehicular traffic near metro stops? Among other tactics, you reduce the number of parking spaces available, and you reduce the demand for them by charging for them.

    Thus, when BP charges for parking, this is actually not inconsistent with the master plan, and it is consistent with the principles of TDM.

    And everyone wants less congestion near the metro stop. Right?

    • Mike M

      “How do you reduce vehicular traffic near metro stops? Among other tactics, you reduce the number of parking spaces available, . . .”

      Not really. With fewer spaces, you get people driving around looking and waiting for a spot or waiting for their partner to get out of the [cigar] store.

      And as you know, this has nothing to do with the County. The goal is NOT TDM. It is profit-making. NOT that there’s anything wrong with that.

      • TBex

        People don’t circle around looking for parking if the price is raised to the point that supply and demand level out. It’s simple economics.

        • Mike M

          That was in response to his statement which I quoted – “reduce the number of spaces.”

          • TBex

            Fewer spaces = higher price per space. Expensive parking garage construction = limiting factor on how many spaces can be built. How many ways do I have to say the same thing?

          • Mike M

            Not if the spaces are already paid for by other means. The price that goes up can be measured in consumer inconvenience and decreased commerce.

    • Tammi Petrine

      Sadly, Metro itself is doing a mighty fine job of reducing congestion around Metro stations all by itself.

      Combined with the increasing targeted economic pressure on this community of increasing tolls on the DTR and paid parking everywhere in RTC coming soon, how long will the ‘community’ in Reston last with this kind of short-sighted behavior? The even bigger question is how long will Reston be a successful, ‘world class’ planned community?

      PS: Just because something is talked about for a long time, doesn’t make it worthy. Apparently some are still tone deaf to the crisis of income inequality in this country/county/community. BP is engaging in a giant crap shoot here. Heaven help the merchants who are pawns in their greed game. Patrons of RTC are not trapped in an ‘urban’ environment; there are ‘suburban’ choices nearby in all directions.

      • Ming the Merciless

        How much free parking is there along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor? Not much. There’s even less in DC – you might want to shop or eat for an hour, but you’re lucky if you don’t wind up in one of those “$14 daily rate” garages. Yet that “economic pressure” isn’t holding back those areas, where I dare say “income inequality” also exists.

  • qwerty

    I mean, all the infrastructure has been there for toll/ticket machines and turnstiles in the various garages all along, have people never noticed this? Pay to park has has always been part of the plan, they just never wanted to set a date for when it would be implemented or publicize it too much.

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