Are Fairfax County Residential Parking Restrictions
AN EXAMPLE OF THE PROBLEM
|From the Washington Post's Dr
Gridlock Friday Sept 19, 04
Parking at Huntington
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
How does one ever find a parking space at the Huntington Metro station after 9 a.m. on weekdays? My husband and I are retired and used to take Metro through the week to see the sights and shop. Now we need to see ailing relatives in Silver Spring and can't do so unless someone drops us off at Metro or unless we ride on the weekend. Any suggestions?
Metrorail has never been busier, with 700,000 to 800,000 trips a day. Parking, never plentiful to begin with, is tighter than ever. Take a bus to the station if you can, or ride Metro to Silver Spring on weekends. Anyone else have thoughts?
ONE FACTOR THAT WOULD HELP
|In neighborhoods adjacent to
large office complexes or major transit hubs, residents are sometime
unable to find parking when all available spots are taken by commuters
who street park for the day. In an effort to protect
residential interests, municipal governments of post parking
restriction for all but resident permit holders.
the roads are paid for by the public, most municipalities strike a
balance between protecting the residents while allowing some
short-duration use by the general public. Typically non-permit
holder parking is initially limited to 3 hours. If this
limit fails to protect enough resident parking the limit is reduced to 2
This technique, for example, is use by
Alexandria, Washington D.C. and by Arlington County.
As seen on the left, In the Mount Vernon District
of Fairfax County, total restrictions are used. This results in
situation like that shown on the right where Bangor Drive
just north of Fairhaven Avenue around
10:00AM on a workday is empty. Of particular interest, this
restriction is most likely a result of the location being less then
0.5 miles from the Huntington Metro Station. Clearly some
restrictions were necessary but who does it help to have the so much
of the parkable portions of the road unused. For example some
years ago a Mount Vernon or Lee District resident needing to get into
D.C. for a short meeting early in the day could use Metro without
paying a parking fee. For the last few years the time
window was shortened and the fee raised. Recently the fee
was raised and the no-fee window was closed. Considering the
ride fare increases, even during off-hours, a mid-day metro trip will
often cost more then a direct drive into town. This
problem is exacerbated by the need for a 'Smart Card' to park.
More use of Metrorail during off hours
and improved walk based fitness.
Fairfax County replace the 'zero' hour
restrictions with 3 hours restrictions. If over-parking results,
apply a 2 hours restriction in those limited areas. Based
the experience of neighboring municipalities, most likely there will
be no need to have any streets with less then a 2 hour