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Neighbors still fighting narrow streets parking rules

March 1, 2011 - 11:35 AM
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Narrow Street
A photo from the Arlington Fire Department's test of North Edgewood Street. (Courtesty of Arlington County.)

North Edgewood Street residents aren't looking forward to losing almost half of their street parking. After going back and forth with Arlington County during the past several months, they thought they had reached a compromise that would keep that from happening.

But it looks like that may have been too good to be true. The Lyon Park Civic Association wrote to the County Board this week to delay action on the parking restrictions until the two sides can negotiate further, ARLNow reports.

And the latest proposal from the county would reduce parking on the street by 44 percent, according to Edgewood Street resident Ron Salazar. Neighbors have been fighting a county plan to restrict parking to just one side of the street since late last year, when a complaint prompted the Arlington County Fire Marshal to look at the street and determine that it's too narrow for emergency vehicles to pass.

After the county's initial proposal, residents proposed an alternative scheme that would have alternated the restriction on different sides of the street in different sections. The county seemed amenable to that plan when we spoke to staffers last month. But a revised plan that came back last month tweaked the residents' parking outline, and neighbors say would reduce parking on the street by roughly 44 percent.

"We were all shocked and saddened, because the county seemed to take our proposal, and from our perspective, applied every potential county parking code that could be applied as far as traffic goes," Salazar says.

The neighbors went out and measured the street, and estimate that there are about 45 "legit" parking spots there, according to Salazar. Their proposal would have reduced it by 10. The county's latest proposal would reduce it by almost 20, he adds.

"There wre some pretty draconian additional measures on top," says Salazar.

Neighbors are still hoping to sit down with the county and work something out. Wayne Wentz, the county's transportation engineering chief, says implementation of a new parking scheme on the street had been delayed since before the civic association sent its letter to the county board.

"We had already delayed implementation to refine the design before the Board received the letter from the civic association," Wentz says in an email. "We were working directly with residents on the block and trying to resolve conflicting requests. We are trying to minimize the loss of parking on the block."

The civic association is asking the Arlington County Board to analyze the overall narrow streets policy before making parking changes on any more of the county's streets.


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