How Much Would You Pay for Parking in Clarendon?
The Arlington Sun Gazette's Scott McCaffrey recently took aim at a proposal to charge for parking after 6pm and on weekends in the Arlington County garage in Clarendon at 3033 Wilson Blvd (entrance on Highland Street):
THUMBS DOWN: To one of the dumber proposals being considered by county officials to help solve their budget shortfall.There are certainly drawbacks to the proposal. But considering these fees would be on the low end of current parking fees in Clarendon, Scott's rhetoric is a little over the top. Would any husband really turn to his wife and say, "Honey, I was going to take you to Restaurant 3 for our anniversary tonight, but it's $3 for parking now, so we're having Hungry Man TV dinners instead. Hope you like salisbury steak."
Board members this weekend will be asked to advertise for public hearing a proposal to start charging residents $3 to park on nights and weekends at the Department of Human Services garage on Wilson Boulevard. Parking is now free, and keeping it that way will encourage patronage of Clarendon venues as well as keep vehicles off neighborhood streets.
This proposal is a nickel-and-dime approach to governance that is beneath Arlington’s leaders to propose, let alone enact. County Board members can make quick work of this wrongheaded proposal by simply refusing to advertise it for a hearing.
The current subsidized free parking also incentivizes driving over Metro, biking or walking. Why make the effort and pay at least $1.35 to Metro to Clarendon when parking's plentiful and free?
What do you think? Would a $3 fee be a reasonable considering the county's $35 million budget gap? Or is it a "nickel-and-dime approach," as Scott suggests, and the deficit could be better made up through general tax increases?