It's spring and the yards of full of birds looking for tasty treats. In Northern Virignia the early birds looking for slugs aren't the birds though, they are drivers headed to the Pentagon and other stops in DC, looking to pick up passengers so they can zip on the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes headed north.
Over the last few weeks the slug lines in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County (PWC) have made a shift causing a bit of panic among commuters. When Potomac Mills mall reduced the number of commuter parking spaces from 1000 to 250 you could feel the ground shake. Fortunately the First Baptist Church at the corner of Minneville and Prince William Parkway has struck a deal with PWC for 370 commuter parking spaces. Local Omni Buses will be rerouted to the new location starting on March 14, 2011.
The closing of the slug lines at Potomac Mills Mall has created a backlog at the other commuter lots in the area. Now lots that weren't full are now packed by 8 AM. Then there was the shift of where commuters could be picked up for the ride home in DC. Now instead of pick-ups at 15th Street between H and New York, sluggers need to head over to New York Ave between 14th and 15th Street.
If you aren't from the Northern Virginia area you might wonder, who cares? The truth is our slug lines are unique. When I talk to anyone relocating to the area and we start to discuss commuting options the idea of becoming a freeloader in someone else's car never crossed their mind. However it is one of the best unofficial ways to utilize our local HOV lanes. It has always worked well, is safe and organized.
With the rise in gas prices and the rise in metro fares being able to share the ride is a win/win for everyone. Now we just need the new parking spaces so things can get back to normal for commuters going to and from Woodbridge.
Photo credit Jiib from Flickr Creative Commons
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Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations.
Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia