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Pre-Thanksgiving Parking Woes at Clarendon Whole Foods

by ARLnow.com November 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm 2,544 22 Comments

Despite worries about long lines and delays, catching a flight at Reagan National Airport was a relative breeze this morning. Parking at the Clarendon Whole Foods, on the other hand, is a disaster zone.

The heavy volume of shoppers stocking up for Thanksgiving dinner is overwhelming the five (count ’em) neon-vested parking attendants who are currently working the lot.

  • pollosmoky

    Made a point of going to the Rt. 7 location just to avoid the nightmare traffic in Clarendon [lots of spaces there!].

    • Maria

      They had parking attendants at the route 7 one yesterday afternoon. It seemed unnecessary, but it was only 4pm or so, and I guess they know from experience?

  • DudeGuy


    I am going to take the back-roads to get to the gym today.

  • MikeyinCrystalC

    When is it not crazy there? Yay for procrastination!

  • SoCo Resident

    Why doesn’t the County eliminate the two parking street spaces immediately before the Clarendon Blvd entrance so that the backedup Whole Foods traffic isn’t out in the middle of the boulevard! Not that difficult.

  • creative

    The Clarendon WF lot (and consequently Clarendon Blvd at N Edgewood) is a nightmare 7 days a week, regardless of whether or not there’s a holiday approaching. I would never go to that store if I couldn’t walk there.

  • AC teacher

    Wait…doesn’t everyone get there by taking the Orange Line? 😀

    • MikeyinCrystalC

      ^ He/she will be here all night! haha

      • AC teacher

        I only do 2 shows a night….stage is dark on Mondays.

  • D R

    What I don’t get is 1) free parking is less than 50′ away-across the street in the garage and 2) why do the Police let traffic become so snarled that it effectively reduces the roadway to one lane-all due to people just sitting in line to turn into WF’s lot?

  • JennX

    I got there around 4:30 and was guided into a spot in under 2 minutes. I also walked right up to an available cashier 30 min later. I was pleasantly surprised at how un-chaotic the whole operation was. Busier than your average day, sure, but not at all the nightmare you suggest.

  • justSayin

    why do people have to sit on the center white line to turn left anyway? ever drive in NYC? get as far left as possible while you are waiting to turn in. then the other two lanes can still squeeze by. of course, everyone around here thinks they need 15 feet of width to get their 5 foot wide smart car through.

    • V Dizzle

      Defensive driving. If you leave 1/2 a lane open, some dummy will speed by and side-swipe you. better to either get all the way over (which you can’t due to the line and parking spaces on the street) or block it completely.

  • SoCo Resident

    I hope that WF Parking Sign in the pic is not affixed to a tree!

  • There’s a rather large empty lot between the PNC bank and WF. Would make sense to turn into some extra parking…or something better than what it is now.
    As mentioned, eliminating those two street spots would make things better…

  • NorthAdams

    yes, the sign is nailed to a tree. Whole Foods has a long history of being crunchy granola environmental concerned — when it pleases them. Ask all those lobsters who were sold LIVE only to be KILLED by boiling to death.

    as for the parking on Clarendon Blvd., — why should two spaces be removed? It would be better to flag the cars to move to the other lot. Or ticket them for blocking traffic — ooooohh we wouldn’t want to do that? or would we?

    Route 7 WF is so much calmer and honestly, is generally absent the self-absorbed yuppy-wanna-be of the R-B Corridor. Of course it also has the Honey Baked Ham store next door, which is, um, just frightening around this time of the year. People, it is JUST A HAM — DEAD PIG.

    I see as many people taking the Subway to WF as I do carrying Gypsum Board from the Home Depot that isn’t there. I DO see (and I do it) people taking the bus. I guess it is cool to ride a bus if you are going shopping. But not on Columbia Pike.

    I shall now go back into my cave.

    • SoCo Resident

      Very sorry that WF nailed a sign to an urban tree. Bad WF.
      I didn’t think they sold live lobsters, not since 2006. Except in Maine, due to pressure there.
      Either WF or the County needs to do something about the backups on Clarendon, often a dangerous situation. I firmly believe that Wilson and Clarendon should go back to being two-way slower, neighborhood streets instead of one-way speedways.
      Sometimes feel only I walk (3/4 mile) to WF, or sometimes bike with bags. Wonder what could be done to encourage walking, bicycling to there? Those are very pricey parking spots per-square-foot. How about 5% off if you walk there?
      But, complete absence of Arlington Police from this habitual traffic spot.

      • NorthAdams

        There are some self-educated transportation people who think two-waying Wilson and Clarendon is a good idea. The problem is that you would LOOSE most of the on-street parking to make this happen — think turn lanes, site lines, etc. Not worth the price.

        • SoCo Resident

          “LOOSE most of the on-street parking”, says NorthAdams, apparently now a very educated transportation expert. “Most of” as in the majority of? Sure NorthAdams! I remember when both Wilson and Clarendon were two-way and they were calm, neighborhood friendly. One-way is only for speed and commuting; it shows.

          Returning one-way streets to two-way is major urban trend. SLOW DOWN.

          • NorthAdams

            SOCO — I remember when Clarendon Blvd. did NOT exist west of Highland. I’m fairly certain I can beat you out on the “… I remember when…”

            But here is a how it was as it relates to on-street parking when Wilson was 2-way:
            Wilson Blvd — NO parking from Whitlows to Edgewood — 20-30 spaces:
            Wilson Blvd — Public SHoe Store block and Clarendon ballroom Blcok — no parking during RUsh Hour.

            Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd. (Fairfax Drive) had very little on-street parking when they were two-way streets. Not only was there not enough room for four lanes of traffic and a parking lane, it was a time when the County expected business to provide all their parking (as opposed to our current plan to share the resource.)
            here is what it looked like in 1982 — no on-street parking in most blocks!!

      • AllenB

        I have no idea what you’re talking about – PLENTY of people walk to WF. I do all the time and there are plenty of people leaving the store and walking past the parking lot and continuing on foot.

  • CG

    I’m with DR. There’s free 2-hour parking in the garage at Market Commons across the street. Able-bodied people should park there. Whole Foods and / or the police should wave off people blocking Clarendon Blvd. waiting to get in. Whole Foods is a poor neighbor in this regard. Long-standing pet peeve of mine on this issue.


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