As parking woes persist, Herndon residents petition town to create new permit zone

Herndon Town Council meets for a workshop and discusses parking issues across the town and on Madison Street, where a petition could lead to change (Via Town of Herndon)

Herndon residents fed up with parking-related problems are calling on the town to restrict when and where drivers can leave vehicles.

Citing frustrations with service and traffic disruptions from vehicles blocking driveways, mailboxes, and trash cans, residents on Madison Street submitted a petition on Nov. 15 requesting that the town create a residential parking permit zone for the street.

The Herndon Town Council discussed the request during a work session on Tuesday (Jan. 4).

Herndon looks to fix Madison Street problems

Under residential parking permit zones, people can’t park in certain spaces without a permit. Eligible residents and visitors can get permits for a $5 fee, and the zone doesn’t apply to driveways.

Herndon already has some parking permit zones in effect, including daily restrictions during the work week for Crest Drive and portions of Huntsman Place and Old Hunt Way. Those who violate the parking restrictions can be fined up to $100.

The town code’s criteria for establishing a residential permit parking program include:

  • A petition supported by more than 60% of affected residents
  • At least 65% of curbside spaces are occupied
  • At least 25% of curbside spaces are occupied by vehicles not registered in the neighborhood

According to a staff report, resident Dawn Ruffin reported that all 14 spots in the 400 block of Madison Street are regularly occupied by residents of an adjacent neighborhood.

Ruffin collected signatures from all of the affected Madison Street residents for the petition.

The town previously blocked parking on the southern side of the roadway because it couldn’t get emergency equipment there, but problems with parked vehicles have persisted, Town Manager Bill Ashton said.

“During the hours of concern, almost all the occupied spaces are taken by vehicles not registered in the neighborhood,” Ashton said.

The new parking zone could span from midnight to 7 a.m. on Madison Street from Madison Ridge Lane to the end of the cul-de-sac.

To prevent the issue from shifting to another street, Ashton has proposed that the town council also direct staff to continue monitoring the area with the possibility of expanding the zone in the future.

The town council must hold a public hearing and approve an ordinance to establish the zone.

Parking problems seen across town

Similar issues with parking have been reported along Worchester Street, Merlins Lane, and other nearby areas, Councilmember Signe Friedrichs said.

“They are complaining about the very same thing and want to get this process started as well,” she said, wondering if the town might need a more comprehensive change, given the future opening of the Herndon Metro station.

Mayor Sheila Olem noted that another resident has shared concerns about commercial trucks parking on Crestview Drive around the 7-Eleven.

“I think we really need to do something on the parking as a whole,” Olem said, adding that she’d support the measure since they have nothing else and these residents sought relief.

Last August, the town considered creating a fee for drivers who block driveways but held off after failing to get full support from the council. Discussions of a holistic, town-wide plan to address parking issues emerged in December.

“It’s not one neighborhood,” Olem said. “It’s perpetual around the town.”

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