Reston Town Center businesses, residents push back on paid parking

Many local businesses and residents at Reston Town Center are outraged over the new parking system that has been put in place at the shopping center.

Some retailers are saying that the new parking system has hurt their business and that they've seen a significant drop in sales. Now, an estimated 60 of those retailers are meeting next week with lawyers to consider their options going forward, including a possible lawsuit.

The ticketless new pay for parking app was launched in January by Boston Properties, and customers parking at the outdoor shopping center must now use the 'Park RTC' app or pay at parking stations if the business they are visiting doesn't have a designated validation area.

Vice president of Big Bowl restaurant at the town center, Aaron Mervis says his customers complain the parking system is way too complicated and even intrusive.

"People don't want to give their license plate information, people don't know they have to know which garage they parked in…different retailers have different garages that they validate in which is confusing for the customers," Mervis explained. "Everyone has expressed lower sales, decrease in traffic, people have mentioned ranges from 10% to 50%."

Officials representing Boston Properties say there have been more than 70,000 downloads of the park RTC app since its launch in January.

While they say it would be inappropriate to speculate or respond to any possible legal action against them, they did release this statement:

Rob Weinhold of Fallston Group:

"There has been misinformation reported about Reston Town Center retail and restaurant parking validation that requires immediate clarification. Each retailer and restaurateur, at their sole discretion, decides which garages they choose to validate. Each retailer and restaurateur makes their own business decisions about 1) participating in the validation program and 2) what validation terms they choose to incorporate within their unique business model, to include validating for all or select garages."

The rest on Chamber of Commerce says they have received several complaints about the parking at the center and "look forward to this issue being resolved in the best interest of everyone involved."

The 60 or so retailers plan to meet with lawyers Monday afternoon to discuss their options going forward