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Thursday Morning Notes

by Dave Emke — April 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 5 Comments

Magazine Article Makes Case for Paid Parking at RTC — A breakdown of the paid-parking controversy at Reston Town Center that appears in the April issue of Washingtonian argues that “parking is never actually free” and that RTC “was designed so people could get there without a car.” [Washingtonian]

Fifth-Graders Debate School Issues — Students from Terraset and Forest Edge elementary schools recently worked on their speech-writing and public-speaking skills as they squared off in a debate. Topics argued during the event included school uniforms, homework and recycling. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Asks Residents to Report Potholes Properly — Sharing a news blast originally written last February, Fairfax County is reminding residents that they can call or use an online reporting tool to let VDOT know where potholes are in the county. [Fairfax County/Twitter]

Technology Services Company Moves to Reston — CDW has moved its D.C.-area headquarters, one of 24 offices nationwide, to Edmund Halley Drive. Among the features of the new space is a technology demonstration lab featuring the latest technologies from the company’s top partners. [CDW]

Fairfax County Republican Delegate Stepping Down — Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), who has served the area in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994, announced his retirement Wednesday on the House floor. Among his legislative contributions, Albo listed securing transportation funding for Northern Virginia, closing DUI loopholes, allowing marijuana-derived oils to be used to treat epilepsy, boosting punishments for child molesters and writing the language that banned smoking in restaurants. [Richmond.com]

  • Willie Reston

    Dan Reed is rightfully getting ripped in the Washingtonian comments section for that travesty of an “article”. So many flaws in his arguments. Here is but one:

    “Everyone already pays for free parking without realizing it. Landlords charge tenants higher rents to cover the cost of constructing and maintaining parking.”

    Okay, so now that paid parking is in place to help cover the overhead costs of the garages, will BP be lowering the rent they charge to their tenants? I haven’t heard a single peep about that, and I’m sure the answer is “fat chance”.

    • Adrian Havill

      Exactly. Do people pay an additional charge when a restaurant at RTC installs a new fixture or orders new chairs, etc? Like parking, this is known as overhead.

    • MJC

      Let’s take Willie’s point regarding the author’s statement that free parking isn’t free one step further beyond lower rents. Will we see prices for movie tickets, burritos, and bikes drop? Will the many RTC business employees I have come to know since I moved to RTC 4+ years ago get raises?

      I haven’t seen lower prices. None of the employees I know have mentioned raises thanks to paid parking. In fact, several have told me they are looking for jobs elsewhere because fewer customers means fewer tips, i.e., their pay has dropped.

      The author’s assertion that free parking isn’t free is correct. However, in practical terms the assertion is fallacious. Free parking got baked into rents when RTC was born and will never be backed out. That means that RTC customers are paying for parking twice…once on the bill and once at the parking meter (yes…I took the extreme liberty of calling Park RTC a parking meter).

  • SueEm

    Was this article written by BP? It shows a complete lack of understanding of the Reston community and the parking system, and it overlooks some of the most important issues. The complexity of the system isn’t addressed and is a key reason for the recent protests. Also, the article says that RTC was built as walkable destination. Really? Only a small number of Restonians can walk to the RTC. It has NOT been a bike-friendly place. Many people who go to RTC do not live in Reston and are confused by the system. And, as already pointed out, if parking costs are already baked into the leases for businesses in the RTC, then why does BP need to institute customer parking fees? It’s not just the community that is complaining; businesses are complaining as well.

  • Ken Fredgren

    I can’t walk to RTC, nor would my mobility scooter make it there.

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