Keep an eye on the meter if you’re parking on the street in Arlington today — some changes to county meters just took effect.
You’ll now need to feed the meter from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, a two-hour extension of the old meter timeframe.
Prices are also jumping up a bit. Rates at meters set aside for short-term parking, or any parking less than four hours, is going up a quarter to $1.75 per hour. Any parking for more than four hours will now run you $1.50 per hour, up from $1.25.
Parking ticket fines will also rise a bit, jumping from $35 to $40 per offense.
The County Board signed off on these changes as part of its budget for fiscal year 2019, which meant they officially took effect yesterday (July 1), even though meters don’t run on Sundays.
In all, the county hopes to raise an additional $4 million each year through these changes, in order to help offset some of the financial pressure Arlington is feeling at the moment. County staff also envision these tweaks bringing the county a bit more in line with the higher parking prices of neighboring jurisdictions, as well as increasing parking turnover in high-demand corridors.
This change marks the first increase in Arlington’s parking meter fees since 2015.
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Chamber Wants Extended Parking Meter Hours Paused — “Leadership of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce wants the county government to hit the brakes on a proposal to increase parking-meter fees and extend the hours meters must be fed. In a letter to County Board Chairman Katie Cristol, Arlington Chamber president Kate Bates said the government failed to do proper outreach before proposing the alterations to existing policy.” [InsideNova]
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Photo by Anna Merod
The county manager’s proposed 2019 budget includes new parking meter rate hikes.
Short term parking, defined as less than four hours, would go up a quarter to $1.75 per hour. Long term parking, more than four hours, would also go up a quarter to $1.50 per hour.
Currently, drivers only have to feed the meter in Arlington between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Under the proposed budget, the times would change to 8 a.m.-8 p.m., or an additional two hours of metering for a total of 12 hours a day, six days a week.
The increase would add about $3.775 million per year to the county’s coffers, with $1.575 million in anticipated revenue from the rate increase alone and an additional $2.2 million for the hours extension.
In a budget document, county staff note that the increase would “encourage more frequent turnover in parking space during hours of greatest demand” and would be “more consistent with other rates and hours in the region.” It would also, of course, raise revenue at a time when the county is facing a significant budget gap.
The proposal comes less than three years after the County Board approved parking meter rate increases, which raised rates a quarter across the board. In 2011, a rate hike brought the long-term parking cost per hour up to $1.
Parking ticket fines will also rise, from $35 to $40 per offense, leading to just over $236,000 in revenue per year.
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Reminder: No Parking Meter Enforcement Today — Parking meters in Arlington will not be enforced today, due to the Veterans Day observation, but meters will be enforced tomorrow. [ARLnow]
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Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
If you’re shopping or dining in Shirlington and are lucky enough to get a street parking spot along Campbell Avenue, you’ll now have to pay.
Parking meters were installed along Campbell Avenue over the weekend.
“The goal is to improve traffic flow, discourage abuse by long-term parkers, improve space availability/turnover, and enhance the utilization of free off-street parking garages,” explained Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
“The County conducted a parking study of the area last year following concerns raised by… [Village at Shirlington] owner Federal Realty Investment Trust and other stakeholders,” said Baxter. “The study found that there was considerable abuse of long-term parkers exceeding the posted time restrictions. It was determined that the best way to manage the right-of-way is through the expansion of our existing curbside metered program that is currently in place on S. Quincy Street, S. Randolph Street and Arlington Mill.”
Baxter said the county “worked closely” with FRIT to notify tenants of the changes prior to the parking meter installation.
Arlington County courts, libraries, public schools and other government offices will be closed for the holiday, and metered parking will not be enforced, the county said. Arlington Transit will operate on a holiday schedule.
Trash and recycling services, meanwhile, will operate on a normal schedule.
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(Updated at 10:50 p.m.) Street parking in Arlington will now cost an extra quarter.
Rates for short-term, two hour parking are now $1.50 per hour, up from $1.25. Four hour, or long-term, parking rates are $1.25 per hour, instead of $1.
The increase does not apply to meters with reduced rates of 50-75 cents per hour. Areas with lower parking demand, such as near Virginia Hospital Center, were also not affected by the change, said county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
All digital, multi-space parking meters have been switched to the new rates, Baxter said. Parkmobile, a mobile app that allows users to pay for meters through their phones, has also been updated to reflect the new prices.
Older, mechanical parking meters for individual space will most likely reflect the changes by the end of the week, Baxter said.
“County staff is working diligently to convert the older mechanical meters (this requires a manual effort where staff physically reprograms each individual meter to the new rates),” she said in an email.
The 25 cents increase is predicted to bring in $1 million in revenue per year, but was prompted by higher demand for street parking, according to a county press release from May.
“Raising the rates to levels closer to the rates charged in nearby parking garages and closer to those of the rest of the region will help level the playing field ensuring that businesses that need short-term parking spaces on the street for their customers are more likely to have them available,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a May statement.
The County Board is also expected to discuss a proposal to extend the hours that paid parking is enforced by two hours. If approved, people will have to pay to park until 8 p.m. instead of 6 p.m.
The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a 25 cent-per-hour rise in metered parking rates. The rate increase is expected to be implemented in September and bring in nearly $1 million per year in extra revenue.
(The increase won’t apply to some reduced-rate meters, currently priced between $0.50-0.75 an hour.)
The Board unanimously approved the rate increase and also voted unanimously to delay action on a proposed extension of metered parking hours from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A public hearing on parking hours is now planned for September.
In a press release (after the jump), the county said that the rate increase is being being made due to increased parking demand. The higher rate will help ensure “that businesses that need short-term parking spaces on the street for their customers are more likely to have them available,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes.
If the County Board votes in favor of the motion, meter rates will go from $1.25 to $1.50 an hour, while hours will be extended from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. County transportation staff estimates the measures would generate an additional $1.6 million in combined revenue in FY 2016.
The changes would go into effect on Sept. 7, 2015.
“County fees are intended to recover the costs of the respective programs,” staff report reads. “The proposed increase in parking meter rates and the proposed extension of hours will cover more of the costs for providing, administering, and maintaining curb-side metered parking spaces than is presently the case, thereby reducing the subsidy currently being provided by General Fund revenues.”
The 181 metered spaces in the county that currently cost 50 or 75 cents an hour would not be affected by the change. Raising the rates, according to the staff report, would bring Arlington more in line with the rest of the region. The District charges $2 an hour in most locations, Alexandria charges $1.75 an hour in most spaces and Bethesda charges $2 for on-street parking, $1.25 for public lots.
If the County Board elects to extend the hours of meters and keep rates flat, it would still provide the county an extra $550,000 in revenue in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.