Silver Line has little parking in Tysons

MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA 9) -- We may soon have a date for when the Silver Line will open, but some people are just learning that taking the Silver Line may be a problem if you want to park your car.

"Poor planning," said Mary Facella, a soon-to-be Silver Line rider, in response to the fact that only one of the four stations through Tyson's has parking. There are 711 parking spaces adjacent to the McLean station along Route 123. The three stations in the busy shopping district have no parking.

"Most people who use Metro would want a parking lot like they have for Ballston and Crystal City," said Facella.

Indeed, most if not all stations in Virginia and Maryland have parking lots or garages. To take the Silver Line, most riders will either have to be dropped off or take a bus.

Here's the explanation for why that is from a Metro Silver Line Conference call: "The plan was to discourage people from driving."

Dranesville Supervisor John Foust saw the problem coming.

"The decision was made a long time ago. They didn't want to attract cars into Tysons, and someone thought a way to do that was to ensure that there was no parking ... that's a serious problem," said Foust.

Metro riders cannot plan on parking at Tyson's Corner Mall either. Access-only gates will be going up at every garage opening. They'll be closed when the mall is closed and only employees will be allowed in with access cards. During mall hours, the gates will be open, but who is parking in the lots will be monitored, said mall spokesman Cory Scott.

Foust said supervisors are working with other developers to include excess parking capacity. Foust says that many of the buildings around Tysons have extra parking, and he's hoping that they begin to offer public parking soon after the Silver Line gets rolling.

An official start day may be given next week.


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