Editorial: Shifting Gears

After years of touting study after study claiming there was no shortage of parking in downtown Leesburg, the Town Council appears ready to take a more practical approach.

The notion of leasing land to create more public parking spaces is a course reversal from recent council actions that removed some on-street parking from King Street and hiked the per-minute fees charged at the meters. Not surprisingly, neither of those actions have helped lure more visitors to the historic district.

Adding more public parking spaces in a highly visible part of town has merit, as does the introduction of an automated pay system that doesn’t require visitors to search through seat cushions for quarters that will add a scant few minutes to their meter.

The refreshing shift of gears comes as town leaders are also reaching out to residents and businesses for new ideas that will attract more traffic downtown. We know from past experience that there will be no consensus on how to address that challenge, but the need for additional parking in more convenient locations has been high on the list of many involved in the downtown debates over the years.

After spending millions on wider sidewalks and designs for children’s play fountains to mimic the amenities offered in the county’s “new downtowns,” pursuing a parking expansion at no cost to the taxpayers seems like a good investment in Loudoun’s original destination location.

One thought on “Editorial: Shifting Gears

  • 2016-08-11 at 5:12 pm

    The problem Leesburg has is not the amount of parking but access to the parking. Getting in and out of downtown is very often an exercise in frustration due to the traffic issues. Until that is addressed throwing additional parking spaces at the problem won’t help because they will either be too far away to be convenient or too difficult to get to.

    It is a hard nut to crack because the historic nature of downtown which makes it special is also what causes the traffic issues. Solving the traffic issues without destroying that will be difficult and probably expensive.

Leave a Reply