In an upcoming series of public meetings, residents and community members have a chance to speak to the future of residential permit parking in Canton, specifically near the Can Company, and on the future of permit parking in general.
Residential Permit Parking Area 43 roughly encompasses the area bordered on the north and south by Fait and Hudson Streets, and on the east and west by S. Montford and S. Luzerne Avenues.
From 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week, only residents may park in that area for more than two hours at a time.
City Council Bill 12-0125, if approved, would continue Area 43 for an indefinite period of time. The permit parking area was first established on Nov. 11, 2011. After six months, the Baltimore Parking Authority informed the City Council President that it intended to extend permit parking in the outlined area indefinitely. Soon after, an objection to that was “submitted by a councilmember representing all or some of the area affected,” according to city legislative documents.
Now, it’s up to the council to decide the future of Area 43, after hearing public opinion at the three upcoming hearings.
The first of the hearings is on Monday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m., at the Kolbe Center of St. Casimir’s Church, 2800 O’Donnell St. The second is on Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m., at the United Evangelical Church, 3200 Dillon St. The last is Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2 p.m., at City Hall.
Also up for debate is Bill 12-0102, which, if adopted as written, would change the process through which residential permit parking areas are established and enforced.
Under Bill 12-0102, residents would be able to request a permit parking area by petition to the Parking Authority. Proposed areas would have to contain a minimum of 10 adjacent city block faces or on-street spaces for 100 vehicles, unless the proposed area is “completely surrounded by commercial, industrial, or institutional uses,” or impacted by another residential permit parking area.
The Parking Authority would consider petitions with adult signatures from at least 60 percent of the dwellings in the proposed permit area. Each block face in the area must also contain signatures from 60 percent of the dwellings on that block face, or that block face would not be incorporated into the finalized permit parking area.
The process doesn’t end with a petition. After the Parking Authority receives a valid petition, it would have to hold a public meeting, and give notice of that meeting to all residents inside the proposed permit parking area, all residents within two blocks of the boundaries of the permit parking area, and to all community associations covering any of those areas.
After hearing public comment, the Parking Authority would be able to approve or deny the proposed residential permit parking area.
Darryl Jurkiewicz, president of the Canton Community Association, said that there was no public meeting before the establishment of Area 43, which was formed under the present rules.
“Nobody knew about it,” Jurkiewicz said. “Ever since that went into effect, we got complaints from everyone around Area 43 and from the Broom Company, because there was no compromise.”
Jurkiewicz added that Area 43’s set up is kinder to some residents than others. On Fait Ave., the northern border of the area, the south side of the street is permit parking, and the north side is unregulated. The residents living on the south side of the street can park their permitted vehicles on both the south side and the north side. The residents on the north side of the street, who don’t have permits, can only park on their own side.
“That’s what these meetings area about,” said Jurkiewicz,” to try to make sense of the situation and make it better somehow.”
Luzerne Ave. resident Raylene Wase, who has lived on the 800 block for about 22 years, said that prior to the establishment of Area 43, parking was very difficult during the day.
“I was a prisoner in my home on this street,” she said. “Now, I can leave the house during the day, come home, and have a space.”
Wase and many other Area 43 residents were ticketed last week for expired permits. They had received notification that though the decals expired on Sept. 20, they would be valid until Dec. 1. The city has since rescinded the parking tickets.
by Erik Zygmont