Alexandria, VA

Alexandria’s street parking could be in for an overhaul at an upcoming City Council meeting.

The City Council is scheduled to discuss a series of changes to permit parking districts in Alexandria that would allow for greater flexibility of time restrictions. The move is part of a trend in the city of making underutilized parking spaces more accessible.

Amendments to the city’s parking restrictions include scaling back the time restrictions that aim to keep parking spaces from being occupied by commuters. Currently, parking restrictions in Alexandria end at 9 p.m. in areas that experience commuter parking, but under the new rules, those restrictions would end at 5 p.m.

Conversely, in areas with a high volume of visitors for shops and dining, parking restrictions may not end until 11 p.m.

The changes would also set up a process for creating new residential parking permit districts near transit or in areas with documented parking issues.

Under earlier language, only building owners could be involved with signing up for a residential parking permit. In the new system, at least 50 percent of occupants of residential properties abutting each block of a residential district must sign on to a petition to add residential parking. Approvals could also be approved by the Traffic and Parking Board rather than requiring City Council approval.

The issue came up at a recent Potomac Yard Working Group meeting. Mayor Justin Wilson spoke with local residents about some of the challenges involved in setting up a residential parking district, like the difficulty in relying on building occupants to respond to a request to sign a petition.

The issue has also been a topic of debate in Arlington, where questions over the future of the residential parking permit program have, in some cases, pitted apartment dwellers against homeowners.

Photo (top) via Google Maps, (bottom) via City of Alexandria

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