Parking restrictions added to more streets near West Potomac

Street sign at intersection of Cavalier and Olmi

The new restrictions will apply to all of Cavalier Drive and part of Olmi Landing Way. (Google Maps image)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved permit parking requirements on school days for two additional streets near West Potomac High School at their meeting last Tuesday.

The new restrictions will require permits for anyone parking on all of Cavalier Drive and on Olmi Landrith Drive from its intersection with Cavalier up to Fordham Drive (see map). Those streets are now part of the West Potomac Residential Permit Parking District, which requires cars parked on the street to display a special permit on school days from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Four other residential streets near the school were already in the special permit district.

Residents testifying before the board in favor of the new restrictions said their streets were chronically clogged by vehicles parked by West Potomac students during the school year, creating safety issues and daily inconveniences for people who lived on the street. One resident described Cavalier Drive as essentially becoming a one-way street because the cars parked on both sides made it impossible for two vehicles to pass each other.

map of parking zone

Click to enlarge. (Fairfax County image)

“It’s a bit of a mess. It’s also a little dangerous,” said Lawrence Grubbs, who recounted an instance when a fire truck became stuck trying to navigate a tight turn because the number of parked vehicles.

Another neighbor said the decision to ask the county to address the issue did not come lightly. Repeated issues — including two accidents where school buses hit parked cars — forced the neighbors to do something.

“We have asked the county to impose this restriction to preserve the character of the neighborhood and just ensure public safety,” said Anthony Crispino.

To qualify for permit restrictions, the streets needed to be within 2,000 feet of the school’s entrances or 1,000 feet from the campus’s border. Residents needed to petition the board with signatures from 60 percent of the addresses in the West Potomac  Residential Permit Parking District, as well as signatures from 50 percent of the addresses on the affected blocks.

For more information on the county’s residential permit parking district program, see the county’s website.

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