Federal Realty has announced that it’s ending its practice of parking cars on pedestrian pass-through Bethesda Lane, effective Thursday.
Federal had been allowing up to 15 cars to be parked along Bethesda Lane as part of a it introduced in January. But many community members balked at seeing cars parked in the area typically reserved for meandering pedestrians. Some about the practice, worried about aesthetic and safety implications.
Federal Realty director of asset management Deirdre Johnson told Patch in an emailed statement that the valet service has become increasingly popular, and that Federal views it as a "valued amenity." Johnson outlined changes to the valet program Federal is making based on both the program’s popularity and the “pedestrian ambiance of Bethesda Lane.” The changes are as follows:
- Valet parking will be offered Friday through Sunday from 6pm-midnight only.
- Valet Parking rates: $5 first hour, $10 max.
- Drop off/Pick up location will be located at the Elm Street cut out in between and
- Vehicles will not be parked or driven on Bethesda Lane. Vehicles will be parked near Hagar Lane or an alternate location.
“We always appreciate feedback from our Bethesda Row customers, and look forward to growing this valet service throughout the year,” Johnson wrote.
The changes mean that the valet service will be offered less often -- the service was initially available from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. The initial valet rates were $5 for one hour, $10 for two to four hours and $20 for more than four hours.
The service is slated to end March 31, but Federal is evaluating whether or not they'll extend it.