Not every spot at the Arlington County Beach lot is free anymore

Seven months after its popular public beachfront parking lot near the East Falls Church Metro station opened to cars, a blog post by Arlington officials confirms the areas are charging for parking — at least in some spots.

Starting Monday, May 28, Green P meters were gone from two locations where a limit had been waived: The 180th Street NW and Montgomery St. meters. So was the popular $3-per-hour free access on the east side of the 520-space lot from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Regular parking, which the county estimates costs $400,000 annually, also will charge between $1.75 and $4 per hour.

When the lots opened, county staff noted many drivers had avoided paying. The exemption for the first six months while the lots were being installed, retroactive to Jan. 29, drew complaints from some. Instead of the county’s regular meter price of $2 per hour, such fees could “cause significant confusion and encourage parkers to park illegally,” staff wrote in March.

A recent test of metered spaces showed “the evidence was positive,” County Manager Mark Schwartz wrote in a Friday blog post. The county sent letters to drivers who had avoided paying, asking them to pay, find acceptable signage, move vehicles — or find new parking spots. Though all improvements were made, all rates and placards reverted to normal Monday.

If you noticed the changes, did you pay?

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