Bethesda Library Patrons Not Happy With Farm Market Parking

Bethesda Library

When Central Farm Markets was forced to stop its customers from parking at its Bethesda Elementary School market, it encouraged people to park at nearby county garages instead of the Bethesda Library.

Apparently, not enough of the market’s customers have heeded that advice. A tweet from Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman over the weekend indicated library patrons are having a hard time finding spots on Sundays, when the popular farmer’s market sets up in the elementary school parking lot next door.

In an email to subscribers in October, the market said it worked out an agreement with the library, which had previous complaints from staff members who could not find parking. The library (7400 Arlington Rd.) opens at noon on Sundays.

Representatives for Central Farm Market could not be reached this week, but over the weekend said it would make the announcement again.

The parking problems stem from issues in the Bethesda Elementary lot, where a group that rents out classrooms on Sunday complained to Montgomery County about the lack of spaces.

Those going to the market are not allowed to park in section A of the elementary school lot (displayed here). Sections B and C are typically filled with vendors, booths and tents, leaving customers flocking to the library lot.

In October, the market said the Montgomery County Office of Community Use of Public Facilities is also now requiring it to pay $6,000 until the end of the school year in June for a security guard to monitor the main school lot and enforce the new regulations. The market has a winter season starting in January.

The market got numerous complaints from Congregation Beth El, which rents the inside of Bethesda Elementary for religious school.

This map and app shows available parking garages and lots, with prices.

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