Contact: Jessica Baxter
- Board defers action to hear from public
- Considering 25-cent per-hour increase
- Adding operating hours
The Arlington County Board voted unanimously on Saturday, April 18, 2015 to defer action on a proposed increase in parking meter rates, and lengthening of hours of operation, to allow more public discussion. The Board will hold a Public Hearing on the proposed changes at the May 16, 2015 County Board Meeting.
The Board deferred consideration of a proposed ordinance amendment to raise the maximum parking meter rate by 25 cents per hour, for both long-term and short-term parking, and to add two hours of meter operation. Meters currently operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Under the proposed amendment, they would operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Under the proposal, the maximum hourly rate for metered long-term (four hours or more) parking would rise from $1 to $1.25 per hour. The maximum hourly rate for short-term parking would rise from $1.25 per hour to $1.50.
The proposed rate change will not apply to the 181 metered spaces in six areas of the County with very low occupancy that have rates of $0.50 or $0.75 per hour.
Why Arlington charges for parking
The County uses parking meters to encourage parking turnover and to manage curb space, particularly during times of greatest demand. The Parking Element of Arlington’s Master Transportation Plan calls for an optimal parking occupancy rate of 85 percent. The proposed rate increase is a tool that can help achieve this goal. In areas where short-term parking is needed, the rates can help encourage parking turnover and the use of off-street parking garages.
Rates were last raised in 2011. Since then, curbside management pressures and parking operating costs have increased, while Arlington’s parking meter rates have remained lower than other rates in the region. Existing rates in neighboring communities range from $1.25 per hour to $2 per hour.
County staff have reached out to the business community through the County’s Business Improvement Districts, Partnerships, AOBA (Apartment and Office Building Association) and the Chamber of Commerce. The general public were notified through the website and social media. The proposal has been discussed with the County’s Transportation Commission and a public meeting will follow on May 16. Those interested may submit comments or questions on the proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the proposed changes, visit the County website.