Palisades Parkway Turns Into Parking Lot

Palisades Parkway Turns Into Parking Lot

Hazardous Driving

Boats, trucks and trailers line the sides of Whitfield Place in Sterling. The "Park and Drive" attracts all types of recreational equipment, making parkway driving hazardous. There are several facilities, such as Chesterbrook Academy, Eastern Loudoun Regional Library and the Loudoun County Senior Center, as well as residential neighborhoods, such as Courtlands of Cascades, surrounding the area. Courtlands of Cascades Home Owners Association board member, Lily Lombardo is frustrated by the situation.

"It has been like this for three or four years," Lombardo said. She said she brings the parkway problem up at quarterly board directors’ meetings. "It is out of our jurisdiction," she said.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS member Bruce Tulloch is aware of the parking problems on Whitfield Place. "We have received complaints from residents," said Tulloch’s legislative aid, David Cooper. "We went to visit the site. There are issues there, as well as issues in other areas."

As of now, there are no parking ordinances in effect in this area, meaning it is legal for people to park recreational vehicles and equipment there, overnight. "This is a problem we have to fix," Cooper said.

A public safety committee meeting will be held at the County Government Center’s Lovettsville Room Oct. 17, at 7 p.m., to draft an ordinance making it illegal to park on Whitfield Place overnight.

"This will discourage RVs from parking there, if they have to move their vehicle at night," Cooper said. The committee will propose two ways to alleviate the parking problem.

"The first way is to examine base zoning in the area, to enforce ‘no parking,’" Cooper said. The second option is to create specific parking areas.

"These areas would be created in places that do not interfere with the line of sight and we would restrict overnight parking," Cooper said.

Parking would be restricted a few hours after shops close and people leave work, and would be allowed a few hours before shops open and work begins, Cooper said.

"These restrictions will not interfere with peoples' lives around the neighborhood, but discourage RVs and boats to park there," Cooper said. "They will have to move all the time." Cooper said Tulloch also supports imposing a heavy fine on violators.

THE PROCESS WILL TAKE approximately four months.

"The board can not just put ‘no parking’ signs up," Cooper said. "There is a process and we are working as fast as we can."

After the committee meeting and all the options are reviewed, an ordinance will be drafted and brought to the Board of Supervisors. There will be a public hearing, scheduled for November, where residents are invited to speak on the issue. The board will choose the type of ordinance for Whitfield Place then, or at the next business meeting, depending.

"The ordinance will be in effect sometime in January," Cooper said.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kraig Troxell is not aware of any accidents that have occurred as a result of this problem. Lombardo agreed.

"As far as I know, there have been no accidents resulting from the trucks and trailers," Lombardo said. "But it is still a problem."