With construction set to begin on a commuter garage in just a few months, Fairfax County, Virginia, is signing agreements to temporarily move slug lines around in Springfield for the next few years.
Supervisors approved new agreements last week with Springfield United Methodist Church and Springfield Town Center for additional parking spaces and slug lines commuters will be able to use during several years of construction on what is now Old Keene Mill Park-and-Ride lot.
Slugging is quasi-formal carpooling with drivers benefiting from access to HOV lanes or free access to HOV or toll lanes, and riders benefiting from a free ride between commuter parking lots and designated locations such as the Pentagon, Rosslyn or specific spots in D.C.
Local governments support slugging, and provide bus service at many of the locations since it helps reduce traffic on the roads.
The new Springfield Community Business Center garage on the park-and-ride site carries a $63 million price tag and is scheduled to open by the end of 2022. Construction could start later this year.
Commuters in the county’s busiest area for slugging had been extremely concerned about whether and how the slug lines and bus services at the lot could continue during construction, which will close the 278-space Old Keene Mill lot.
The 300 additional spaces, plus eight slug line spaces, at Springfield Town Center will be in Parking Deck A, the Macy’s Parking Deck/Frontier Garage. The county will pay $2,464 per month, or $91,168 over the next three years. 500 other commuter parking spaces at the mall will continue under a separate lease.
The county has agreed to a $2,500 per month lease for slug line space at Springfield United Methodist Church, but no commuter parking spaces.
The county is paying $15,000 of the total upfront to help cover repaving costs. The church is right next to the existing Old Keene Mill Park-and-Ride. Though many riders are picked up on that side of the road in the morning, they are typically dropped off across the street at Springfield Plaza in the afternoon.
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