The County Council last week held its monthly public hearing. On the agenda was a new parking fee schedule, but residents and business owners spoke up instead about a new parking proposal to bring meters back to Main Street.
There are business owners who are in favor of the at the George Howard Building, but our commenters mostly spoke out against the program, or how it's been executed.
Here's a sample of opinions from last week's comments:
Anon: Parking in EC is already difficult. Why make it worse? We need MORE parking, not the same inadequate amount of parking that costs more. Why don't they fork over some of that casino money to cover a garage or new surface lot or something?
Blair Wright: Paid parking creates more parking by discouraging our clients from coming into town. Brilliant. Also, good job picking a phone app for parking Howard County. Whoever made that decision should be fired for misappropriation of funds, or maybe pulled over for using their phone while driving.
Peter Edelen: There are still property owners who have no idea this is going on. I told to my landlord this morning and the first thing he asked me was "What are they doing for the residents?" He was not happy.
This was poorly executed by the County Executive's office in not even notifying ALL the affected parties that will be impacted. Not only will it impact businesses, it will significantly impact property owners who are generating retail and residential lease/rental revenues. People are talking about moving. Sure, more people will take their apartments as I've often been reminded that there is a line of people to take my apartment, but the appeal will go down. Who wants to pay $1200-1600 for an apartment where the closest parking in 2 blocks away?
Next time you walk up or down the street, look up at the 2nd to 4th floors over the shops. Count the windows. Do the math.
meg trager: Deja vu ... is no one checking the history of this issue? When the meters were here before it was a hotly contested issue at ECBA meetings. Consensus is that the meters were bad for business. Considerable $$ spent to remove the meters and fix the sidewalks. Now, they're going to do it again? Typical government politicians who know nothing about business.
Debbie Hebbeler: Parking is absolutely horrible in Ellicott City. There is enough available land that there could be two parking garages put up. One behind the old post office and the other by the railroad bridge. Additionally, there is not enough handicap parking. In the garages, there could be designated parking spaces (free) for those that own property or tenants along main street. Renters generally pay high rents and don't need the additional costs of ridiculous meter parking. It sounds like the local government isn't listening to what the true needs of the people are and are just looking to make more money.
Dan Jenkins: Permits MUST be given to residents if the meters are put in place. Period. This never should have been off the table. It never should have been possible for it to be off the table.