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Protest of Reston Town Center Paid Parking Remains On Tap for Saturday

by Dave Emke — February 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm 10 Comments

ParkRTC sign in Reston Town CenterA group planning an organized protest of Boston Properties’ paid parking initiative at Reston Town Center continues to grow.

More than 300 people have indicated on Facebook that they plan to participate in the event, while more than 800 others have shown interest. Guarang Shah, one of the group’s organizers, said he is confident there will be a strong turnout for the event. A large number of commenters on the Facebook page have shown their support for the cause and/or announced their intention to attend.

Shah said the protest won’t take place on Reston Town Center property, as Boston Properties did not grant permission for the group to do it there. The group will “march a route provided by the Fairfax County Police,” according to the Facebook page.

Elizabeth Krial, another event organizer, said she has spoken about the group’s concerns with Raymond Ritchey, Boston Properties executive vice president.

“The protest is not about an opposition to Boston Properties, the protest is to bring them to a conversation about how this parking model could be improved so it actually works for the demographic,” Krial said. “[Ritchey] definitely seemed like a part of him was open. I think it was a good positive first step. He said he is personally and professionally invested in the Town Center.”

The protest is scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Saturday.

  • Generic User

    Snacks?! Well, why didn’t you say so earlier?!

    I support their energy, but I am not sure this is the best way to protest this. I feel bad for the tenants as well, but I am not convinced the second march to eat at the restaurants is the best way to demonstrate the pain to BP. That doesn’t hurt BP at all. And we are in opposition to stupid BP. I doubt very seriously that this Ritchey guy is going to suddenly implement three hours free just by telling him BP’s greed is not good for the community. But I am happy to be proven wrong.

  • Bill ted

    Won’t work sorry try again

  • meh

    They had me up until the second one where they go and eat at these establishments. I’m sorry to break their bubble(s) but BP doesn’t care about a protest. They care about one thing, profit. If you stop going and are not spending money and not parking in the garage they lose money.

    • tattler

      Do you really think this protest’s only purpose is to change BP’s mind or are you just ignorant? Will you consider it a failure if BP doesn’t start pulling down its Big Brother garage cameras and parking apps immediately after the protest? I think this protest can/will show solidarity with the businesses; attract more attention from bigger new outlets; increase awareness; show why open lines of communications are important between citizens and developers/businesses; etc.

      Go home, troll. We’re not feeding you here.

    • Richard

      Troll? Not in this case. The protest should definitely include a complete boycott of RTC. Nothing less will have an impact. That said, it seems pretty bourgeois for the second protest that I can recall in the history of Reston (after the Rescue Reston protests) is about $2/hr parking. I’ve boycotted the RTC entirely since they implemented paid parking (after going there at least weekly before that), but the first protest I attend in Reston will have to be of greater importance.

  • RestonRed

    So where is the protest if not on BP property? Where do we report for duty at 1? I’m making signs to hand out. Adding invasive apps and making it so hard to park does NOT work for this busy mom! I am ticked.

  • ClusTerp

    Oooooor: go have a beer at Lake Anne Brew House and/or some delicious food/drinks at the coffee house/wine bar, or enjoy some alfresco dining on a freakishly-warm winter’s day at one of the other fine Lake Anne dining establishments….and let the market do its thing. I feel bad for the RTC businesses and hope they can survive, but your best option for promoting a change-of-heart by BP is to vote with your feet and wallets. As an added bonus, a re-invigorated Lake Anne will spur more new options there and hopefully, eventually, the much-needed re-development of that area.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Anybody else notice the shiny new green P signs on Reston Parkway ?

    They are an eyesore

    Still not paying

  • Generic User

    You know, ironically, BP my be the ones most responsible for creating a better diversity of shopping and food establishments in other areas of Reston as this plays out. With their greed, they are forcing all of us to look to and frequent the smaller shopping centers like Lake Anne, the Home Depot center, etc. That will just make those other shopping centers prosper, draw new businesses, and invest money to improve their centers.

  • COA

    So, has Reston Now become a shill for Boston Properties with a “promoted” post that doesn’t permit any comments? This story about the protest accepts comments but the one that BP apparently bought doesn’t. So, the folks at Boston Properties can “report” whatever they want about what’s going on at Reston Town Center. I don’t know a single person who isn’t boycotting RTC right now and I live less than a mile away. Thousands of negative comments have been posted on blogs, on Facebook and on the local news feeds. It’s inconceivable that this hasn’t affected business. People who live and work there report markedly fewer visitors on the streets, in the shops and at the restaurants. The retailers have organized a potential lawsuit because their businesses have been affected. BP has managed to create more ill will in a community in a shorter time than anything I’ve ever witnessed (and I worked in PR and marketing for years, including an assignment on the grand opening RTC team 20+ years ago).

    Given the “open letter” just posted, I’m done commenting on this topic. My continued boycott of RTC will do the talking. BP is clearly willing to roll the dice and ignore a huge amount of backlash. Maybe in a year or so when the businesses have suffered long enough, they’ll back down. Maybe the whole thing will blow over and business will slowly return as BP hopes. The community has spoken, BP is ignoring us and the chips will fall somewhere. I’m just sorry that right now it’s the retailers and their employees who are paying the price.

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