Boston Properties backs down in Reston
I wrote about the issue of Boston Properties, the large developer which owns Reston Town Center, implementing charging for parking. They argued that people using the Metrorail after the Silver Line opened were "parking for free all day, using up the spaces," and the necessary response was charging for parking.
I made the point that even though the development is privately owned, people think of it as a "town center" with public space aspects, and therefore Boston Properties needed to employ "public planning processes" to best address the matter ("Reston Town Center parking issue as a "planning failure" by the private sector").
They didn't, and poorly implemented their parking program besides, making a bad situation worse.
The Washington Business Journal reports ("Boston Properties budges on paid parking at Reston Town Center") that Boston Properties announced they won't be charging for parking at night- and on weekends--reversing the current practice--and that the first hour of parking during the week will be free.
Wouldn't it have been a lot easier to have worked all this out through a very robust public planning process?
Photo by Don Renner. Also see "Organizers say Town Center parking protest was a 'huge success,'" Reston Now.
That would have created goodwill instead of badwill, and they would have gotten clearer signals that regardless of their long term desire to make money off parking, the competitive situation and people's expectations are such that they can only institute paid parking where there is a clear need for that form of market signal to shape desired outcomes.
Dan Malouff of BeyondDC produced a photo illustration to demonstrate how much parking there is available at Reston Town Center.
Labels: car culture and automobility, civic engagement, land use planning, parking and curbspace management, suburban revitalization, sustainable mobility platform, transportation planning, urban design/placemaking