Friday, July 29, 2016
Rockville garage entrance closure throws another monkey wrench into Town Center parking problem
To assist Regal Row businesses, Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) has printed up posters that Regal Row merchants can post in their windows about parking alternatives. The organization is also assisting Colonial Parking in creating a sign to be posted at the Monroe Street entrance during the closure.
City staff will present the first results of their efforts to respond to the parking crisis Town Center merchants described to the Mayor and Council on June 13. Chief among them are data on available spaces near Regal Row, improved signage, and designation of 15-minute "pick-up" spaces along E. Montgomery Avenue and Maryland Avenue, for patrons picking up carry-out orders from restaurants at Regal Row and Rockville Town Square.
Staff determined that the remaining surface parking in front of the Regal Cinemas is the first to fill at peak times. In working with the operator of the garage in the new Cambria Suites/Upton building, staff has identified many available spaces there. Between 2:00 and 11:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, July 15-16, the Cambria garage had between 55 and 96 spaces open at any given moment.
As a result, staff is recommending adding signage to alert drivers to the new Cambria garage entrances. They propose adding 4 new signs to the 3 that are already in place in the vicinity of the building.
They also recommend designating two currently-metered spaces along Regal Row as free parking for 15 minutes, as well as adding two such spaces to Gibbs Street, and converting the 5-minute book drop-off spaces by the Rockville Memorial Library on Maryland Avenue to 15-minute free parking spaces. Success of the spaces would be measured by consulting with merchants in three months, to determine if the free spots are helping the situation or not.
All of the proposals will cost money, and the suggestions will be discussed at the Mayor and Council meeting this Monday, August 1, at City Hall. Please note that this meeting will begin earlier than usual at 6:30 PM, due to the size of the meeting agenda.