Transit Ridership Creates New Problem -- Clogged Parking Lots

Maryland's transit parking lots are overflowing into nearby neighborhoods, as buses, park-and-rides, and even their long-derided light rail, fill up.

"On Avon Court in Halethorpe, there's an unwritten law that says the parking space in front of your home is your spot. But the commuters who flock to the Halethorpe MARC station don't follow that code. They see the absence of no-parking signs as an invitation to leave their cars on the residential street - especially as the 770-space lot at the station fills up every day.

The daily influx of outsiders has led to ugly scenes between residents and commuters, sometimes involving calls to police.

Variations of the problems in Halethorpe are playing out across Maryland as parking lots that serve commuter bus riders, MARC and light rail passengers fill up with commuters, a growing number as many rebel against $4-a-gallon gasoline by switching to transit.

Park-and-ride lots for commuter buses are filling up as far west as Hagerstown, as far south as Calvert County and as far east as Kent Island. Besides Halethorpe, MARC's lots are overflowing in Perryville, Aberdeen, Point of Rocks and West Baltimore."

Full Story: A lot of lots, but not enough



solution: free feeder buses

Why is the Bogota BRT so successful? Free neighborhood feeder buses. Why do we spend millions on parking in the U.S. instead? The carbon-auto lobby is too strong.

I agree a little bit, but...

freepublictransit is partially correct; free shuttles to line-haul transit makes sense, making it easier for seniors and simplifying the logistics of fare collection by eliminating it. However... make ALL public transit free in the U.S., you'd have to replace $12-$13 billion in current fare revenues; I'd much rather see such new spending go to (1) relieving transit of current high fuel prices until more fuel-efficient hybrid and other types of buses can be purchased and commuter rail lines electried; and (2) a general expansion of service.

Freepublictransit also fails to consider the problems that many free fare experiments have shown: with no fares, typically you get aimless youth, gangbanger types, and homeless people aimlessly riding the bus and train, annoying and intimidating most other riders who have an aim, e.g., going to work, shopping, medical, etc.

In Sacramento, the County welfare department contributes to a lot of behavior and criminal problems on local buses and trains by handing out monthly passes to the homeless for free. This would be much less of a problem if the homeless had to shell out, say, 50% of the regular monthly pass price out of their general assistance checks, CASH.

user fees can solve homeless problem!
Wow - we have discovered the cause of poverty and homelessness. Lack of user fees!

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