Saturday, April 18, 2015

ALERT: Old Takoma parking

I met Friday afternoon, April 17, with Bill Kirchiro, owner of the commercial property at Laurel & Carroll Avenues, which includes the parking lot at Willow & Carroll.

Bill has engaged a parking-management company and will start a six-month paid-parking trial on/around May 1. Expected hourly-rate hours are 7 am-5 pm. Flat-rate parking would start at 5 pm, running until maybe 8 pm Monday-Thursday evenings and later Fri-Sat evening.

Times and rates and the whole trial approach are subject to change.

An attendant will staff the Carroll Avenue lot entrance near the old drive-through bank teller structure. The other Carroll Avenue driveway, nearer Willow Avenue, will be closed. The Willow Avenue lot driveway will also be closed, except for waste hauling access.

The basic rate will be $4/hour between 7 am and 5 pm, or $2/hour with a receipt from one of the Carroll & Laurel businesses (Mark's Kitchen, the Middle East Restaurant, Dolci Gelati, the shops and offices.) The flat rate starting at 5 pm will be $10, or $2 with a business receipt. The business tenants will be able to buy passes for themselves and stamps for their visitors. (My own business and the city attorney, the Silber & Perlman law firm, are office tenants at Laurel & Carroll. We don't have any other business interests here.)

I'm sure many drivers will react to the switch by using street parking spaces -- at meters and on nearby residential streets -- and by using the lot behind the Laurel Avenue strip, which is currently free for the first hour.

Takoma Park's street meters are active 7 am to 7 pm, Mon-Sat. (A few meters are active Sundays until 1 pm.) The meter rate is currently $.75/hour. Most meters have a two-hour limit; some have a one-hour limit. There is also plentiful metered parking in the District, along Eastern Ave NW and Laurel Ave NW.

Parking in the lot behind the Laurel Avenue strip costs $3/hour after the first hour, with a $16 daily maximum; Sunday parking is a $2.50 flat fee.

Takoma Park residential zone hours are 8 am to 7 pm, covering Tulip, Willow, Maple, Cedar, and Holly.

The city recently hired a new, half-time parking enforcement officer who started just a few weeks ago. I will ask the city manager to have special attention paid to Old Takoma for the next few months, starting May 1.

(As an aside, I've been asking the city administration, for a few years now, to raise our street parking rates to $1/hour, matching the rate in Silver Spring. Street parking in downtown Bethesda costs $2/hour.)

Residents can consider petitioning to extend residential zone hours later in the evening although because both the meter hours and the current residential zone hours end at 7 pm, that step may not be necessary. I'm happy to discuss other steps.

Seth, 301-873-8225

1 comment:

  1. I hope along with the hiring of part time parking enforcement that they make sure all the parking meters are working. A ridiculous number of them used to be out of order and I gave up parking on the street. $2 to park to eat at Mark's Kitchen- should be free.

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