Ideas: Letters Submitted About RPP
The following letters may assist LV residents in voicing opposition to the proposed changes to the RPP.
The County is proposing changes to the Residential Permit Parking Program (Zone 6 for Lyon Village). The proposed changes will make the program less effective for Lyon Village and much harder to enforce. The proposed changes declare the current Purpose and Intent of the RPP to be “secondary benefits” and seek to substitute a primary purpose to “manage parking demand.”
Letters must submitted to the County Board no later than noon on the Wednesday before the Saturday Regular Meeting to be posted online with the agenda.
The proposed changes minimize the original Purpose and Intent of the RPP…
RPP Preambles Compared (PDF)
Dear Mr. Lantleme:
I have just become aware of proposed changes to the RPP program. Quite frankly, I am astounded by the proposal to encourage commuter and commercial parking in low-density residential areas close to high-density areas. It seems to go against everything that Arlington planning has claimed to support such as a “car free diet,” prioritized use of public transportation, bicycling, etc. Many a site plan lessened parking requirements for businesses and apartments with the assumption that public transportation would be used instead. As a community, we accepted that tradeoff, because our residential streets had the benefit of the RPP program. Now the aim appears to be to shift parking from commercial lots and streets to our residential neighborhoods. It is completely unjust to exempt businesses from providing parking and shift parking to residential streets instead.
I truly find it shocking that residential streets would be opened up for 2-hour metered parking. The proposal appears to effectively end the RPP program and do nothing more than allow residents to compete with 2-hour parkers for a spot at the reduced price of an annual permit. I doubt that we would be able to find a space under such circumstances as it is still difficult even with the restrictions.
I am also strongly opposed to limiting the number of permanent permits. Even though we as a family commute by Metro and put very few miles on our cars, we have multiple cars. Houses of our vintage in Lyon village often have driveways, but a double driveway is rare; having 2-3 cars is not rare. One has to park on the street. I am more than happy to pay 100% of the fee to prevent juggling of cars in an 8-foot-wide drive and avoid getting a parking ticket on my own street because only 1 vehicle-specific permit would be allowed. Especially when FlexPasses are so easily lost when changing cars. An increase in price is the only change I could support regarding the number/price of passes.
Additionally, we were able to get extended hours for restrictions, which I understand would no longer be permitted. Although it causes us a hardship when having visitors, it has been instrumental to our quality of life. Being next to a late-night bar scene means parking is sought well into the night. If 2-hour parking is allowed by anyone without a permit, finding close parking in the evening would most likely be impossible. And that doesn’t touch upon the secondary issues caused by bar patrons that led us to seek 24-hour restrictions.
I urge you to abandon these changes and go back to the drawing board. I urge Arlington to continue to encourage the use of public transportation, walking, biking, instead of turning our low-density neighborhoods into a parking lot for commuters and commercial businesses—especially when those businesses have been exempted from providing the full amount of parking that they otherwise would be required to have.
Dear Mr. Lantelme, Planning Commission Chair
As you consider the proposed revisions to the RPP I urge you to be a good neighbor too. Please also look at the Report as a neighborhood resident and a former LVCA president.
The proposed changes are full of subtile changes that will seriously degrade the benefits of the RPP. The RPP is not so much about parking as it is about our neighborhoods. Putting the review in the hands of the Parking Manager seriously skews the values embodied in the proposed revisions.
The RPP Report runs off the rails right at the start, with drastic changes the preamble of the Ordinance, “Purpose and Intent”. The review sweeps away all of the current purpose and intent of the RPP as “secondary” and substitutes “parking management.” This would be a serious policy change and such anti-neighborhood bias permeates the entirety of their analysis.
The proposed changes create numerous exceptions that make the ordinance effectively impossible to enforce. No one will know which exception applies to determine if a car is legally or illegally parked. Most of the exceptions are completely indeterminate by inspection of the vehicle. The Police Dept has already stated that the changes makes the Ordinance unenforceable. Yet the report sweeps this serious problem aside with claims of computer magic and does not even acknowledge the Police Dept’s determination.
The Report claims community outreach yet seeks to brush aside vigorous opposition from many neighborhood associations. I can not remember another case where the County has flatly refused to attend an LVCA meeting to explain their work. The community outreach has been nominal and inadequate for such serious changes.
The Report fails to consider alternatives that would not spill parking into the neighborhoods.
The Report fails to consider how changes will impact our many narrow streets that rely on space to pull over so two cars can safely pass.
The Report is deficient in many ways. The Report makes a number of sly assertions that should not be taken at face value. There are too many problems to list in this email.
In these strange economic times there is no pressing need to make changes now. Please consider that this faulty Report should be reviewed and revised by someone who is more familiar with our residential neighborhoods.
Thank you for your consideration,
Dear Planning Commission and County Board,
My main concerns with the proposed changes to the RPP Program are the enforcement of the two-hour parking and the parking by school staff around schools.
Currently, people frequently take a risk and park along my street without a permit. I’m sure in the future, many more people will take the risk of parking without paying or parking for longer than two hours. Now I can call the police and someone without a zone sticker can get a ticket. In the future, what will happen if I call the police? I’m assuming the police can somehow confirm if someone has paid and is still within their two-hour window. If the police can not do this, then how will they be able to enforce the two-hour parking?
As for school staff parking… Lyon Village worked with the Principal at the current Key School to decide on time-restricted street parking along Adams St and Key Blvd at the school to address parents blocking driveways, driving dangerously, ignoring Do Not Enter signs, etc., during pick-up and drop-off and to provide parking for parents who needed to be at the school during school hours.
I would want Lyon Village to work with the new school at the Key site to review the time-restricted parking along Adams St and Key Blvd, which could impact the location of where overflow staff could park. I would also want to identify the number of staff who would receive the newly proposed parking passes and help them find parking close to the school without overburdening particular streets or blocking elderly or handicapped neighbors from easy access to their homes.
Please accept these comments with regard to the proposed revisions for Arlington County’s Residential Parking Permit (RPP) Program.
As a resident of Lyon Village, my home is located one block off of Wilson Boulevard. On any given day, our residential block sees heavy traffic due to our proximity to Clarendon’s commercial area. While our home benefits from location and its quick access to shops, supermarkets and Metro, we are also burdened with the challenges of living in a high traffic area. Currently, and in spite of the pandemic, bars and restaurants on Wilson Boulevard continue to see a steady and hefty flow of patrons. During the day, customers visiting shops or restaurants find no-cost parking on our side streets. On many nights, revelers returning to their vehicles from the bars and restaurants awaken our households. On a regular basis, we wake up on Saturday and Sunday mornings to remove cans and bottles that are left behind on our curbs and directly on our properties from individuals in route to their parked vehicles. Like many Lyon Village residents, we deal with these challenges and disruptions because we love our neighbors and being a part of this special community.
This is why it is so important that some of the current measures like 8am-1am parking restrictions are upheld. The proposed RPP changes such as allowing two-hour parking without appropriate enforcement will increase vehicular traffic and congestion in our neighborhoods, turn residential blocks into parking havens for patrons and commuters and further burden the day-to-day living of residents. In addition, the proposed revisions have the potential to negatively impact our properties and the safety of our community. Undoubtedly, more traffic, more congestion and more late-night congregating will increase littering, noise and disorderly conduct in our residential neighborhoods.
As 5-year residents of Arlington County, we urge the Planning Commission to take no action on the proposed changes at this time. Thank you for your attention and consideration.
Please do not make the proposed changes to the Residential Parking Permit program in Arlington’s Zone 6. My sister and I grew up on Highland St across from Lyon Village park in the 1970s, when the area was so quiet you could sled down our hill and onto the street. It is wonderful to see the neighborhood grow and prosper, but not at the expense of quality of life.
The car traffic is formidable in Zone 6, especially around the shopping districts but also farther away. People zip across the side streets between Key and Wilson at dangerous speeds sometimes – hence the traffic circles and safety bumps. It is also very difficult to find parking near the Metro. It will only become more so after the pandemic, especially if the proposed RPP changes go through.
My family supports the Lyon Village Citizens’ Association stance on RPP changes.
Thank you for your time.