Opinion: Letter to the Editor: How to Handle Metro Nightmare

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: How to Handle Metro Nightmare

In less than 36 days, Metro will begin its longest shutdown ever. This includes six stations south of the airport, with five of the six being managed by the City of Alexandria, One of those Metro stations is managed by Fairfax County.

Alexandria has done a great job of putting a website together, discussing telework options, and promoting alternatives such as slugging. What they fail to mention is that slugging really doesn’t exist in Alexandria, it is primarily along the 95/395 corridor, with Springfield slug lines being the largest slug line around, and the oldest. Have they mentioned this? No! Fairfax County as well has done nothing to move forward any alternative plans for parking, with the Metro closing.

Currently the largest slug lot is on Old Keene Mill Road with 265 spaces in the County Lot, 110 leased spaces from the American Legion, 75 leased spaces at Springfield Methodist Church, and 165 spaces leased in Springfield Plaza. Sounds like a lot of space, however the spaces are full by 7:30 a.m., with those coming after 7:30 a.m. parking in various locations throughout the local area that hasn’t been marked no parking.

This is the main reason that Fairfax County fought for a commuter parking garage, however the construction for that garage will not commence until the fall, and this will be in no way helpful for those additional people who will default to slugging, while Metro closes. What will happen to those currently parking, will we be shut out of parking due to the increased need for rides to the city?

What will happen to us? Fairfax County has done absolutely nothing to address the issue. They have not reached out to the local leadership in the Springfield slug lines group, a group with 900 current members and growing by 10-20 members a week. We are in an election year where Supervisor McKay is running for Board Chair, and his seat will be empty.

This means someone else will be in place when the parking garage begins construction. We’re still waiting to hear from them on where we will park alternatively but the current need is for additional parking to handle the metro nightmare. We have an online petition with 278 supporters and hopefully growing. Our petition is here: https://www.change.org/p/supervisor-mckay-and-fairfax-county-fairfax-county-should-increase-parking-for-slugging-in-springfield-during-metro-shutdow

Nicole Miller