Many drivers have circled around blocks in Arlington, looking for a quick parking spot to slide into and pick up a mobile food order.
Or they may have skirted around a car double parked in a bike or vehicle travel lane, hazards flashing, rather than waiting for a spot to appear.
During the pandemic, the county created temporary “pick-up, drop-off spots.” Coming out of the emergency, most of these spots were converted to short-term parking spaces, with input from business improvement districts and neighborhood stakeholders, Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien tells ARLnow.
Still, food deliveries and contactless ordering options are likely here to stay. Some businesses that are now more reliant on takeout and delivery are concerned they’ll soon lose revenue as curbside parking spots are repurposed for, among other uses, protected bike lanes.
The county says one solution could be adjusting parking times, armed with data that will be collected through new parking pilot program.
Brooklyn Bagel Bakery in Courthouse (2055 Wilson Blvd), for instance, says it has lost four spots to a bike lane that developer Greystar agreed to install during construction for the “Landmark” block redevelopment project across the street.
(There is also a small private parking lot behind the retail strip.)
Speaking on behalf of Brooklyn Bagel — as well as neighboring businesses Courthouse Kabob, California Tortilla and TNR Cafe — Dawn Houdaigui asked the Board on Jan. 21 for a compromise.
“We believe in the protected bike lanes that have already gone in, that are blocking our spaces now, but we need to understand how we can share the space in front of us and how things can be reconsidered,” she said during the public comment period. “This is super important to the businesses who changed our business model after Covid. We have a lot of deliveries, we have people who come run in out front.”
She asked for more notice of proposed changes as well as notice when spots will be lost.
“A letter went out — supposedly it was hand-delivered by someone having lunch at our bagel store — and supposedly an email went out the same day,” she said. “We missed the meeting. Only one person from the businesses were there.”
County Board Chair Christian Dorsey and County Manager Mark Schwartz referred her to the county’s ombudsman and constituent services.
In general, the county is looking into the twin issues of temporary parking and combatting double-parking both systematically and on a case-by-case basis, O’Brien said.
As for specific cases, like Brooklyn Bagel’s, the county follows a six-step public engagement process for projects that impact neighbors, businesses and property owners.
“This typically includes mailing a letter to neighbors, businesses, and other impacted stakeholders, hosting a public meeting, providing opportunities for public engagement (e.g., survey, public hearings), publishing a project website and communicating updates via letter or email with stakeholders throughout key milestones of the project,” she said. “Staff may also go door-to-door to inform businesses, property owners and/or property managers, depending on the project location and impact.”
Developers are not required to provide temporary parking spots as part of their projects, but county staffers do work with them to figure out how best to use available curb space while reviewing current use patterns to see if short-term parking would be beneficial.
Houdaigui’s comments stuck with County Board member Katie Cristol. Later, during a discussion of a redevelopment project in Crystal City, she asked JBG Smith about where pick-up and drop off activity would go once bike lanes are installed. JBG Smith said it aims to redirect this activity to an alley it plans to build.
One solution could come from a parking pilot program that kicked off this month. Some 4,500 spaces in the Rosslyn-Ballston and Crystal City-Pentagon City corridors are now variable rate, meaning people pay for the length of time they park in that spot.
Short term, this will help the county understand where parking is available and influence demand for metered spots, O’Brien said. Eventually, data could inform how staff decide to carve out short-term spots in the future.
As for enforcing illegal parking, that falls to the Arlington County Police Department’s Public Service Aide Unit, which addresses parking violations and hazards.
“Community members can report an in-progress parking violation for investigation by calling the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency,” O’Brien said. “Ongoing transportation safety concerns can be reported to the police department by using the Ongoing Transportation Safety Issue Form.”
Good Tuesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
James Yoo, 56, is presumed dead as a result of the explosion of the duplex at 844 N. Burlington Street, in the Bluemont neighborhood, Arlington County police confirmed during a news conference this afternoon.
A land-use study teeing up an affordable housing redevelopment project in Aurora Highlands has generated significant interest as it nears completion.
Booeymonger in Ballston will be replaced by a new full-service Nepalese restaurant this spring, according to the incoming tenant.
About Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT): Latinas Leading Tomorrow is a dynamic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young Latina women through education, mentorship, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a community of future leaders who will make a significant impact to the community.
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Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to