Parking shortage is the pain on Main

City looks to buy land for more lots

Union Bridge

September 20, 2001|By Melody Holmes | Melody Holmes,SUN STAFF

In the Carroll County town of Union Bridge, a drive to Main Street might result in tired feet.

As the availability of parking along Main Street dwindles, patrons of restaurants and other businesses have been forced to walk to their destinations after parking in spaces far from the hub of the small town's commercial activity.

"People need to be able to park right on Main Street," said Mayor Perry L. Jones. "People don't like to have to walk."

The town is trying to alleviate the parking problem in a number of ways, Jones said.

Town officials have made an offer on a Main Street property, Jones said. They hope to buy the land, demolish the house on it and build a parking lot, he said.

The homeowner, however, has not agreed to the sale, Jones said.

"Even if we got an answer [from her] today, it would take six or seven months before we had the new parking lot completed," he said.

A dirt parking lot on Warehime Alley off Main Street has been paved and town officials are looking to buy at least one more lot on Main Street, Jones said.

"The town as a whole is looking for more parking," he said.

Town merchants echoed Jones' sentiments.

"They just put up no-parking signs at the corners of Main Street and Broadway" recently, said Angelo Monteleone, owner of Original Pizza on Main Street. "Space that was available is not available anymore. "

"We have customers complaining about [parking] all the time," said Lori Banks, an Original Pizza employee. "Lunchtime is not a good time around here. There's no parking at all."

Jon Michael, owner of Jon Michael's Cafe on Main Street, agreed.

"Parking is very limited, and it's hard for customers to find a place to park so they can come in and eat," he said.

Michael said he supports Jones' effort to increase parking.

"It does affect our business very much," he said.

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