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Paid Parking at Reston Town Center Moved to September Start

by Karen Goff July 13, 2016 at 4:20 pm 26 Comments

Parking garage at Reston Town Center

Paid parking at Reston Town Center will be pushed back to September, Boston Properties representatives have told store owners.

Reston Town Center was supposed to go to paid parking ($2 an hour) on weekdays beginning Aug. 1. Weekends and special events will remain free.

The app-based pay system is now available for download. Boston Properties, which owns the town center, says it is going from free parking at its seven garages to a paid system in order to cut down on parking misuse by commuters.

Town Center representatives say many people are leaving their cars at RTC all day and hopping shuttles to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro. Many RTC patrons say they will avoid the town center when paid parking goes into effect.

Meanwhile, Boston Properties also told merchants “we are also working on another innovative element of our plan which will provide for an even safer place to live, work and shop – we are very excited about this element of our plan which we, unfortunately, are not able to discuss publicly at this time due to business disclosure issues.”

Here is the email BP sent to Reston Town Center tenants on Tuesday:

Tenants,

As you know, Reston Town Center is committed to enhancing the parking experience in its world-class, award-winning community by introducing technologies that will enable a paid-for, streamlined parking model. However, we are also working on another innovative element of our plan which will provide for an even safer place to live, work and shop – we are very excited about this element of our plan which we, unfortunately, are not able to discuss publicly at this time due to business disclosure issues.

Reston Town Center is a community destination, offering and exciting place to work with more than 50 shops, 30 restaurants, an 11-screen cinema and open-air pavilion, luxury residences, and a four-diamond Hyatt Regency hotel. A world-class working and customer experience in a safe, family-friendly environment is always our top priority.

That being said, we have decided to move the paid parking launch date at least 30 days to the month of September 2016. We anticipate we will release more information about this comprehensive strategy later this month. Again, we are moving the date to ensure that we are implementing uniform comprehensive strategy which advances our overall, historical mission.

Thank you very much for your continued patience and understanding; we pledge to provide even more detail when we are able to do so.

Boston Properties Property Management

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Meanwhile, Boston Properties also told merchants “we are also working on
    another innovative element of our plan which will provide for an even
    safer place to live, work and shop – we are very excited about this
    element of our plan which we, unfortunately, are not able to discuss
    publicly at this time due to business disclosure issues.”
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Sounds Trumpian to me. “Safer”? Lack of Details? Better than sex?

    I’m betting they’re planning on putting up a wall to keep commuters out, and they’re going to get RA to pay for it.

    • John Farrell

      Well played, sir!

    • June Smith

      The RCT is not part of RA … the RTC has it’s own umbrella HOA

    • Visionary

      “I’m betting they’re planning on putting up a wall to keep commuters out, and they’re going to get RA to pay for it.”

      HAHAHA.

      You know they would overpay and try to raise fees to cover the cost, in classic RA fashion.

  • Waitwhat

    Ooh, enhancing the parking experience. I never knew parking could be like this. I just want more of this enhanced parking, all of the time. Show me where to put my car. Like that? Oh, that’s nice.

  • Uniqueweirdness

    I will never, ever pay for parking at Reston Town Center. Why would I when I can go so many other nearby places and park for free?

    • vdiv

      Because its closer and driving further costs time and money too? 🙂

      • June Smith

        I turned down two 3-month + temp assignments at the RTC because of the parking costs. Both clients said they would NOT reimburse Temps for parking costs nor were they willing to negotiate the hourly rate to cover this additional expense.

        Businesses that work through agencies are not telling their agency reps about the out-of-pocket expenses that will be incurred by the Temps. When Temps learn about this after the fact …. they are not going to be happy and it will adversely affect the crediblity of the agencies.

        Temps have an extensive networking system – they talk to other Temps and the “chatter” will not be favorable for RTC businesses and less than forthcoming agencies that work with these businesses.

        If you work the ususal 8 hour day, with an hour for lunch … arriving about 1/2 hour before the work day begins …. that is 10 hours of parking @ $2.00/hour = $20 hours a day to park.

        For most people it is to their avantage to drive a bit further for free parking or subsidieed parking costs – when the end result is a savings of $100 a week – NET

        • vdiv

          It is an employee market with low unemployment. If that employer doesn’t get it they will end up not being able to fill their position or filling it with “undesirables”. Maybe the employer should move too, lots of office vacancies with free parking lots 🙂

  • SusanB

    Well, at the public meeting a few months ago they said they will implement a system to tell you where the vacant spaces are. Maybe that’s the big secret? But still not worth $2/hour–and maybe just as importantly the inconvenience–when there are so many other places to go. Also I’d really like to know how paying for parking makes it “enhanced.” And by the way, it won’t be a world-class place after all the businesses move out when their leases expire! I just can’t see how the economics are supposed to work to keep retailers, restaurants, office employers etc competitive when either customers/employees or the businesses themselves have to pay additional for parking.

    • LakeNewportLady

      That already exists now…when you go in they have the little red light/green lights set up and counting spots on each level.

      • SusanB

        Thanks — you can tell I rarely park there b/c I can walk. But concerned that soon I’ll be living next to a huge empty eyesore as all the businesses move out, and those of us nearby will no longer have all the great restaurants etc. available. Home property values near RTC will plummet, too.

  • LakeNewportLady

    why are they writing this letter as though they are apologizing for the delay in paid parking? No one cares if you delay it forever!

    • EliteinReston

      Well said Lake Newport Lady! If Boston Properties was not already doing a disservice to our community, it would make you laugh to see how a big company struggles to express the English language. “Patience and understanding” is what the Reston community needed from the start with this onerous policy. “Patience and understanding” would have included public comments from employees, employers and residents before a final decision was made. “Even safer” implies that there is an existing safety issue at the town center that requires a response. If there is a safety issue, would you trust Boston to tell us what it is? Finally, it takes brass ones to say we are working on another element of this plan that “we, unfortunately, are not able to discuss publicly at this time.” When during this whole sad affair has Boston Properties ever been concerned about public discussion? Reston Now outed the parking fee in the first place. There was no “discuss publicly” about it. We’re reasonable people in Reston, Boston Properties, even if we are elite. We can live with you charging parking during weekdays to deter commuter parking. Why can’t you live with dropping the fee on weeknights?

  • Generic User

    Yes, RTC will be much safer once the roving drone army is surveiling everyone from the skies of the Town Center. “Please pick up that litter or you will be tasered, sir! It is not in compliance with the Reston Master Plan.”

  • compactdisqus

    Headline for next year: “Metro parking prices go up as people are parking there to hang out / work at RTC!”

  • Why do you bother?

    It certainly will be safer – because the only people at RTC will be store employees. The rest of us will be shopping elsewhere.

  • UStifosi .

    I’m hearing they are struggling to get restaurants to sign up for validation hence the delay.

  • Ross01

    Okay Boston Properties, I don’t buy the “commuter problem”. What does make sense is GREED. Okay, I’m putting on my business cap. The reality is the silver line is coming. That means property values are starting to move upwards. That also means more taxes, and less revenue. You have 7 garages occupying property that’s earning you $0. If the garages weren’t there, you could build revenue generating building earning you and your stockholders plenty of $$$. So, instead of being honest and transparent and tell it like it is, you devise a crazy story about commuters using the parking, and the solution is – to charge money and earn $$$ in the process. Boston Properties – this is an area with the highest educated people in the country. Please don’t insult us with “commuter problems”. If you want to take advantage of the rising value of your land, Learn from the Lerners. You can always build over them, although that will take many years to realize, and BXP stockholders don’t like waiting that long.

  • ross01

    Okay Boston Properties, I don’t buy the “commuter problem”. What does make sense is GREED. Okay, I’m putting on my business cap. The reality is the silver line is coming. That means property values are starting to move upwards. That also means more taxes, and less revenue. You have 7 garages occupying property that’s earning you $0. If the garages weren’t there, you could build revenue generating building earning you and your stockholders plenty of $$$. So, instead of being honest and transparent and tell it like it is, you devise a crazy story about commuters using the parking, and the solution is – to charge money and earn $$$ in the process. Boston Properties – this is an area with the highest educated people in the country. Please don’t insult us with “commuter problems”. If you want to take advantage of the rising value of your land, Learn from the Lerners. You can always build over them, although that will take many years to realize, and BXP stockholders don’t like waiting that long.

  • Diana Crump

    There are plenty of other places to shop and have lunch, where parking is free, like Lake Anne right across the street from RTC. Plenty of easy, free parking, and a beautiful view to boot!

    • compactdisqus

      I’m sure the Spectrum lots will now be full as well.

  • jmsullivan

    Is it me, or is the town center looking awfully “blighted” these days?

  • SusanB

    By the way, a big thanks to Reston Now and Karen Goff for spreading the word about the status of parking changes in the Town Center. Somehow Boston Properties thinks that only tenants need to know. Most of the people who park there are not tenants. Keep up the good work.

  • Reston

    Tysons/Merrifield here I come!

    Also this kind of thing encourages people to drive home from the bars if they drink to much since there’s no where to leave their care overnight. Bad form

  • Paul

    Parking didnt get bad until they tore up one parking lot to build the new sky rise (next to Chipotle and FedEx). Using commuters as an excuse is a poor excuse. If you really want to introduce paid parking to increase income and limit the longer parking patrons introduce this: FREE for the first 3 hours, then 3 an hour therafter. That give anyone the time to shop, go to the movies, grab dinner, etc without harming the volume of patrons to the businesses within the town center.

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