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New Parking For National Airport

The garages at Reagan National Airport are going to get a new top deck, adding 1,424 spaces.

The $54 million topper on Garages A, B and C is scheduled to be done in 2010, increasing parking by about 27 percent, the airports authority says.

First, though, the construction project will require the closing of 162 parking spaces on the top of Garage C. But the airports authority, which also operates Dulles, plans to open a 700-space temporary parking lot near the Economy Lot by this summer. A free shuttle will provide transportation to all the terminals.

Parking is often tight at the airport, so check its Web site for updates on availability before leaving for a flight. Also, watch out for changing traffic patterns created by the construction. You also can call 703-417-7275 for parking information.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 31, 2008; 5:35 AM ET
Categories:  Construction  
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Or you could just take the metro. I mean, it's right there. Have a family member or friend drop you off at your local station.

Posted by: Dar | March 31, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

It's great they're adding to the parking deck, but they should also be adding to economy parking. Either add a deck to the economy lot or acquire add'l nearby space.

Posted by: freqtravler | March 31, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

But if they added a deck to the economy parking, it wouldn't be economy parking anymore (my take is that one of the reasons economy is cheaper is because surface lots are much cheaper to build/maintain than garages).

Posted by: Woodley Park | March 31, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Airport pricing isn't based on the niceness of the garage or deck, it's based on the location and convenience to the traveler. Garage parking that is farther away than other parking is going to be cheaper.
Regardless, there's no doubt that all parking rates will continue to rise (whether justifiable or not).

Posted by: dc flyer | March 31, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

There is a huge number of people who drive to DC and park in the economy lot at Reagan and then Metro to their downtown hotel to avoid paying the high hotel parking rates.

Reagan needs to either have people produce a bosarding pass stub to exit the lot or raise the daily rates to be comparable to overnight rates at DC hotels.

Posted by: Big problem and the untold part of this story | March 31, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I must have missed the signs that parking garages/lots at the airport are for air travelers and/or those facilitating their air travel alone.

If MWAA is getting the cash for the parking "stays," does it really matter whether the cars are parked there because someone is actually flying to/from the airport? Take an extension of that, should one believe - and want MWAA to believe at that - that the restaurants and shops inside the airport before security gates are for air travelers only? And if not, then should people who pay to park at the airport to patronize the businesses inside the airport be penalized or prohibited?

I dunno, I don't think MWAA cares - nor should they - where the money comes from, as long as the money comes.

Posted by: Pete | March 31, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I said "one of the reasons". I know airport parking is not primarily priced based on surface vs. garage, but airports are generally going to spend more on something that has a greater return on the investment. If you were the airports authority, and you had to spend the money to build 1 level of structured parking, would you want to put it out in the boonies were you can only charge $8/day, or would you put it in the area where you could charge $15/day? Likewise, look at it from a supply and demand persepctive. The cost of parking near the terminal is higher than the cost of parking in the economy areas. THat would lead me to believe there is greater demand for parking near the terminals, and thus additional parking capacity should be built there instead of far away.

And to the person who says there is a "huge" problem with people using long-term parking for non-airport uses, what is your source of data? I don't doubt that people do it, but I doubt its a huge problem. To me it seems horribly inconvenient to drive to reagan to get to downtown hotels via Metro, especially when there are plenty of other places to park for much cheaper (Metro lots can be used for overnight stays up to 24 hours, Ballston Common garage is much cheaper than DCA parking). Besides, most travelers in DC during the week are business travelers who are on expense accounts anyway.

And besides, how would you enforce airport parking only rule if you had someone who drives to DCA, parks, flies to NYC, then takes Amtrak and the Metro back to DCA to get their car?

Posted by: Woodley Park | March 31, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

If the garages fill up, then they're not charging enough.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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