Bill allows for longer stays in Montgomery Co. parking spots

WASHINGTON — If you do not have a parking permit and are planning to leave your car in one space for a long period of time in Montgomery County, Maryland, you could soon have more flexibility under a bill being considered by local lawmakers.

The legislation would allow drivers to park in county-owned garages and surface lots for up to 14 days straight. Right now, drivers are not supposed to park in those spaces for more than 24 hours at a time.

County Council President Roger Berliner introduced the bill Tuesday, saying the council will hold a public hearing on the “off-street parking regulations” bill next month.

The hearing is scheduled for June 13.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett is pushing for the change, saying many residents who live in mixed-use areas, such as downtown Silver Spring and Bethesda, do not drive a car every day.

“This change will align with existing conditions and thus ensure the increasing number of urban residents and their visitors will be allowed to park uninterrupted for an extended period of time,” Leggett said in a memo to Berliner.

The legislation states that the county’s current policy prohibiting parking for more than 24 hours does not align with the needs of the county’s “burgeoning urban population.”

If the change is approved, parking rates would remain the same.

For drivers who are currently looking for ways to park in county-owned spaces for more than 24 hours, there are a few permit options.

The county offers a “Parking Convenience Sticker” that allows you to park for as long as you want for a monthly fee that varies depending on the location. The fee is $150 in Bethesda, $123 in Silver Spring and North Bethesda, $113 in Wheaton and $90 in Montgomery Hills.

In Silver Spring, drivers also have the option of getting an “electronic access card” that is available only at garages on Wayne Avenue and Ellsworth Drive. The card allows you to come and go as you please for $189 a month.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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