Editor: I do not agree with Chairwoman Randall’s assertion to implement parking meters in Loudoun County, even at future Metro stations. Parking meters are a slippery slope. Once implemented, why stop at Metro?
As Loudoun urbanizes, I suspect we will see numerous, previously-free parking spots with parking meters generating revenue for the county.The article explicitly stated that the purpose of the meters is to force people to pay to park in county-owned parking garages.Ignoring for the moment the mistake of building county-owned parking garages, we see the heavy hand of government being used to force behavior to benefit the county financially.That’s just wrong.
Any additional revenue stream for the county should be treated with extreme suspicion.The most glaringly egregious example is data centers.A decade ago, citizens asked for more commercial development to provide commercial tax revenues to offset Loudoun’s historically high property taxes.In just a few years, Ashburn got hit with the data center ugly stick and Loudoun saw a massive influx of data centers that now provide over 20 percent of the county’s revenue—a whopping $200M+ per year.Did we taxpayers get a 20 percent + cut to our property taxes?Of course not.We got a 2 percent tax cut and the Board of Supervisors, as elected officials are prone to do, spent the rest.
Chairwoman Randall noted the dramatic drop off in business at the Reston Town Center when they implemented parking meters, which I heard from shop owners dropped foot traffic by 25 percent.That alone should be reason enough for her to oppose meters and I hope she and future board members will reject parking meters entirely.
David Dickinson, Leesburg