(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) Arlington County is delaying the Residential Permit Parking online application process until next week due to “unexpected technical issues.”
“Despite testing in advance, our vendor’s Residential Permit Parking online application system is currently down to resolve these technical issues to our satisfaction,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien said this morning (Wednesday).
She added that the website is expected to relaunch the week of April 10, which is next Monday.
Annually, people who live in residential areas near commercial corridors pay for permits for street parking in Residential Permit Parking zones. The process typically begins in April and by July, the county begins issuing tickets to people parked in these zones without the new fiscal year’s permit.
The county changed its permitting system last year and had to delay the application window one month to finish making tweaks to the new software. Then, many residents experienced issues obtaining permits in time for enforcement in July, so, to account for late-summer travel, the county delayed ticketing until September.
In a March letter to RPP zone residents, alerting them to the forthcoming application window, the county thanked residents for their patience last year “as we worked through a tricky software transition.”
“We expect this season’s process to be smoother and look forward to serving you again,” said the letter, a copy of which was shared with ARLnow.
But resident David Remus immediately encountered problems when he accessed the system on Monday, the software’s launch day.
The system would not let him add any short-term visitor passes to the order, he told ARLnow. He noticed the system went down that afternoon, perhaps for attempted bug fixes. After it went back online, he said he could not apply for the number of permits he selected.
“When I tried to isolate one type of permit at a time, the system timed out after a few minutes, with an error message stating that the system is not online,” he said. “This is nothing but gross incompetence on the part of the county government.”
Resident Carol Burnett, meanwhile, logged on for the first time while the system was down Monday afternoon.
“Last year the Arlington County residential parking permit program was a mess with lost applications, late arrival of permits and general confusion. They had all sorts of excuses,” she said. “Looks like we’re in for another messy year this year.”
An anonymous tipster opined “It is SUCH a cluster. SUCH a cluster.”
The county processed more than 100 RPP applications on Monday before encountering problems and deciding to take the system offline, O’Brien said.
Residents can either wait for the online system to be re-opened or apply for a permit in-person at the county headquarters at 2100 Clarendon Blvd in Suite 214. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m., O’Brien said.
Residents who need support in the interim can email [email protected] or calling 703-228-3344.
“The seasonal application process will continue for the next several months and we will make sure everyone receives their permits and passes in a timely manner and with no issues involving FY 2024 enforcement, which begins in July,” O’Brien said.
Arlington County made several changes to the program two years ago, reducing available permits for households with driveways, raising fees for additional vehicles and visitor permits, while lowering prices for low-income residents. It also allowed residents in some multifamily buildings to join the program.
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