ALEXANDRIA, Va. (ABC7) — Fearing the impact of Metro’s summer shutdown of six stations, on Tuesday night the Alexandria City Council voted to slash the price of parking in city garages after hours and on weekends.
City leaders hope the vote will encourage people to use the city’s underutilized parking garages instead of driving around searching for street parking, which is often difficult to find.
The vote creates a $2 flat rate at most city garages and parking lots after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. The only exception will be the parking garage at the courthouse, which will have a $1 flat rate during those times.
The changes will begin May 24 and last until the last day of Metro’s shutdown on Sept. 8.
Previously, drivers had to pay $2.50 an hour with a $5 maximum after 5 p.m. weekdays and on weekends at most city garages and parking lots.
City leaders believe Metro’s plan to shut down six Blue and Yellow Line stations for the summer will lead more people to drive to Old Town. Two of the stations that will shut down, Braddock Road and King Street, both serve Old Town.
They hope the reduced rates at parking garages will encourage people to park in them instead of driving around looking for parking spaces, which can increase traffic and also take away what little street parking is available for residents at times.
Alexandria’s plan still does not go as far as places like Montgomery County and Crystal City, where garages are free on weekends and become free at various times in the evening on weekdays.