Parking problems in Silver Spring have become worse since the opening of Metrorail stop there, the Montgomery County Planning Board told the County Council this week.
To alleviate the problems the county planners suggested three options:
Establish fringe parking in the Colesville Road, Columbia Pike and Georgia Avenue corridors, "connected by regular or express route Metrobus services to the Silver Spring station." The county also should consider putting a fringe parking lot in the White Oak area on state-owned land.
Start construction sooner than scheduled on a planned expansion of a garage off Georgia Avenue about a mile from the Metro stop. This would alleviate parking problems in the general area. (Funds for the garage already have been appropriated in the current county capital budget).
Provide more information about available bus services.
Planning Board Chairman Royce Hanson said the entire fringe parking lot project would cost about $1 million.
"One of the things we want to do is stabilize the business community," said Hanson, noting that parking problems have serious effects on county merchants and other business people. "Doctors say their patients aren't able to park."
At the council's request, Hanson will return to the council, perhaps within a week, with more detailed plans.
"I'd like to know what this is going to cost," said Council Member Dickran Y. Hovespian. "What priority will it take over the extension of the Bethesda Ride-On program or over the Gaithersburg Ride-One program?"
Meanwhile, the council unanimously approved a bill giving county homeowners more choice about where to place smoke detectors in their homes.
Until now, all smoke detectors, requred by law in county homes, had to be at the top of stairwells. Under the amended law, the homeowner can judge for himself where the smoke detector should be in relation to the stairwell.