Higher Parking Rates Start Today in White Flint

Higher Parking Rates Start Today in White Flint

Parking meters are an urban staple and, with increases across the country effective January 1st, some downtowns are charging a premium for them. Similarly, starting today, it’s going to cost a bit more to visit the White Flint district by car.  As part of the North Bethesda Transportation Management District, White Flint’s on-street meters are increasing to $1.00/hour from the previous rate of $.75.  Parking convenience stickers, used at the lot on Montrose Road and Rockville Pike, have increased to $123 per month.

So – start thinking outside of the car when traveling around White Flint. Once the sector plan comes to full fruition, you’ll have a choice of public transportation options to reach the area and, then, be able to walk to the various amenities!  Until then, pop a few extra quarters in your pocket.  Even better, don’t forget that many White Flint-area meters take payment via ParkNOW‘s Pay-By-Cell option!

See more on the County’s website: http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/dpktmpl.asp?url=/content/DOT/Parking/North-Bethesda-TMD/north-bethesda-rates.asp

Learn about other ways around White Flint and North Bethesda at the North Bethesda Transportation Center website: www.nbtc.org


Lindsay Hoffman




One problem I’ve always seen with meters in these kinds of small urban(ish) areas is that people like me can say to heck with it and go somewhere else that doesn’t charge for parking. The abominable parking situation is why, for example, even though I have to go within a mile of downtown Bethesda several times every weekday, I almost never shop in any store there. I HATE parking there so I will drive further in the opposite direction to avoid it!

It’s so easy for someone to say “Why should I shop at [Pike and Rose/Whole Foods/whatever] when I can go half a mile away and park at a different store or shopping center that doesn’t charge for parking?”

I’m probably a bad person for thinking this way, but I can guarantee I’m not alone…


Aha! I was trying to think of an example to compare with Bethesda: the Rio. I know plenty of folks in MoCo who will drive a longer distance to get to the Rio, because there’s a fairly good parking infrastructure that doesn’t cost anything, rather than drive a shorter distance to get to downtown Bethesda.

Now, you might say they could Metro to Bethesda…but every time I ride Metro, I remember why I’ll only ride it if I have to go downtown. It’s expensive (especially parking, now that they don’t stop charging at 10 pm!) and a pain with children.

We’re really going to have to change the culture here if this is going to work.

Lindsay Hoffman

I completely agree, Mara, that a culture shift is necessary for many of us to reap the full benefit of what’s contemplated in White Flint. Folks will have to decide which is worth more — 20 minutes of time and gas to get to “free” parking or remembering to stash some quarters in the console (I’ll help you with ParkNOW next time I see you!). Luckily, I’ve heard more than one White Flint developer say that their organization has learned many lessons from downtown Bethesda – particularly in the realms of parking and traffic management. So we shouldn’t see the same mistakes repeated. Also – I know I shared it on Facebook but I want to post here an interesting discussion on the high cost of free parking: http://www.raisethehammer.org/article/072

B. Gull

I’m not sure comparing DT Bethesda and Rio work. I go to Rio to visit Target and Kohls on occasion, and I visit Bethesda for the restaurants, and to take an urban stroll. If the build out of White Flint is done right, there should be multiple destinations just a 5-10 minute walk from where I parked, allowing me to do multiple errands from one parking space. $1 an hour is hardly going to change my behavior if what I want to visit is located there.


I really hope they learned the lessons of Bethesda! If they can manage to be less annoying, then there’s hope.

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