Signs at waterfront Green P lots can fool drivers into paying for free parking
A sign on one of the “Green P” lots at the Rosslyn waterfront signals that the surface lot is free of charge, but when drivers drive onto the lot, an electronic sign directs them to pay $1 for a $1 day rate.
The expensive signage turns what had been a free lot into a premium lot, with the possibility of $40 to $60 worth of fees per trip, said Justin Stone, an attorney representing the group that represents Rosslyn’s property owners. The parking meters and signs are coming down and another sign will go up directing drivers to one of three valet options: cash or check, electronic or cash.
Rosslyn resident and attorney Aaron Tuchman filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of the property owners and their tenants, asking for an injunction to prevent the signs from being erected as of Aug. 26.
In a court filing Friday, Arlington Circuit Court Judge John Kastrenakes denied the request for an injunction, finding the plaintiffs failed to show that the signs could have significant adverse economic consequences for the property owners.
Stone said he plans to appeal the decision.
The signs came down earlier this week after court hearings in the case.
When drivers drive onto the “Green P” lots, they would pay $1 if they took the electronic sign and $1 if they parked on the pavement.
After each trip, the electronic sign would tell the driver where and how long they left the car, giving them information about what fees to expect and an estimated wait time. The sign also showed the number of vehicles that had already paid and showed the time remaining on the meter.
Stone said the signs may help boost revenue and cut down on crime at the lot, but it’s the amount of money drivers will pay that worries him.
Most of the parking meters in Rosslyn are free, so the pricier lot will require cars to carry cash or a driver can pay by card.
“As convenient as a cash payment might be, there’s the great danger of it being stolen,” Stone said. “If it were plopped in the dashboard or refrigerator or somewhere as an automated payment, I don’t think it would be a big deal. There’s no choice to be made at all.”
For more than a year, Stone has been trying to persuade the property owners to install the valet signs. Stone said he approached the Waterfront Partnership of Arlington twice to include them as part of a wider renter agreement that the group signed in 2016.
However, Stone said the firms never agreed to such a strategy. Waterfront Partnership officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.