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RTC Parking: How Do Rates Compare Nearby?

by Karen Goff August 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm 51 Comments

Parking garage at Reston Town CenterWhen Reston Town Center paid weekday parking goes into effect on Sept. 12, it will also have the distinction of being one of the most expensive garage systems in the area.

Reston Town Center will charge $2 an hour on weekdays, with a maximum of $24 a day. Parking will remain free on Saturdays and Sundays, and there will be validation and discounts from retailers that will bring costs down.

Reston Now (with the help of reader Suzanne Zurn, organizer of the Change.org petition against paid parking at RTC) took a look at some nearby retail complexes to see how the new plan stacks up.

First of all, here is where you can park for free:

  • Tysons Corner Center
  • Fairfax Corner
  • One Loudoun
  • Dulles Town Center
  • Downtown Herndon
  • Fairfax Square (Tiffany Plaza in Tysons)

Now here’s where you have to pay:

Reston Town Center Parking  – $2 per hour / max daily rate of $24.

Pentagon City Mall Parking – $2 for up to 2 hours / max daily rate of $18.

Rockville Town Square – $2 per hour / $3 for up to 1-2 hrs / max daily rate of $12.

Market Common Clarendon – $6 for up to 1 hour / $8 for up to 2 hours / max daily rate of $12.

Ballston Mall Parking – $1 for up to 3 hours / max daily rate of $10.

Mosaic District Parking – Free up to 5 hours.

Downtown Bethesda – $1.25 per hour in short-term parking (four hours hours or less) and .80 cents to $1 (depending on garage) per hour in long term parking (more than four hours). Street parking is $2 per hour for 1-2 hours.

Representatives for Boston Properties, which owns Reston Town Center, say paid parking has always been the plan for the 25-year-old town center. BP has invested in several high-tech features for the new system, including an app, ParkRTC, which will include a safety feature and ticketless and gateless payment.

“We realize moving from a free to a paid parking model gives some pause,” BP Executive Vice President Peter Johnston says. “However, Reston Town Center leadership continually focuses on strategies to enhance customer convenience, safety and overall quality of life. The technological integration is an enormous step in advancing both of these historical and worthwhile goals.”

  • The Wilsons

    “Reston Town Center leadership continually focuses on strategies to enhance customer convenience, safety and overall quality of life. The technological integration is an enormous step in advancing both of these historical and worthwhile goals.”

    Do you BELIEVE these people? Really, do you believe them?

    They want to line their pockets while destroying Reston, and say that it’s for our own good.

    • Waitwhat

      historical goals….Where did they pull those out of?

      • 30yearsinreston

        Where the sun doesn’t shine

  • ichrysso

    Doesn’t matter to me. Charge $200/hour if you like. I am no longer driving to the RTC and taking my business elsewhere. Between parking and a proposed meals tax, there will be a lot of vacancies in the RTC soon.

  • 30yearsinreston

    What a shocker
    Who could have known this would happen ?

  • Cherie DeSouza

    No, I don’t believe their ‘politic-y’ mumbo-jumbo, and I refuse to line their pockets.

  • John

    You forgot Fairfax Corner. It’s close by and parking FREE!!!

  • Ming the Merciless

    here is where you can park for free:

    Tysons Corner Center
    Fairfax Corner
    One Loudoun
    Dulles Town Center
    Fairfax Square (Tiffany Plaza in Tysons)

    You can park for free by driving 20 or 30 minutes each way… which means you will spend more than $2 on gas, and you apparently think your time is worth nothing… so you pretty much failed simple economics on that one.

    Reston Town Center leadership continually focuses on strategies to enhance customer convenience, safety and overall quality of life.

    Um, charging for parking doesn’t enhance any of those things. Why not just tell the simple truth: Reston Town Center leadership continually focuses on strategies TO MAKE MORE MONEY. There’s nothing wrong with that!

    • JoeInReston

      May be worth it if your stay is longer than one hour.

      • Ming the Merciless

        And your personal time is worth nothing to you.

        • JoeInReston

          We each have to evaluate the time/cost/principle tradeoff when evaluating whether to go to RTC or an alternative place. Certainly a $6 parking fee could tilt the final decision. It depends on context.

          • Ming the Merciless

            I never spend 3 hours parked at any store. If I had to pay to park I’d certainly plan so that I didn’t need to spend more than 1 hour there. If your principles require you to spend $2 on gas rather than parking, so be it.

          • JoeInReston

            RTC is not one store. Its a collection of stores. Many people have spent more than 3 hours parked at a shopping center.

            You don’t have to necessarily spend $2 on gas to go elsewhere either. There are alternative options nearby.

            But indeed i just might spend $2 on gas rather than park at the RTC on the hopes that decline in business where force the BP to change its mind.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Tysons Corner malls and Dulles mall and Fair Oaks mall are also a collection of stores. I have never spent 3 hours in ANY mall. Anyone who does that needs to shop more efficiently.

            Yes, you are going to spend at least $2 on gas if you go to any of the other “free parking” options mentioned above.

          • JoeInReston

            There are a lots of alternative dining options. You can go to Chipotle and Pot Bellies on Sunset Hills. You can go to Panera in the KMart Shopping Center.

            It all depends on what you are looking to do and how flexible you are to alternative places.

          • taylor13

            I hate shopping. However, some people like to shop efficiently. Just because you like something doesn’t mean others will.

    • John

      Not necessarily. Some may live between RTC and Fairfax Corner or RTC and Loundon One or RTC and Tysons. Making it a 10 minute drive to either and now with $2 a hour parking at RTC and the other free they might decided to drive somewhere else besides RTC.

      • Ming the Merciless

        All you spergs can have fun plugging in the exact distance from your house to the various options and calculating the cost based on your vehicle’s MPG.

        Everybody else who gives it the moment’s thought it deserves will realize that driving >10 miles to avoid $2 doesn’t make sense. Especially if you have to avoid the Toll Road. There are many times of day when Route 7, Route 28, and 286 are simply no fun at all.

    • Chuck Morningwood

      “…TO MAKE MORE MONEY. There’s nothing wrong with that!”
      Wasn’t that inscribed on the Executive Conference Room walls at Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros pre-2007?

    • anon

      Parking is much more expensive to build than retail, residential, or retail spaces. It’s pretty expensive to maintain too. The prices we’re talking about here barely make a dent in the costs imposed by people who choose to drive instead of taking advantage of the sparkling new bus services and bike infrastructure.

    • Tom

      I usually do my shopping at Tysons or Fair Lakes when I’m passing through anyways.

      • Ming the Merciless

        I rarely shop at RTC except for Best Buy. Hardly ever dine there. If they had something I wanted, I might care more about $2 parking.

  • No matter how you keep spinning it, No thank you, I’m shopping elsewhere while I’m out and about.

  • EliteinReston

    Ticketless, gateless and…witless. Bob Simon founded Reston on seven goals. Goal 3 was “that the importance and dignity of each individual be the focal point for all planning…” By imposing this fee without first working with the tenants, retailers, restaurants, services and residents, Boston Properties has violated the spirit of that goal. It did not have to happen that way, and there is a compromise: Charge for parking on weekdays only when commuter parking is the issue. Drop the fee on weeknights.


    • Jennifer Walter

      Now that he’s gone developers are going to have a field day and destroy the whole foundation of Reston.

      • Guest

        To be fair, Simon was a developer and argued for change, just sensible change in accord with his desire to benefit the populace. For example, he argued for the massive Lake Anne redevelopment, and necessarily against some of our more outspoken residents. That project has now fallen into disarray, in part because of the petrification.

        A younger crowd has started to embrace Lake Anne. Perhaps one of them can be our new champion?

      • Tom

        They started the process well before his passing. Whether he was alive or not made no difference.

      • taylor13

        Reston’s lovely foundation of consumerism and dependance on personal vehicles?

  • Arielle in NoVA

    and Reston is WAY further out of the city than the others, isn’t it?

  • Why do you bother?

    The only thing enhanced by this f*ckery is BP’s pockets.

  • Annie

    I have a question: is parking still free by La Madeleine and Not Your Average Joe’s? By On The Border and Harris Teeter’s? By Santinini’s and the Thai and sushi and Peruvian chicken places near Home Depot? If yes, then I’m taking my business there. (And if I have to pay to park in those places too I’m staying home!!!) I’m not even going to the RTC on the weekends anymore. Gee, what greedy landowners. The business rents there are outrageously high, and now this!

    • LakeNewportLady

      Yes all free.

    • Jennifer Walter

      Everyone is probably going to try to park there though and problems will come of that. I can see metered parking come in that lot like in Pentagon Row.

      • anon

        Exactly. When all of these other lots implement some crappy coin-only meters in a rush to deal with the flood of new drivers boycotting RTC, everyone’s going to come crawling back to RTC.

    • Guest

      The Spectrum is slated for (long term) density increase. The first block alone (La Madeleine, NYAJ, Container Store) was rezoned in 2013 for “…546 dwelling units, 255 hotel rooms, 172,000 square feet of office, and 62,500 square feet of retail”.

  • Edward Calvert

    Sometimes I like to visit downtown Leesburg and the Leesburg outlets. Parking there is, of course, free . Lots of stores !

    Doesn’t the Pentagon city mall have the surface lot with meters ? Press the button for 1st 2 hours free.

    Also if you like a little bit of a walk parking meters on key blvd near rosslyn metro are cheap. Like a dollar or two for 12 hours or something like that. Park and walk the key bridge to Georgetown or take metro into dc for the day.

    • Tom

      The parking lot across from Pentagon City (facing Macys and the back of Harris Teeter) is free on evenings and weekends and has been a godsend for years. I hope it never changes.

  • anon

    RTC is going to be sooo pleasant when all of you freeloading whiner car-obsessives are gone. Sept 12 can’t come soon enough.

    • Newport

      WOW is that all you got… I will ‘assume’ that you are a business owner at RTC and will have an influx of customers Mon- Fri. I think not…….

      • anon

        Foot traffic from residents and officeworkers in RTC brings in more revenue than the occasional passerby who wants free storage for their 2-ton toys.

    • Nyla J.

      You’re obviously a newcomer here. Reston isn’t Clarendon for 30 somethings. Take your progressive thinking back to Arlington.

      • Generic User

        Umm, why are you slamming us Arlingtonians? We have free parking after 6 every day and free on Sunday and holidays. More than I can say for the future RTC.

        • anon

          I believe you’re referring to street parking and not garages, which are entirely different matter. Even many DC neighborhoods have free street parking after 6.

          • Generic User

            My point is, why do you hate people from Arlington?

      • anon

        Even better; you take your entitled thinking out to Rappahanock or something.

  • Newport

    And the hits just keep coming!!!!!

  • Tom H

    Read between the lines “Peter Johnston says. “However, Reston Town Center leadership continually focuses on strategies to enhance customer convenience, safety and overall quality of life….”” Essentially the paid parking is meant to keep some segments of our population out.

  • ken

    Whats the point of comparing parking in Reston town center to areas like Clarendon, and Pentagon City? Reston is in the suburbs.

    IMO, this will be a boon for restaurants in Herndon, Dulles Town Center and Loudoun One. I work in Herndon, and we often go to Reston to eat. Those days are OVER. Plenty of other nearby restaurants to eat at, also with the Gloucester parkway open One Loudoun is very accessible.

    • anon

      What is a “suburb” and what isn’t? The DC area is blowing past new population benchmarks every day. Will “suburb” and “city” stay as fixed boundaries forever?

      • ken

        Is there a point to your post?

  • taylor13

    Bebe has left. Wonder if they left because of the parking?


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