New around-the-clock parking restrictions in Riverdale Park’s Madison Hill neighborhood have some residents praying for relief.
Rules that started March 1 require that vehicles parked along Silk Tree Drive, Supra Place and Signet Lane — all in the northeast section of Riverdale Park — have permits to park on the street.
Each home in the neighborhood — 71 in total — can have a maximum of two parking permits for $25 each, good for two years, said Police Chief David Morris.
Residents also can receive two guest permits. If residents expect more than two guests, they must go to the police department to retrieve temporary visitor permits good for 48 hours, Morris said.
Violators face a $50 fine for parking on the street without a permit, Morris said.
Resident Joycelyn Caesar-Dyson, who lives on Signet Lane, said she has at least 10 family members over each weekend to pray and have dinner. She said she and her family sometimes pray for an end to the parking restrictions, because she dreads going to the police station every week to get temporary permits.
“I am thinking it is 52 weeks a year that I will have to go down to the town hall, and the lady will have to literally stand there and write out by hand every one of those things,” Caesar-Dyson said.
She said almost all of the homes in the neighborhood have driveways and she does not often see the streets packed with cars. “I am totally, totally upset,” she said.
Five residents who live in the neighborhood attended a March 25 Town Council meeting to complain about the new rules. Caesar-Dyson said one resident sent a note to neighbors, asking them to send letters opposing the rules to Town Administrator Sara Imhulse.
Imhulse said she has received letters both for and against the parking restrictions but could not estimate how many of each she has received.
Riverdale Park Mayor Vernon Archer said council members created the parking district because they received complaints that there were too many vehicles parked along the streets. He said the town investigated the issue for a year and held public meetings at Town Hall and with the neighborhood’s homeowners association.
“It’s not terribly surprising when it first goes into effect that there is going to be some issues on implementation,” he said, noting that most residents who attended the meetings said they supported the district.
Resident Thomas Sadiq, 44, who lives on Silk Tree Drive, said he has no problem with the change because the road is narrower on his end of the street, which curves downhill to a dead end.
“When you come around that bend, with cars parked on either side, it gets really tight,” Sadiq said. “There is probably room for, at most, one car in front of each house. But when you put a couple, that is when it gets bad.”
Judith Clarke, 43, who stays with her parents on Signet Lane on weekdays to be closer to her job in the District, said she was afraid to invite guests over because of the parking restrictions. She said getting temporary permits is a hassle.
“Now, you have to get out of your robe and get down to Town Hall,” said Clarke, whose permanent home is on the Eastern Shore. “It does not serve for a friendly community.”