Bethesda parking spaces nixed for construction
As construction moves in, parking may become a bigger challenge in downtown Bethesda. A three-year project is expected to start next month. By January, two prime parking lots will be closed.
Karin Nelson of Bethesda's Pirjo boutique knows the impact that a construction project can have on business.
“People didn't want to come down here to deal with the trucks, the noise the lack of parking,” Nelson said of past construction. “As they close that parking lot over there, it's going to shrink the possibilities even more.”
Crews are standing by to begin a three-year long development plan that includes condos and apartments. As first reported by the Washington Post, come January, two parking lots in the bustling Bethesda row will be closed to accommodate the construction.
“It's disappointing because parking is very limited now,” said Bethesda resident Ron Grow.
“The big lot, and the small lot at the intersection of Bethesda and Woodmont avenue will close for a period of two years at the same time, at the same time, Woodmont Avenue will close south of Bethesda Avenue for one block,” said Ken Hartman of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase regional services center.
Shoppers usually turn to these parking spots when visiting stores and restaurants. Currently, 300 spaces are available in the two surface parking lots. Once the project is complete, the number of spots will grow to 900.
During the transition, the county will make accommodations by adding an extra circulator bus during peak hours, and more short-term meters at the garage between Bethesda Avenue and Elm Street. Two other large parking lot are a couple blocks away.
Bethesda resident Gustavo Pacheco, who might just avoid the potential roadblocks all together. “Basically I'll probably stop coming for awhile until it's settled because you spend so much time just trying to find parking,” he said.
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