Montgomery County has decided to suspend parking meter installation for Chevy Chase Drive and Offut Lane indefinitely, according to an email Department of Transportation Deputy Director Al Roshdieh sent to residents yesterday.
After MCDOT installed meter posts in October, residents on the street of apartments and condominiums were quick to express anger over the plan for 28 meters on Chevy Chase Drive and 17 on Offut Lane.
MCDOT had identified the area as one outside the Bethesda Parking Lot District (PLD) where commuters and downtown workers would park to avoid paying for public parking garages or other meters. Residents in the neighborhood disagreed, saying only people who live on the street parked on the street because of limited parking options at their apartments.
Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) intervened and the installation was suspended. Berliner later apologized for the County Council’s handling of the meter proposal. The council approved the installation in its fiscal year 2013 budget discussions with MCDOT.
It wasn’t until yesterday that MCDOT dropped the meter idea altogether. The suspension also means MCDOT won’t install 100 meters planned for Bradley Boulevard:
To Our Residents,
Based on your written feedback and comments the Department of Transportation has decided to suspend indefinitely the installation of any new parking meters on Chevy Chase Drive, Offutt Lane and Bradley Boulevard. The meter posts already installed will be removed. Before the Department plans any future meter installations in this area we will insure you have ample opportunity to comment in advance.
Based on this decision the planned public discussion is now unnecessary and is hereby cancelled.
Montgomery County Department of Transportation
The county had planned a meeting with residents on Dec. 20 to discuss the meters, though some of the apartment and condominium leaders involved said they wouldn’t be able to attend on such short notice and that close to the holidays.
Some suggested a residential parking permit as an alternative to meters. Debrah Shaver, on the Board of the Bradley House Condominium Association, said getting signatures from two-thirds of residents on the streets necessary was going to be a difficult task.