Tow trucks carted off three commuter vans from a Park and Ride lot in Germantown because of a misplaced sign.
Pat Weixel, a Clarksburg resident, commutes to the Food and Drug Administration’s White Oak location in Silver Spring. A few of his co-workers commute with him in a vanpool set up through their workplace.
Earlier this month, Weixel said they noticed new signs going up at the Park and Ride lot, near Shakespeare Boulevard and Md. 355, in the Milestone shopping center. The lot allows commuters to park and take a Ride On bus to their location.
A sign in the lot reads “Park and Ride Only,” with arrows pointing left and right. About 10 yards away, a new sign marks the parking spaces as “Milestone Center Customer & Employee Parking Only,” with arrows pointing left and right.
Once the new sign went up at the beginning of March, Weixel and his fellow commuters “started parking our vans and our cars near the ‘Park and Ride Only’ sign,” Weixel said. “We parked right near the sign, and we still got towed.”
Three commuter vans, including the one Weixel used, were towed on Saturday, March 9. The owner of the vans, vRide, paid the towing charges.
When Weixel and his co-workers got to the parking lot Monday morning, the van was gone, he said. Weixel said several commuters’ cars also were towed, since the lot was empty.
vRide’s Business Development Executive Michelle Golden said there was a “misunderstanding” over whether overnight parking was allowed.
Dan Figueroa, senior manager at the Peterson Companies, which manages the Milestone shopping center, said the “Customer & Employee Parking Only” sign was not supposed to be installed in that lot. Similar signs have been installed around the shopping center where vehicles became an issue, but this particular sign was installed in the wrong place.
He said vRide will be refunded for the towing charges, and commuter vans will be allowed to stay in the Park and Ride lot overnight. The misplaced sign will be removed.