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Reports: DC Residents Upset with Silver Spring Over Parking

Councilmembers from Montgomery County and the District took note of issues affecting residents on both sides of the county line.

Silver Spring's boom, growth, "upside potential" or, whatever you want to call the population's explosion, is ticking off some residents of Shepherd Park, a neighborhood in Northwest DC that borders Montgomery County, news outlets reported.

At a community meeting jointly hosted by Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin (D-Dist 5), who represents downtown Silver Spring, and District Councilmember Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), who represents upper Northwest DC, District dwellers lamented a lack of parking on their streets and the lack of safety at the border line at 16th Street.

“They park on our streets,” District resident Doug Lawrence told WJLA, referring to downtown Silver Spring residents. 

“I can’t find a place to park,” said Gary Goins, who lives in Shepherd Park, adding that he notices a lot of Maryland tags on the offending cars. 

“It is just that ours has always been a quiet neighborhood up in the northwest corner, and now we have lots of folks who are not paying our taxes in D.C. using a lot of our services," Tim Shuy, president of the Shepherd Park Citizens Association, told the Post.

Councilmember Ervin noted the lack of parking in downtown Silver Spring and pointed to three big apartment developments in the future—The Blairs expansion, the Falkands and a Newell Street property—as markers that Silver Spring will become even more dense, the Gazette reports

Ervin said she wanted to address parking with the County Council this year, the newspaper said. 

“This is not resolved,” Ervin said. “This is a long way from being resolved.”

As for the traffic do-hickey on 16th Street that divides Montgomery County from the District (there was not a concession on whether it's a traffic circle, roundabout or jut-out, the Gazette reported), there are talks about making it safer, including additional traffic lights. 

What do you think: Does Silver Spring need more parking? Do you park in DC overnight? What should be done at the county line on 16th Street?

Shana January 17, 2013 at 05:34 PM
As a resident of Shepherd Park and specifically the DC line I can tell you parking is a major problem. There are many times i would come home at night and not be able to park anywhere my home. (Coming home at 4am makes this a real safety issue). The people parking on my block all had MD (and sometime even Texas, SC, Maine or various other) license plates. Why should I have to park 2 blocks away when I pay for a Residential parking permit, DC tax dollars, because The Blairs, Rock Creek Springs, and the various other large scale complexes do not provide their residents with enough parking. We solved the problem on Eastern by further restricting parking and have increased parking enforcement traffic, more than anywhere in our zone, which has seemed to help us. However, instead of encouraging Silver Springers to find a permanent solution to their parking problems they are over flowing on to other near by neighborhood streets. To the person that commented about DC cars parking in free lots. I have a feeling these are the Sunday morning church groups and likely are not there on a permanent basis. I think we need to hold Montgomery County and the developers that are planning these large scale buildings (or any building) without sufficient parking. Also remember that if you choose to purchase or rent in a place that doesn't have sufficient parking, that is on your head to find a place to leave your vehicle.
MY POV January 17, 2013 at 06:18 PM
The residents of Shepherd Park are hypocrites. They whine incessantly about the evil Silver Spring residents who dare park on their street or walk on their sidewalks. Then they come to Silver Spring, park in the parking lots of Giant or Whole Foods, and walk off. When they are towed from lots that are CLEARLY marked as "no walk off" they whine incessantly about being towed. Clearly they believe rules only apply to other people.
Mimi X January 18, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I don't see how "animosity" can be avoided, as Mr. Shuy mentions, when as president of a neighborhood association, he is literally complaining about people walking on their sidewalks. This isn't "taking advantage" of resources they haven't paid for. This is participating in a community, just like lots of Shepherd Park folks surely do when they walk on Maryland sidewalks to get to shops in MoCo-subsidized retail developments and to the Metro. The parking issue needs to be addressed on its own (why not work with your DC govt to change the permit regs?) and also looked at as part of a bigger picture. Yes, there have been changes, and change can be hard. But there are benefits to living near redeveloped Silver Spring too. People in Montgomery County pay plenty of taxes too, especially in the CBD. That doesn't mean we should out a wall up on the border -- the northern sidewalk of Eastern Avenue -- and start some kind of Hatfield and McCoy feud so that people don't leave their own tax-funded zone. South Silver Springers are your neighbors, Shepherd Park, plain and simple. Stop demonizing them and start working with them.
Rick Toye January 18, 2013 at 05:32 AM
Well stated Shana. The County reps said in the meeting that there is plenty of parking on their public lots at $93.00 per month, but some people don't want to pay it. It is a County issue, not DC! Parking in the restricted areas will result in expensive tickets. And by the way, we pay for our parking through a process called TAXES! Lean on your management association or the County and not us in Shephed Park.
Rick Toye January 18, 2013 at 05:38 AM
Mimi X, I was in the meeting the other night. There was no "us and them". Your politicians even said that parking was available. but people don't want to pay. Sorry, but we cannot be inconvenienced. It would be totally unfair for anyone to have to walk a block or two from their home as a result of out of state automobiles.

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