Reston Town Center Will Have More Info on Paid Parking at Thursday Meeting

by Karen Goff March 30, 2016 at 11:30 am 42 Comments

Parking garage at Reston Town CenterReston residents can get more information about the planned paid parking system at Reston Town Center at a meeting Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

While the meeting is aimed at town center homeowners, residents and merchants, members of the public can also attend.

This is a venue change — the meeting was previously scheduled to be at The Avant but has been moved to accommodate more people. The meeting will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Reston Now reported two weeks ago that Boston Properties, which owns Reston Town Center, will phase in a paid parking system beginning Aug. 1. 

The app-based system, RTC Park, will also help patrons locate their car and pay the parking charges by credit card.

According to a new Frequently Asked Questions section on Reston Town Center’s website, RTC Park is “the country’s most advanced parking system.”

According to the FAQs:

“The parking initiative also includes a parking guidance system that supports an improved customer parking experience by having:

  • License plate recognition to determine vehicle occupancy within each space
  • LED-based space indicators that change color to reflect the status of the parking space
  • Electronic display boards to indicate the direction and quantity of available parking spaces
  • Online space counts in real-time and on site signage which is updated as space availability changes
  • Additional pedestrian signage to guide customers to shopping and dining options

Parking will cost $2 an hour. Store and office employees will have to pay for parking as well, but monthly passes (up to $70 for office workers; $50 for retail workers) are being offered. Many stores also say they will offer validation, but that exact plan has not yet been worked out.

Parking will still be free on weekends, holidays and during major community events such as the holiday parade, Oktoberfest Reston or the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. There will also be designated free parking for quick stops at stores such as FedEx, CVS and the dry cleaners.

RTC officials say the paid parking is necessary to cut down on commuter parking, which has increased since the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station opened in 2014. The Reston Town Center Metro station will not open until early 2020.

“Reston Town Center is a unique environment that operates as an urban mixed use environment,” the new FAQ section states. “This is also known as ‘Second City.’ In order to preserve the parking rights of our visitors and at the same time enhance our customer’s experience, we extensively researched all options and identified the Park RTC model.”

“Reston Town Center has been reviewing customer recommendations and feedback for several years, especially concerns about the availability of parking spaces during busy shopping periods.”

Many RTC patrons say they are outraged by the decision and will take their business elsewhere. Online petitions are also circulating to try and persuade Boston Properties to change their minds.

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