Hate parking? Arlington wants to make it easier 

Arlington County, Virginia, says it has been working on a pilot program aimed at improving the parking experience of its drivers.

Parking and Curb Space Management Team Planner Marietta Gelfort said the goal of the pilot program is to make more metered parking spaces available, which could help drivers spend less time looking for a spot and reduce mobile emissions.

Gelfort also shared recent countywide survey data that she said showed “excitement” and “a desire” to improve parking in the county.

“A key take-away, then, for us to consider moving forward in this project is that there is a general curiosity about making parking better,” Gelfort said in a fall project update. “There’s broad-based and robust interest in the project and its potential to make the parking experience easier and better.”

Parking data for this pilot was gathered by installing around 4,000 sensors around Arlington County’s metered parking spaces, according to the transportation department. That data, Gelfort said, also suggested that area drivers may need access to more curbside options.

“Many identified the need for more pickup drop off areas for a range of needs, including ride-sharing food pickup, and other quick parking needs,” Gelfort said.

One of the items Arlington County is working on is an app that shows available spots and their costs, according to Gelfort.

One-third of drivers in Clarendon and Ballston are not paying for their parking spots, according to county data first reported by Arlington Now. Low parking compliance, Gelfort said, is among those items that could drive up parking costs in the county.

The county said that, while the goal of the pilot program is not to pay more to park, drivers may still see a $1 increase in their parking costs.

Heather Gustafson

Heather Gustafson is a Freelance Anchor/Reporter for WTOP, a DMV native and an Emmy award-winning journalist lauded for her 2020 Black Lives Matter protests coverage.

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