Towson community addresses parking concerns
The proposal of the 101 York Road student housing project, which has been put on hold until the developers complete a parking study, has raised already existing community concerns.
If Baltimore County officials approve the 101 York Road project, the apartment complex would house 571 students – many of whom would need parking spaces, according to an article in the Nov. 3 issue of The Towerlight. The project would create 367 parking spaces for residents of the complex in addition to using up to 150 in the Towsontown Garage about a quarter mile away, next to Towson Library.
Students of Towson University are already parking off campus in the community, Paul Hartman, president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations (GTCCA), said. The 101 York Road project would lead more students to park in Towson neighborhoods rather than pay steep fees for parking permits at the apartment complex.
Community members are also concerned with students having their visitors park in the neighborhoods, Hartman said.
“When the students leave at two or three in the morning, some of them tend to make a ton of noise,” he said, “It’s very disruptive for people that are trying to sleep.”
Junior Tim Woo said that when he leaves his apartment to visits friends in Towson, he finds somewhere to park along the street in whichever neighborhood he visits.
Woo commutes from Towson Woods, and parks in the Union Garage. Woo said that the price of campus parking permits would be fair if there were enough spots for everybody.
“I’ve driven home and taken the shuttle because I haven’t found parking before,” he said.
Towson as a community may face more students parking off-campus with or without the construction project. Freshman Usjid Umar Hameed commutes, and currently parks in the West Village Garage.
“$300 is too much [for parking],” he said. Hameed said that the idea of parking off campus in the future to save money “pique [his] interest.”
Even if the 101 York Road Project is canceled Towson as a community and as a city will continue to grow. Hartman mentioned the proposed Towson Row project and the new movie theater as other signs of Towson’s growth.
The GTCCA is taking steps to help keep traffic in Towson from becoming overwhelming as the city grows. For example, any new developments in Towson are required to have bike racks.
“People would be more encouraged to bike if they knew they could lock [their bike] up safely,” Hartman said.
Hartman also said that the GTCCA is working with a number of offices, including Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, the Maryland Transit Administration and some businesses and developers in the area to bring a Circulator bus to Towson, like the free Charm City Circulators in Baltimore.
The proposed circulator bus, according to Hartman, would hopefully encourage students and community residents to reconsider driving their own cars and relieve some traffic congestion.