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Some Metro Users Scramble for Parking Space at the Wiehle-Reston East Garage

by Fatimah Waseem April 13, 2018 at 11:45 am 16 Comments

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.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Another Hudgins success!
    Make them ride bikes
    Thankfully the woonfers are coming soon

    • Mike M

      So we can be more like Malmo, Montreal, . . . or Ho Chi Minh City! What a delight! Who wants to accept that it is the 21st century in the suburban US? Yuuu-uhk!

      • 30yearsinreston

        Dont forget the workers paradises of Pyongyang and Havana
        Lots of woonfers and bikes there

      • alwaysfading

        I hate to burst your bubble, but Reston isn’t the suburbs anymore. Even as far out as Ashburn there are clear signs of making the turn from suburb to city.

        • Mike M

          Bubble not busted. Reston is urbanizing at its core. But where many of us live it remains fundamentally suburban.

  • Willie Reston

    “She has been commuting for the past year and a half from Leesburg to Washington D.C.”

    Yep, that’s your problem right there.

    • W/O REP

      Maybe she got pushed out of DC as the local gov decided to gentrify. Even an ugly brownstone close to 750k now

    • Tom

      So you know her whole backstory huh? A lot of people don’t have a choice.

      • Willie Reston

        I was just saying commuting from Leesburg to DC is problematic. Besides, the Loudoun County commuter bus would probably get her downtown a lot quicker and more cheaply than driving to Reston (and possibly paying a $5 toll on the Greenway each way), parking in this garage for $5 (if she can even find a spot), and paying $6 each way for a one+ hour Metro ride.

        • 30yearsinreston

          Lots of people commute from Leesburg to the District
          Take a drive down Route 7 /toll rd in the morning

          • Willie Reston

            My condolences to them.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Maybe she got tired of cycling all the way

  • EliteinReston

    I do not understand the connection between construction and parking spaces. Is the construction IN the garage? What is the project? How many spaces does it take up? Metro and Fairfax County are required to keep counts of parking spaces used at its garages. Metro releases these figures quarterly. Fatimah, ask Metro for the most recent quarterly report. Turn to “parking facility usage.” There you will see whether parking is full at Wiehle. The most recent, though dated, report Metro posts online shows 94 percent full. Comstock and the county know full well what the current numbers are. This should not be an anecdotal story when the numbers are available. https://www.wmata.com/about/records/public_docs/upload/Q4-Finance-Comm-Rpt-ver11-20171101.pdf

    • Jared

      They’re blocking sections of the garage with tarps. I’d say its at least 20 spots on some floors. The garage is finished and I have no idea what they’re tinkering with because the tarps block the work.

      I park here daily and that whole block is a planning disaster. Once everything gets built, it’s gonna be gridlock with buses and cars. Doesn’t help that the light at Reston Station Blvd. and Wiehle is poorly timed.

      • EliteinReston

        Thank you. I parked there today and saw the construction. I wonder why it is needed. Comstock and the county maintain that congestion at Wiehle will ease once the other Silver Line stations open. I am skeptical.

  • Steve Patz

    Dude I knew a guy who commuted in from WV. Land is cheap

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