Some Metro users say the Wiehle-Reston East garage is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. Limited spaces are available during weekday morning hours as construction continues in the area.
Beginning at 9 a.m., few non-reserved parking spots are available in the 2,300-space garage, Metro users said. The garage (11389 Reston Station Boulevard) includes reserved spaces, which open up to the public at 10 a.m. if they are unused.
Garage users said some drivers park their cars in reserved spots not assigned to them due to the challenge of finding space. Jude J. said police often issue tickets to those individuals ten minutes before the parking space opens up to the public.
“You’re lucky if when you enter the ‘lot full’ light is on, otherwise you’re stuck in a dangerous situation with cars going every direction trying to find a spot,” said Jude. She has been commuting for past year and a half from Leesburg to Washington D.C..
County and transit officials pointed to several possible explanations for the scramble for space. County data indicate the average paid utilization rate in March was 88 percent. The rate for reserved parking is $65 a month and $4.95 on weekdays, except Thursday when the rate is $3.
Robin Geiger, head of communications for the Fairfax County Department of Communications said temporary construction in the garage may explain why spaces are limited. Construction is expected to end next month, Geiger said.
In response to space constraints, the county is promoting other alternatives like the Reston South Park and Ride, as well as Fairfax Connector Routes 553, 557, 559 or 585 to Wiehle.
Comstock, the developer behind Reston Station which sits above the garage, built the garage through a public-private partnership with Fairfax County. The county retains garage ownership while the Washington Metropolitan Area Authority operates the facility.
Maggie Parker, a spokesperson for Comstock, said space may also be limited due to “increased activity” with events like the cherry blossoms in the District. WMATA indicated they have seen an increase in parking demand as a result.
Signs in the garage are programmed to display “lot full” when 15 spaces or less are available.
Parker also said it is possible that people are not driving down far enough into the garage, especially three levels down in the ParkX parking area.
The situation has some hoping for other parking alternatives, especially as summer swings in and the recent opening of restaurants like Founding Farmers and Sweet Leaf attracts more customers.