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Citing Fees, Reston Runners Will No Longer Meet at Town Center

by Jennifer van der Kleut January 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm 30 Comments

Reston Runners courtesy photo from website

The Reston Runners have ended their tradition of gathering at Reston Town Center, citing parking fees that went into effect this week as the reason.

The local running club has long met at the Potomac River Running Store on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to begin their group runs. The store has served as something of a flagship for the group, as it even sells Reston Runners gear and gives discounts to members. The store also regularly sponsors some of the club’s events, such as the annual Runner’s Marathon of Reston.

However, now that Reston Town Center has begun charging for weekday parking, the club says it feels the fees would deter members from coming out. In response, they have decided to move their meeting location to Reston Sport and Health in Isaac Newton Square.

“For decades, Reston Town Center was a welcoming place where the community could gather freely,” Reston Runners member Dennis Hays told Reston Now. “We are saddened this is no longer the case.”

Hays said the club looks forward to continuing to partner with PRR for other events.

PRR has said it will validate one hour of parking to weekday customers who spend at least $20 in the store, and recently appealed to locals to continue supporting businesses such as theirs.

“We hope you’ll continue to support PR and shop local so that we can continue to create and expand the local walking and running community,” the store said on social media this week. “Getting active transforms lives — it would be a shame for parking get in the way.”

Hays said the club looks forward to its new partnership with Reston Sport and Health, and invites all to come out for their runs, scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the new location.

“All runners and walkers in the community, or just visiting the area, are welcome to participate,” he said.

Photo via RestonRunners.org



  • Mike M


  • Runner

    Potomac River Running should consider moving the store to one of the available spaces at Lake Anne Plaza. Then the Reston Runners could enjoy free parking as well as nicer trails.

    • Arielle in NoVA

      or Tall Oaks
      or the old Bowman Distillery, if they can afford to buy the property and renovate it.

      • LakeNewportLady

        Or North Point!

        • TheRealODB

          Just keep them out of South Reston… we already have enough annoying cyclists (Reston Road Rats) clogging up the place…

    • Cliff

      Agree with Lk Anne, crazy in a good way. Wonder why they ever left South Lakes, it was a nice store.

  • Nauk Fitness Elite

    All may run. All must pay.

  • EliteinReston

    In explaining the need to charge weekday parking fees, Boston Properties has said the company was preparing to deter commuters from parking for free at the town center when the Metro station opens there. I think a reasonable person understands that. What the company has never explained is why the fees need to be charged at all hours during the week. As a compromise gesture that would show the company supports the community’s goal to have the town center as a welcoming place, I cannot understand why the company does not drop the fee during non-commuting hours. Otherwise, Boston appears to be charging parking fees to bring in revenue, not as a response to crack down on Metro commuters.

    • Adrian Havill

      Too late. RR has about 1500 members and spend a ton of money after their runs at places like Panera, Starbucks, etc.

    • Reston Realist

      You are exactly right…. The first two hours of parking should be free and there should be no charge after 6PM during the week. And of course, weekends should be free. This would accomplish the goal of no commuter parking, while at the same time allowing the restaurant and retail patrons to enjoy the RTC.

      • EliteinReston

        Boston Properties is within its rights as a private business to stay silent. I just wish our elected officials had stepped up for us and demanded answers and accountability. The supervisors and legislators could have tried to seek a parking compromise on our behalf. Instead, a major player in the Fairfax County business community has needlessly angered the Reston area over a development we all have considered a jewel for 25 years.

    • PrivatePropertyOwner

      Private property owners should be able to charge parking fees to bring in revenue without giving you a reasonable reason. I would think a reasonable person would understand that. However, it seems like a lot of people think it reasonable to demand how other people utilize their private property, For example, they think it reasonable to not allow private property owners to use a spare bedroom for AirBnb. The think it reasonable to not allow private property owners to use their privately owned automobile for Uber. They think it reasonable to demand public benefit of private property.

      • BP

        And I can go somewhere else when I believe charging for parking is unreasonable. Which I did. No more RTC for me.

        • North Restonian

          I encourage you to give ratings of the Town Center on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Boycotting them helps, but so does public shaming.

      • Michael Schuster

        As far as AirBnB. If you move to an area zoned residential, people should not be allowed to use it for commercial purposes. Simple.
        Parking situation – I don’t care what businesses charge. They can do what they want. I won’t pay it and will go elsewhere.

        • UBidnizIsMyBidniz

          Exactly… If you buy a house zoned residential you should have to live in it yourself, you shouldn’t even be able to rent it. Renters bring down the feeling of community that only homeowners can convey to a neighborhood. You can’t have paying roommates either that aren’t blood relatives, nobody wants a bunch of mismatched hooligans running around.

        • North Restonian

          I urge you to give ratings of the Town Center on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Boycott them, yes, but public shaming helps, too.

      • Reston Realist

        You are obviously missing the point of the comment made above. Of course a property owner can do what he wishes with his property as long as it is legal… The point is that it really is a poorly thought-out plan and in the long run is going to be detrimental to the success of the center. If patrons could use the property easier, the property owner would benefit. Since January 3, I have twice opted to go to a restaurant NOT located in RTC; not because of the price to park, but because of the hassle to pay to park. Allowing for free parking at various non-commuter hours – everyone would benefit.

      • John Farrell

        AirBNB is a hotel reservation service. Hotels belong in commercial areas.

        Uber is a taxi dispatching service. Their drivers and passengers deserve the same protections provided to cab drivers and passengers. Uber is estimated to have lost $1 billion last year and drivers are quitting in droves. So their model isn’t working out so hot.

      • ichrysso

        You are right, PPO. Like you, I stand by and acknowledge BP’s right to charge for parking. However, you need to acknowledge my right to no longer support that effort and boycotting. It is apparent to everyone that this has not been well thought out, evident by the delayed roll out, the poor, laughable excuses about commuters using RTC parking and the fact that despite the position of BP that this has been in the plan all along, that they have been in the background negotiating parking arrangements with each business in recent months and even weeks. If this was in the plan all along, someone made a crappy plan, as reflected by the fact that parking terms and conditions were not codified in many of the EXISTING rental agreements. This is Reston, not DC – too many options outside of RTC are available and RTC is not so desirable that people cannot find other options. Don’t get me wrong – I am an American and a capitalist and hope BP makes lots of money this year. I am also a Restonian – I live, work and play here and admittedly being selfish, I don’t I want to see the RTC become a ghost town or worse, an undesirable place to live. Take a look at what happens when greedy people (in this case, a government) does not think about the implications and does not plan. Do a web search for “Rockville parking business” and you will see the challenge with implementing this in a suburban environment.

        • North Restonian

          I encourage you to post ratings of the Town Center on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Boycott them, yes, but public shaming helps, too.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Ouch, BP. Just Ouch.

    • North Restonian

      It would be great if you could post ratings of the Town Center on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Public shaming helps, too.

  • cRAzy

    Let the exodus begin–on foot, on bike, even driving!

    • North Restonian

      I encourage you to give ratings of the Town Center on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Boycott them, yes, but shaming helps, too.

  • dudewe

    Others should join the “boycott.” Boston Properties is a very rich company, a $22.5 billion company, but besides being rich, they are greedy. If enough people boycott RTC they just may not be able to take the pressure from the stores that will surely lose business. Restonians and visitors, rise up and fight!

    • North Restonian

      I encourage you to give ratings of the Town Center on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Boycott them, yes, but public shaming helps, too.

  • BP

    I used to frequent shops in Reston Town Center, take my dog to get ice cream, and meet people for business socials but will not now given the parking fees.

    • North Restonian

      I encourage you to give ratings of RTC on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Boycott them, yes, but public shaming helps, too.

  • Mosaic

    Went to Mosaic in Merrifield last night. Tipped well and enjoyed free parking. 25 minute drive from Reston.


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