Live More, Commute LessLive More, Commute Less

Oct
24

The Facts on Parking at Reston Town Center

parkrtc-logoConsistent with Reston Town Center’s original long-term plan for the community, the property will transition from free to paid parking on January 1, 2017. Here’s everything you need to know so you’re prepared for the change.

Why paid parking?

All of the Reston garages have seen a continued increase in use over the past five years. In early 2014, Boston Properties began to collect real time data in order to better understand the use and occupancy patterns of the various garages. In 2016, the decision was made to implement a nominal hourly fee to provide more patrons convenient parking access to RTC’s world-class amenities, while offering free parking on weekends, holidays and signature event dates, as well as to retail employees.

How will it work?

Supported by Passport (www.passportinc.com), the largest provider of mobile payment software for parking in North America, customers will be able to download the free ParkRTC parking app and pay for street or garage parking using their mobile devices. Patrons can find parking more quickly using enhanced wayfinding and parking guidance systems, pay for parking from the comfort of their own vehicles, extend parking time without having to run to an expiring meter, view and print receipts online and take advantages of discounts and validations from participating retailers and businesses.

Patrons who choose not to download the app can use one of four garage pay stations or call 571.485.7790 to pay for parking by entering their zone, vehicle information, length of stay and preferred payment method (credit or debit card).

What is LiveSafe?

As part of Reston Town Center’s ongoing commitment to provide a safe place to live, work and shop, the LiveSafe mobile application for Reston Town Center was fully activated on October 1, allowing all guests to send and receive critical real-time safety and security information directly to onsite safety and security personnel. LiveSafe (www.livesafe.com) allows guests to request help and report maintenance issues or suspicious activity and also provides for instant communication in the event of an emergent situation such as severe weather warnings or a security breach.

Nearly 10,000 people have already downloaded the ParkRTC app. Beginning October 1, anyone who downloads the app will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 gift card that can be used anywhere at Reston Town Center.  For more information about ParkRTC, visit www.restontowncenter.com/parking.

Oct
24

White House Endorses Transit Oriented Development

In a policy paper release on September 26th, the Obama Administration demonstrated its support for policies that support transit oriented development, and in particular, the need to reduce parking requirements in urban areas. The paper also supports urban policies such as increasing densities and encouraging local governments to tax vacant lands at higher rates to promote redevelopment.

For advocates of transit oriented development and supporters of vibrant urban living, the policy paper is music to street-parkingtheir ears.  The report notes that “Parking requirements generally impose an undue burden on housing development, particularly for transit-oriented or affordable housing.”  When transit-oriented developments are intended to help reduce automobile dependence, parking requirements can undermine that goal by inducing new residents to drive, thereby counteracting city goals for increased use of public transit, walking
and biking.”

Parking, or reducing minimum parking requirements, has fostered debates for decades.  During the 1970s, 80s and 90s, many local government zoning policies were actually increasing their minimum parking space requirements.  The auto centric suburbs, where car ownership was ballooning, seemed to be driving parking policies in the more urban areas.  In urban areas, the requirement to provide more parking drove up construction costs, and thus put a strain on affordable housing.

Urban and transit oriented development advocates have long argued the need to reduce parking to reduce the dependence on driving.  Many urban areas, like Washington, DC, have already adopted similar policies.  The overall impact that such a policy paper has on local governments isn’t always direct, but such a policy stance by an administration can drive how government programs operate, prioritize and funds grant programs and projects.

Stay tuned.

Oct
24

The Ever Changing Nature of Commuting in DC Region

CarpoolBAs noted previously in this publication, commuters in the Washington, DC region are a savvy, resilient lot.  Through thick and thin the region’s commuters seem to adapt to the changing nature of our transportation choices – both good and bad.  On September 21 the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Commuter Connections staff briefed the Transportation Planning Board about the results of its 2016 State of the Commute Survey.

The survey, conducted every 3 years, examines commuting behaviors such as teleworking and taking public transit, the average length of a commute in the region, and commuters’ attitudes toward commuting modes. According to the survey, here are the four main ways that commuting in the D.C. region has changed since the last report in 2013:

Commuters are driving alone less. The share of commuters who drive alone dropped from 65.8 percent in 2013 to 61 percent in 2016.

More commuters are teleworking and taking public transit. In 2016, 32 percent of commuters reported working remotely or from home at least occasionally, which is up from 27 percent in 2013. About 20 percent of commuters reported taking a train or bus to get to work, up from about 17 percent three years ago.

Average commutes are longer. In 2016, the average one-way commute distance is 17.3 miles and the average one-way commute time is 39 minutes. In 2013, the average one-way commute distance was 16 miles and the average one-way commute time was 36 minutes.

Metrorail riders are less satisfied with their commutes and bicyclists and walkers are more satisfied with their commutes.
Metrorail riders had the lowest satisfaction of any travel mode, with a 48 percent satisfaction rate in 2016, which is down from 67 percent three years ago. People who walk or bike were the most satisfied with their commutes with a satisfaction rate of 97 percent in 2016, growing from 93
percent in 2013.

These four trends just represent the cusp of information collected during the survey process.

To  learn more about the survey or Commuter Connections, contact Laura Ambrosio at
lambrosio@mwcog.org, or (202) 962-3278.

Oct
24

METRO SafeTrack Update for November and December 2016

Two significant disruptions of METRO service will occur in November and December along the Red and Orange Lines (impacts on Silver Line as well).  Maintenance schedules can change; it is advisable to check the WMATA website at http://www.wmata.com/rail/safetrack.cfm.

Red Line: October 29 through November 22, 2016.

SafeTrack Surge #10: Fort Totten to NoMaTrain Naylor Road Fall 110609-24 WMATA Photo by Larry Levine 11-06-24

  • Line segment shutdown between NoMa & Fort Totten from October 29 through November 22, 2016.
  • Red Line trains will run in two segments: Shady Grove to NoMa every 6 minutes and Glenmont to Fort Totten every 10 minutes
  • Two stations will be closed: Brookland-CUA and Rhode Island Ave
  • Shuttle buses will replace trains between NoMa and Fort Totten
  • Expect crowding on all trains due to less frequent Red Line service
  • Green Line provides alternate path for travel between Fort Totten and Gallery Place
  • Red Line customers should consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush-hour periods if possible; expect trains to be extremely crowded

Orange Line: November 28 through December 21, 2016.

SafeTrack Surge #11: East Falls Church to West Falls Church

  • Orange Line trains will continuously single track between West Falls Church and East Falls Church from November 28 through December 21, 2016.
  • Orange Line trains will run every 16 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton
  • Additional Orange Line trains will run from East Falls Church to New Carrollton
  • Silver Line trains will run every 16 minutes
  • Expect crowding on Orange/Silver line trains
  • Orange/Silver customers should consider alternate travel options and travel outside of rush-hour periods if possible
Sep
19

Join Us for the Live More Block Party!

Join us this Tuesday, September 20 for the “party with purpose,” 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Reston Town Center!

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