Larger Park-N-Ride lot is planned at U.S. 29 and Route 216

March 08, 1994|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Sun Staff Writer

Motorists who have a tough time finding a space in the Park-N-Ride lot at Route 216 and U.S. 29 should get some relief this year.

The State Highway Administration has announced that a contractor will begin building a larger, $880,000 lot on the west side of U.S. 29 and across 216 from the current lot in Scaggsville.

The new lot will have 416 spaces, up from the existing lot's 73 spaces, and an access road with acceleration and deceleration lanes along Route 216.

"What will be particularly nice with the new lot is that it will be lighted and there will be a telephone directly in the lot. Currently, the closest phone is off-site," said Paula S. Martin, coordinator of the county's Commuter Assistance Office.

The current lot is one of the main stops of the Maryland Transportation Administration's No. 929 Flyer line, which takes 1,250 riders a day to and from Washington and Silver Spring.

The bus is operated under contract with the private, Glenelg-based Eyre Bus Service and costs $2.75 for a one-way fare.

According to surveys conducted by the MTA in January, the lot was operating at 133 percent of capacity, which meant many motorists had to be creative about parking.

"They're parking along the access lanes, parking off of the roadway on the grass," Ms. Martin said.

County and state transportation authorities hope that the new lot will not only make parking easier in Scaggsville, but also will attract commuters away from the crowded 322-space lot at Broken Land Parkway and Route 32 in Columbia's Kings Contrivance village.

"The 216 and the Broken Land Park-N-Ride lots are the most heavily used lots in the county," Ms. Martin said.

The contract for the facility was awarded to Baltimore-based Melvin Benhoff & Sons Inc., which is expected to complete construction in the fall. In the meantime, commuters likely will be inconvenienced during the construction of the acceleration and deceleration lanes, which will require single lane closings between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Route 216.

There are seven formal Park-N-Ride lots in the county and two lots recognized by transit officials as popular places where car pool users and bus riders leave their cars.

Besides the Route 216 and Broken Land Parkway lots, there are lots at U.S. 29 and Route 108 near Dorsey's Search village, Route 175 and Snowden River Parkway between Long Reach and Owen Brown villages, Interstate 70 and Route 32 in West Friendship, Interstate 70 and Route 94 near Lisbon, and at Routes 97 and 144 in Cooksville.

The informal lots are at Route 100 and U.S. 1 and at the Interfaith Center in Wilde Lake village.

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