New policy to increase unreserved parking at HQC

By Dianne Ryder DLA Public Affairs

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A new policy 20 years in the making will free up formerly reserved parking spaces at the McNamara Headquarters Complex at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as the Defense Logistics Agency assumes parking management.

The new policy (DLA Common Access Card required to access), which takes effect Feb. 1, clarifies rules and accounts for the greater number of employees who telework and use mass transit. Those who expect to retain or request a reserved parking spot as of Feb. 3 have until Jan. 30 to submit applications to the HQC Parking mailbox.

“Every parking space on this facility now falls under one policy. You won’t have different organizations managing it different ways; it will be consistent,” said DLA Installation Management Division Chief Tamberly Averett.

Policy changes include reallocating and in some cases repainting the lot to increase accessible spaces and omitting reserved spots for non-supervisory leaders. Employees who telework multiple days per week, or those working 9- or 10-hour days with a combination of telework will be ineligible for a reserved space, Averett said. Spaces will only be reserved for E-9, W-5, O-6, or GS-15 and above supervisors who physically report to the HQC at least four days every week. These changes will release up to 150 parking spots.

“We’ve done research on people who hold on to their spot, but they’re not here four days a week,” said Lorrie Hinterleitner, support services specialist. “We’ve monitored the same spots during the middle of the week, which is when most people should be here, and they were empty.”

Likewise, an employee can’t request a reserved space and also apply for a mass transit benefit program subsidy, Averett said.

Since all HQC employees except those who work in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency out-process from the same pass and ID office, it will be easier to monitor when reserved parking spaces become available for employees on a waiting list. The form employees use to request a reserved space stipulates that those who falsify information or don’t notify DLA Installation Management of an extended absence will lose their space. Depending on the circumstance, the employee may not be able to apply again for a year.

“We just want people to be honest and be fair,” Averett said, adding that once her staff is notified of an employee’s absence up to 30 days, they can arrange for the space to be held until the employee returns. But if the employee is away for more than 30 days, they will forfeit their reserved space.

Forty additional accessible spaces will be added in compliance with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Those spaces will have access aisles and be available on a first-come, first-served basis, Averett said.

Hinterleitner elicited HQC employees’ cooperation to ease the transition.

“People don’t like change,” she said. “But if they can be patient and realize it’s better for everybody, eventually we’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

The HQC was built to accommodate 4,033 DLA employees and parking spaces. Today, it accommodates 6,000 employees from DLA and tenant organizations including DTRA, the Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Technical Information Center.

Employees can send questions and applications to the HQC Parking mailbox (HQCParking@dla.mil). Informational town halls will also be held Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. and Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. in the McNamara Auditorium.