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State to re-consider local park-and-ride

Richard D. L. Fulton

(10/14) A state proposal to develop a park-and-ride facility adjacent to Emmitsburg has come "back to life" after having been previously killed due to budgetary constraints.

The Emmitsburg town administration has pursued a park-and-ride facility for a number of years to help alleviate commuter parking within the town limits where there is no realistic location for commuters to use.

Town manager David Haller told the town Board of Commissioners at their October 15 meeting, "The state has contacted us. They are actively pursuing a (park-and-ride) facility" that would be located next to the town.

"The (proposed) park-and-ride has been made active again. How long it will take no one knows," he said.

The noted that the previous effort failed to make it through the state system when funding for such projects was cut from the state Highway Administration (SHA) budget.

Haller said the state agency contracted the town about two months ago. "They (the SHA) said the funding is good again," and wanted to know if the town was still interested in a park-and-ride facility.

The SHA was soon notified that the town was definitely still interested. The proposed facility would be located east of Route 15.

However, Haller noted, such a project could be years in the making. "It could be next year," he stated, " or we could all be gone before we get it."

Interest in pursuing a park-and-ride facility outside of town has been spurred by make-shift, park-and-ride parking in town which has generated various complaints over the past several years, and which ultimately resulted in the town designating Silo Hill Parkway for commuter parking.

Allowing local workers and commuters to park along the side of Silo Hill Parkway traces its origins to about four or five years ago when then-Mayor James E. Hoover was approached by residents of the Silo Hill development concerned about their development roads being used as a sort of uninvited, make shift park-and-ride facility.

Previous to even that, commuters had been using the Jubilee parking lot until they were eventually ejected.

An actual park-and-ride facility on the east side of Route 15 is seen as a mean of alleviating the in-town issues associated with commuter parking.

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