Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Metro Action Commission Rebuffs Reasonable Appeals to Solve Its Parking Problems

One of the more conscientious and responsible developers in Salemtown e-mailed me with the details on his unavailing attempts to persuade the Metro Action Commission (at 5th Avenue and Garfield Street) to take more responsibility for its clients. Those clients are using his vacant lot for parking. The developer hoped to work out a small lease to cover insurance costs to protect him from liability should a MAC client be hurt on his property.  MAC essentially said, "We're sorry but we can't help any of you" (emphasis below mine):
After nearly two months of trying, it took me allowing the Greater Cleanup Project to locate a POD on my lot at 5th and Garfield to get someone to call me back. At any rate, customers of MAC have been parking on my lot because of a lack of street parking or surface lot parking. Attempting to help resolve a parking dilemma for the neighborhood and to help me out while I continue to wait the market out for my planned Brownstones development on the lot (not to mention the potential liability I have if someone gets hit or hurt parking on the lot), I contacted Cynthia Croom in March to address the unauthorized parking on my lot and to also offer a temporary solution. She delegated me to Karen Crook. The feedback I got from Karen was that they have been in the neighborhood for 15 years and are well aware of the parking issues and the neighbors concerns. However, there is no money to support expansion of parking facilities given the streets are Metro property and there is ample parking on Metro owned streets. I ask her if they had ever thought about a budget request to get more parking capabilities and she said no there had not.
I have lived in Salemtown now for 5 of the 15 years that MAC has occupied a former elementary school building, and I have yet to encounter any effective NIMBY feelings about MAC here even as MAC clients consistently dump their trash on the streets and occupy street parking spaces in a neighborhood where the lions share of residential parking is on the street. However, my guess is that the chance that NIMBY feelings will increase and organizing against MAC will happen is proportional to the degree MAC continues to grow inflexible and callous even to good-hearted people who accept it as a neighbor.

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