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New Parking Policy for Long Bridge Park

by ARLnow.com — April 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm 4,263 51 Comments

After catching heat from soccer parents, Arlington has revised its parking policy at Long Bridge Park near Crystal City.

“Effective immediately, parking at Long Bridge Park will be free on weekends and free after 5 p.m. on weekdays,” Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish said this afternoon, in an email.

The Arlington Soccer Association told the Arlington County Board last weekend that parents were “grumbling” about having to pay for parking while their kids played soccer on weekends, according to the Sun Gazette. Soccer referees were also reportedly threatening to stop working at the park due to having to continuously feed the parking meter during the day.

Under the new policy, weekday parking will still be metered, to prevent commuters from taking up spaces in the lot. Overnight parking will still be prohibited, Kalish said.

  • Good Grief

    Good job, Leslie Knope!

  • John Fontain

    Kudos to the county for being responsive and taking quick action. A+++.

  • eghads!

    God forbid they foot the bill for their own hobbies.

    • Sarah

      I’m sure you don’t know this, but every child or adult who plays soccer in Arlington already pays a “sports fee” to the County on top of the fees paid to play the season. There is no need to get more money form parking!

  • ronfrom22207

    Good decision! Free as it should be at the fields, just like it used to be.

  • SoccerParent

    Glad to see this happen.

  • http://www.11points.com/Books/11_Things_The_Bible_Bans,_But_You_Do_Anyway Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Arlington civil servants touched by His Noodly Appendage!

    • Pastafarian

      R-Amen, Brother!

  • South Awwlington

    What about at the Community Centers?

  • drax

    Parkisphere!

  • Ken

    How do they stay in power? Attending to the desires of special interests.

    Next one will be the folks who like goat cheese so much they want their back lawn turned into a pasture.

    • On my way to LBP

      Not a special interest in this case. This was the only only field where parking was charged. Also for refrees it was a huge hassle. They are there for 4 game shifts which is longer than the meters allowed them to pay for.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        So it’s OK to charge people parking for Softball games but not for Soccer?

        • Village Genius

          Zimmie’s pet’s constituents play soccer, not softball.

          You can bet your 401K account balance that the free parking will have to change once people start parking there all day for bike riding and non-soccer events. Be careful what you ask for.

          • AllenB

            His constituents play soccer, not softball? Care to explain or give any kind of proof?

          • Village Genius

            Once you understand who is the pet of Zimmie, you should be able to understand the comment. If not, I cannot help you.

          • AllenB

            Oh, trust me, I understand… I just wanted to see if you’d own up to your own racism. And you did, so bravo!

          • Village Genius

            Good grief! Sorry, but any thought that you do not like is not racism. Similarly, if a politician is a fool who follows his mentor like a sad puppy that thought is race neutral even if it harsh to the fool. Please recall that Zimmie tried hard to get a second pet on the Board, but luckily the people voting at the ‘firehouse’ caucus rejected that effort. Once again, race neutral.

            It is too bad that Allen B. really does not understand.

          • AllenB

            Thanks for your misplaced pity, but I understand perfectly. When you say his constituents like soccer not football, there’s racism in there. We know perfectly well what you are implying.

            Focus your pity inward, “Genius”.

          • drax

            It is not racism to simply note (falsely, but whatever) that a politicians favors a certain ethnic group. It’s not racist to use a sport to represent that group either.

            Simply talking about race isn’t racism.

            Village Genius is full of crap, but not racist.

          • AllenB

            Sorry, but to assume that because one’s constituents happen to include a large group of latino’s that they prefer soccer to softball is racist.

          • drax

            Latinos tend to prefer soccer over softball.

            Not the least bit racist. Just an observable fact, one that most Latinos would agree with. It might not be accurate, and it would be unfair to pick out a particular Latino and assume he/she prefers soccer, but racism? Don’t waste that word on this.

          • Josh S

            Drax, I’d be careful here before saying much more. In case you hadn’t noticed, the makeup of Major League Baseball has changed over the years and I’d venture a guess that 40% of MLB players are now of Latino decent. And the majority of those are actually from Latin America.

            Soccer may be played more often because all it requires is a ball and a large open area. Baseball has far greater equipment demands, not to mention a specially shaped field.

          • Flower Jane

            Walter Tejada has advocated for more soccer fields, soccer fields with synthetic turf, and even an all-weather domed soccer field. It does not appear that he advocates for softball in the same way. That does not make Tejada a racist or make a racist of people who think his ideas are misplaced.

            That is not racism poor AllenB — it’s just facts.

          • AllenB

            FJ – the VillageIdiot wasn’t talking about Tejada. He was talking about Zimmerman’s constituents. Take some reading comprehension classes and try to keep up.

          • Elmer

            In summary: A play of the race card is once again trumped by those pesky things called facts.

          • Grass or Turf

            Why on earth would ANY politician in Arlington advocate for softball? A lack of diamonds is hardly the critical need in this county.

            Anyone who has spent even a smidgeon of time in the parks can figure out that there is a severe need for more field space of the rectangular variety.

            And if you think it is because of one certain ethnic group or another, you are mistaken!

          • drax

            Grass or Turf, you’re right. Soccer is white as heck these days.

        • dk

          Can you provide more information? Where are people paying for parking to play softball? This is news to me.

      • South Awwlington

        even if LBP is the first of its type to charge for parking in the County, this is the wave of the future according to County staff. All parks and Community Centers will have parking — for a price. If this standard is ALREADY starting to fall, it seems that we will have to lift meter enforcement at all County facilities on Saturdays, right?

    • drax

      You’re right, Ken. We should have no parks or open space whatsoever, since only 95% or so of people ever use them.

  • Brian

    Wow, wish it was that easy to reverse the, literally, 1,000% increase to the weekend parking rate at the Ballston Common Mall Garage. I’m still furious over that, and it hasn’t even been implemented yet.

    • drax

      Adopted daily rates for Ballston Garage

      Up to 3 hours — $1.00
      Up to 4 hours — $3.00
      Up to 5 hours — $5.00
      Up to 6 hours — $6.00
      Up to 7 hours — $7.00
      Up to 8 hours — $8.00
      Maximum daily rate — $10.00

      Adopted monthly rates

      Five-day monthly — $105.00
      Seven-day monthly — $145.00

      Really? You’re upset about this?

  • yorktown parking

    I think they should make the parking around Yorktown High School free to. Why make Zone parking near a park and High School?

    • dk

      Because otherwise every over-privileged high school student attending Yorktown will drive 5 blocks to school and park there?

  • Elmer

    Now they’ve opened Pandora’s Box. Stay tuned to see the county board begin to squirm.

  • Hikin the pike

    Let’s just do away with all meters. If you park more than the permitted time, Advanced Towing gets to make the space available to others. Sounds perfect.

  • Weatherwatcher

    They should get rid of the paid parking on Quincy in front of W-L high school! Not enough parking available now for staff and students–cars with W-L parking hangtags should get to park there without charge.

    • dk

      Wait, what? The parking garage doesn’t provide enough parking for W-L staff? Please explain.

      The vast majority of students do not need to drive to school and thus do not need space to park. The county provides bus service or students may bike or walk.

  • John F

    Good! This is as it should be. When Long Bridge Park opened I thought it was a “good news/bad news” joke when I saw all the meters. Arlington county has gone wild with metering, especially the new “multi-space” meters. There’s not a square foot of Crystal City without them–including the new, smaller post office with no parking lot. While the old one on S. Eads had free parking, this one does not. Trust me, I found out the hard way this week ($35).

    • Crystal City

      Like you ever parked at the old one either – it had 5 spaces! :)

  • shoppers unite

    why should we shoppers pay for parking on weekends. there are more of us then there are soccer players. why are we paying for the privlage of grocery shopping or going to a movie. weekends should be free parking everywhere.

    • drax

      Part of the point of meters is to keep people from occupying a space all day, and get out and make room for more shoppers. That’s why some meters are 1 or 2 hours instead of, say, 10.

  • 1RLI

    I understand that it’s a hassle for soccer refs to continually feed the meter over the course of their games. I wonder if it isn’t an equal, or greater, hassle for shop attendants to continually feed the meter over the course of their work days.
    Working on a pure “equality across the board” point, does this mean that we can expect free parking after 5:00 PM and all day weekends in Clarendon?

  • parking question

    Why do I have to pay to park in Arlington County if I pay tax in Arlington County? Haven’t I already paid for the road and parks. Why can’t people who have Arlington County tax stickers on the cars park free in the county if they are up to date? Sounds fair to me otherwise call a meter what it is a TAX on people to park in the county.

    • drax

      Okay, it’s a tax on people to park in the county.

    • WeiQiang5

      Actually, you may have stumbled on to something. While the answer to your question about having already paid for roads and parks [and, I'm inferring, whatever it is the meter revenues go to] is ‘no’, I always thought this about my zone parking permit. Always thought, “It would be great if my County parking permit allowed me to park at meters anywhere in the County … ya’ know, since it’s a parking permit and all.”

      I wonder if the County thought of letting residents pay a surcharge for their zone permit that lets them park at a meter legally without feeding it.

    • Josh S

      You have to think about parking spaces as a good. Supply is limited. Demand is strong. In order to allow the most number of people to take advantage of this good, one must set a price for it that will encourage turnover. Free spots in Clarendon would be occupied for days if not weeks by cars owned by nearby residents.

  • WeiQiang

    Isn’t this already the rule at the meters in VA Highlands Park near the futbol field and on S. Joyce near the softball fields?

  • bemused bystander

    Apparently the decision just involves the meters in the parking lot at Long Bridge Park, not those on nearby streets. Charging on Saturdays in park lots might become countywide policy some day — but since that would involve putting in meters at the Barcroft garage and surface lots at Thomas Jefferson, Walter Reed, Bluemont, Central Library and so on, I’m not holding my breath.

  • Susan Kalish

    I’ve heard from some that my message wasn’t clear. The Long Bridge Park parking lot has free three-hour parking on weekends and evenings. But the meters on the street are not included in this. If in doubt, read the signage.

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