Library workers set sights on parking lot 'hogs' Warnings, tickets will be issued

December 16, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

Westminster library workers, armed with pen and paper, are going after drivers who use library parking spaces as an all-day free parking lot.

A new plan to watch the lot for cars that overstay the two-hour limit comes in the wake of an aborted proposal to install meters behind and beside the library building on Main Street.

Carroll County Public Library trustees dropped that proposal when library patrons complained that meters would unfairly penalize people who park in the spaces to use the library.

The plan worked out by library director Martha Makosky and Police Chief Sam R. Leppo calls for:

* Library staff members to monitor parking spaces for cars that have exceeded the two-hour limit and place written warnings on the windshields.

* Drivers who ignore the written warnings to get broadcast warnings over the library's public address system.

* If drivers fail to move their cars after the broadcast warning, city police will issue parking tickets. Drivers who contest the tickets will face library staff members, who have agreed to testify in court that they logged the time the car was parked in library space.

Ms. Makosky said the staff is trying to discourage, not use of the library, but those who park all day and "infringe on the rights of others."

The library has about 30 parking spaces. Ms. Makosky said patronage averages 1,200 people a day.

The proposal won praise from the City Council at its Monday night meeting for what Councilman Kenneth A. Yowan called "an innovative solution" to parking abuse.

The library director said the plan would go into effect immediately and would target all-day parkers. "We're pretty sure who our regular violators are," she said.

Ms. Makosky said it is impossible to know how well the proposal will stand up legally until it gets a court test, but Chief Leppo assured her he was comfortable having officers issue tickets on the basis of the library staff's parking logs.

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