When someone first mentioned putting a structured parking facility in Ellicott City a few years back, I immediately thought of the existing public parking lot behind the former post office on Main Street, otherwise known as Lot D. It is large enough of a space and the existing topography seems to favor it.It turns out that I was not the only one who thought this. The 2003 Ellicott City Master Plan also recognized this as the proper location for a parking facility and called for it to be built in five years.
Five years later not only is the parking facility not built it is not even designed.
What’s up with that?
It turns out that a very vocal minority of the businesses that surround Lot D are opposed to the parking facility in this location because of the disruption it would cause to their businesses during construction. Some of them are promoting an alternative location behind the former firehouse.
While I can certainly empathize with those businesses it does seem to be a case of cutting your nose to spite your face. Though it will undoubtedly disrupt some business while it is under construction in the long term it will benefit all businesses in the old town. The delay this focus on an alternative location has caused means that the earliest a parking facility in Ellicott City could become a reality is sometime in the year 2011.
The wheels of change turn very slowly in the old mill town.
You can read this month’s column here.