manassas journal messenger 9/12/00


This is the headline of the story

Joe-moe Reporter

Manassas Journal Messenger

Manassas Park

     Virginia Railway Express riders who

have been braving the overcrowded parking lot at the Manassas

Park VRE station will have some relief within two weeks and

increased enforcement of parking rules in November.

     Mayor Bill Treuting said construction

of a 58-space temporary gravel lot begins Wednesday and should

be ready by next Friday, adding to the existing 300 spaces

at the station and 80 spaces along the access road.

     The city has been struggling to meet

the increasing parking demands at the VRE station, as the

train system’s popularity has soared.

     Last Tuesday VRE set a record of

10,000 daily passengers, and commuters using the Manassas

Park station have been parking on the access road and on Manassas

Drive, which officials said is unsafe.

     To alleviate the problem in the short

term, the state awarded the city a grant last summer to build

the temporary lot.

     In the long term, a $2.4 million,

300-space extension of the current lot will be completed in

June, with 100 temporary unpaved spaces to be ready in February

2001, Treuting said.

     The city has also looked beyond parking

to solve the overcrowding problem. Working with the Potomac

and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, the city has looked

at options such as promoting car-pooling and starting a shuttle-bus

service from Signal Hill Park.        

Unfortunately, there are no buses available for a dedicated

shuttle service, said council member Bill Wren.

     Another problem has been non-city

residents parking in the 100 spaces reserved to Manassas Park


     The city had fined violators $20,

council member Vonna Privett said, but that enforcement was

put on hold because of the dearth of spaces and an initial

bad reaction by those ticketed.

     Warnings continue to be handed out,

but Privett said fines will return in November after the temporary

lot is built.

     “You have to provide a service to

the folks who are paying for it,” Privett said. “We have to

be cautious and safe to everyone parking there, and having

them park on Manassas Drive is not a solution either.”

     Privett, who is chair of the city’s

code committee, said the committee made a recommendation Monday

to increase the fine for handicapped space violators from

$50 to $100, matching other jurisdictions’ fines.

     A public hearing on the increase

will be held in November.

     “Our residents are the ones who are

most concerned because their reserved spaces are filled up

for the later trains,” Wren said last week. “Their concerns

are their wives who have to go out in the dark after those

later [returning] trains.”

Contact Chris Newman at [email protected].



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