Parking problems vex neighbors of light rail

April 24, 1995|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

Lorraine Eitel expects a crowd at her house Mother's Day, but she's not looking forward to it.

The Ferndale resident and her husband, who live a stone's throw from a light rail stop that lacks a parking lot, constantly battle commuters whose cars crowd both sides of Broadview Boulevard.

The problems don't stop with weekdays, she said. Orioles fans also use the side streets to park and then ride light rail to Camden Yards, and Mrs. Eitel is sure May 14 will be particularly bad. The Orioles play a home game Mother's Day.

"I really dread Mother's Day. The cars will be fighting for space," she said.

State Sen. C. Edward Middlebrooks is having a town meeting tonight to hear concerns of Ferndale residents about parking problems caused by light rail.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department hall, 4 S. Broadview Blvd.

State Dels. Michael W. Burns, Mary Ann Love and James E. Rzepkowski, all of District 32, and officials from the Mass Transit Administration, the county Public Works Department and the county Police Department are expected at tonight's meeting.

The Eitels have lived 23 years on Broadview Boulevard, between Packard Avenue and Ferndale Road. The elderly couple's home has no driveway. Mrs. Eitel said they are sometimes forced to park three blocks away and lug their groceries home in a little red wagon.

She worries about parking a distance from her home because of dimly lighted streets, and has given up church, volunteer and social activities for fear of not getting a good parking spot.

"Our little residential street has been turned into an MTA parking lot," she complained.

Mrs. Eitel said she would like county officials to give the neighborhood some relief by designating one side of the street for residents' parking.

"All we're praying for is parking on our side of the street, and we'd like visitor permits so our families can visit. Is that too much to ask for?" she said.

Leo Harnen, president of the Ferndale-Linthicum Area Community Council, said he conducted a survey for several days, jotting down the tag numbers of 52 cars parked on the road. A check of motor vehicles records indicated most of the cars were not from Ferndale.

Mr. Harnen, who lives about four blocks from the light rail stop, said he doesn't have a solution, but "we want to do what's best for Ferndale."

Two years ago, Linthicum faced similar problems, and merchants posted "No Light Rail Parking" signs near their parking lots.

Mr. Middlebrooks, the District 32 Republican, said there's really "no reason people would be parking along the light rail line" in town except to grab a train to somewhere else.

Two miles south of the Ferndale walkup station on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard is a 780-space parking lot at the Cromwell station.

Mr. Middlebrooks was unsure why commuters don't use that lot instead of clogging residential streets. But he said, "People are people. If most people can get 10 feet closer to park, they will."

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