You have to wonder why some of the smaller Virginia towns were allowed to become independent cities. Manassas Park is one of them.
Not only is it just north of the much larger city of Manassas, the 2.5 square mile metropolis with a population of 15,000 also borders Prince William County.
Manassas Park holds the title of the youngest, and perhaps the last, independent city. It incorporated in 1975 right before the commonwealth put a moratorium on new independents.
Virginia’s 38 independent cities have their own government and are not part of any county. Outside of the state, there are only three other independents: Baltimore, Carson City and St. Louis.
Among Virginia independent cities, Manassas Park ranks 27th in population. Virginia Beach (447,000) is the largest. Norton, in the state’s Southwest region, is the smallest at 4,000. Bedford was an independent city until about a year ago.
From what I could see from my run, Manassas Park is made up of mostly middle-class detached houses. A lot of them seemed to have a run-down feel on the overcast Sunday afternoon. There was no real downtown as far as I could see, although the 7-11 store was rather impressive, as was the police station. The community center appeared to be hopping.
71 runs downs, 63 to go.