Parking garage pixabay

Vienna officials soon will apply to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) for $5.5 million worth of grants pertaining to a proposed parking structure that would be built at Patrick Henry Library.

Town officials, having obtained permission from the Vienna Town Council on Jan. 27, will seek two grants under NVTC’s I-66 Commuter Choice funding cycle for fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

The parking structure, which the town hopes to build in a partnership with the Fairfax County government, would provide 84 public parking spaces near the corner of Maple Avenue, E., and Center Street, S.

The garage would not be located within easy walking distance of either the Greensboro Metror station in Tysons or the Vienna Metro station just south of the town’s border, but would provide parking spaces for people who are commuting to work in Vienna or able to use other transportation options to reach more distant points.

“They can either rideshare, carpool, vanpool or hop on transit to the Metro station nearby,” said Vienna Public Works Director Michael Gallagher.

The proposed garage would be located within 300 feet of four Fairfax Connector bus stops and along three bus routes providing service to the Vienna, Dunn Loring and Tysons Metro stations, Vienna officials said. The site also is within 500 feet of the W&OD Regional Trail, which many bicyclists use as a commuting route.

Vienna so far has not had any luck in obtaining NVTC grants, Gallagher said. In order to qualify as a congestion-mitigation project, officials would have to assign some of the garage’s spaces only to commuters during certain times of the day, Gallagher said.

Council member Nisha Patel inquired if the project could be framed in a way that benefited motorists on Maple Avenue.

“The main improvement factor for this grant is for commuters who would be ordinarily going on the I-66 corridor,” Gallagher responded.

Patel remained cautious, saying her concern is that “we could instead potentially be increasing vehicles during rush hour on Maple Avenue so that those vehicles could get to this commuter lots and [their drivers and passengers] go from there.”

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