12 of the Worst Parking Lots in MoCo

by MCS Staff

12 of the Worst Parking Lots in MoCo

Everyone has had their share of bad experiences in MoCo parking lots. Since COVID, things haven’t been nearly as bad, but I think we all remember the frustration we felt in some of these lots.

While there are way more than twelve “bad” parking lots, in this article we’ve compiled a list of 12 specific parking lots that are mentioned a little more than the rest in our comments section (in no particular order).

1. Woodmoor Shopping Center (Silver Spring)

One of the oldest shopping centers in MoCo can also be one of the most problematic. Though you can park in the back (it also gets full), we all hope for the best and try to make it into that front triangle parking lot.

2. Costco (Gaithersburg and Wheaton)

This article was inspired by Fox 5’s Jim Lokay when he tweeted “What is the most lawless frontier in the DC region and why is it the parking lot at the Gaithersburg Costco?” The Gaithersburg location has the strangest parking layout and the Wheaton location is at the mall, so there’s a lot to deal with.

3. Leisure World

The closer to Giant you get, the better your chances of a bad experience. We try to park far away and get our steps in when we head to the Leisure World shopping center.

4. Every Trader Joe’s

Federal Plaza in Rockville has been one of the busiest parking lots for as long as I can remember. Trader Joe’s doesn’t help. The same goes for every other Trader Joe’s location in the county. Some say they do it on purpose so that they can increase the amount of customers during their off-peak hours.

5. Olney Gardens (where CVS, Cava Mezze, and Cafe Rio are).

Olney Village Center and Fair Hill are also bad, but Olney Gardens is narrower and we think it squeaks out the victory of the Olney parking lots because if that.

6. Aspen Hill Shopping Center

There’s a lot going on so it could take a long time to get from one end to the other. Heading to McDonald’s? That’ll make it even worse.

7. Fallsgrove (Rockville)

The biggest issue is getting in and getting out. When those lines start to form and it seems like nobody knows who’s supposed to go? Oh man.

8. Wildwood Shopping Center (Bethesda)

The truck is to park in the back, but those can fill up too, and let’s be honest…we always think we’ll find something in the front. These short parking columns are the stuff nightmares are made of.

9. Lowe’s Parking lot (Kentlands)

The four way stop in the Kentlands is pretty bad, but it’s not a parking lot, so we’re gonna go with Lowe’s here. There can be 11 cars parked yet somehow 378 people are walking to and from the parking lot at all times.

10. Every Whole Foods

Just like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods seem to bring out the worst in people in the parking lots. Silver Spring and River Rd. are my two least favorite parking lots, but the Kentlands and Rockville/N. Bethesda isn’t far behind.

11. Cabin John Village (Potomac)

The addition of the fast-casuals on the one side allows traffic to hit you from every angle. Construction didn’t help things recently either. Never a fun time when it’s busy.

12. Lancaster Dutch Market/Outback Parking Lot (Germantown)

You have to just park up by Dairy Queen and walk, but we always have high hopes and look for something better when we get there. Lots of spaces, but tends to get pretty full when you want to be there.


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Tracey October 7, 2020 - 12:30 am

Burnt Mills strip on Colesville Rd. Has a TJ’s, Alchemy hair salon, loyal Companion, Chico’s, Starbucks…HORRIBLY CRAMPED, crappy sight lines.

Rana Palaniyandi October 7, 2020 - 9:38 am

I was surprised not see Burnt Mills on the list.

MCS Staff October 7, 2020 - 9:50 am

Every Trader Joe’s encompasses it

Bridgie G October 7, 2020 - 2:25 pm

THIS is the parking that should be number 1! LOL

Gretchen Autry October 7, 2020 - 5:12 pm


Maryland Sightseer October 7, 2020 - 10:58 am

Quince Orchard rd where the JD Shanghai and drive thru Starbucks Are.

Meg October 7, 2020 - 11:48 am

Every Trader Joe’s, in particular the one on Rockville Pike at Federal Plaza. And 100% agree on the Lowes in Kentlands, especially now that part of it is blocked off due to construction of the new Starbucks.

TiSSh October 7, 2020 - 2:21 pm

The El Pollo Rico at Georgia and University. The worst!!

Edward Silverstein October 7, 2020 - 10:41 pm

Actually, I think parking anyplace in the Wheaton business district is horrible.

Becky Adel October 7, 2020 - 2:58 pm

Best Buy on Rockville Pike

Dave Ha October 7, 2020 - 3:23 pm

Trader Joe’s on Travillah is the worst…I think there’s a body shop that basically set’s up there to handle every dink, dent, and worst. I have never seen such a crowded lot where so many cars hit each other. And the plaza still has a section that needs to be built.

And yes, Fallsgrove needs a second exit. It’s too crowded for just one point of entry/exit.

Tom October 8, 2020 - 2:37 pm

the Giant parking lot on 355 just north of Montrose (the old Super Giant)

Anna October 9, 2020 - 10:42 am

Full On / Big Greek parking lot at intersection of Norbeck and Georgia… don’t try it on a Wednesday!

Julie M October 9, 2020 - 12:13 pm

I was just going to suggest that parking lot. But the food at Full On Craft Eats & Drinks is worth it. And you can park at the hardware store and walk around

Jack Johnson October 13, 2020 - 10:52 pm

No mention of the Stained Glass Pub lot in Wheaton? There’s no other lot more cramped.

For Olney lots, the old Shoppers lot in the Village Mart is far worse than the CVS lot. Small spaces, narrow lanes, way too much vehicle traffic going through, carts hitting cars and going downhill because it all slopes downward, etc. Horrible lot.

Shady Grove Home Depot lot and garage are awful, and so is the rest of that center. Having an Amazon store in the Office Depot will only make it worse.

Joe in SS October 21, 2020 - 6:33 pm

+1 for Stained Glass Pub, but the worst parking lot in MoCo is just a few blocks south, at the H-Mart on Georgia Ave in Wheaton. There are many, many factors that all merge to make it horrible.

Bernard Carterr October 29, 2020 - 7:04 pm

Wegmans and other shops in Germantown is very awful lots of cars get door dings and long walks. Milestone Target, Home Depot and Walmart don’t have enough parking there are alot of fights for parking spots occuring everyday

Birdette April 21, 2022 - 2:08 pm

Great list. I would just add:
* Parking lot at Georgetown Square Shopping Center where the Giant is, Old Georgetown Rd. Whether on foot or behind the wheel, good luck making it out of there alive.
*Parking lot at Colesville Giant, New Hampshire Avenue, in Silver Spring. It’s designed for teeny tiny European cars, not massive American trucks.
*Walmart in Germantown. Be prepared to be trapped there all day.


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