The amount of parking spots at the Davidsonville Park and Ride lot is scheduled to double in the next year thanks to a construction project developed and funded by the State Highway Administration.
News about the parking lot addition was initially reported by The Capital, but Patch spoke with local officials to learn what brought the project about and the need for expansion.
Scheduled to be completed in the fall or winter of 2013, the State Highway Administration (SHA) will add 240 spaces to the lot that currently holds 210 parking spaces.
The parking lot expansion project will cost approximately $2-2.5 million, according to SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar.
Back in May 2011, Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) bus routes changed, forcing some Annapolis drivers to travel to the Davidsonville Park and Ride on Route 424 for their morning commute.
However, during the first day of the bus route change, County Councilman Jerry Walker (R-7th District) and his spokeswoman Pam Scarbro said they received several complaints about the overcrowded lot and illegally parked cars in the area.
Cars would park at the on-ramps and off-ramps of the park and ride, and some on the side of the road itself, Walker said.
Complaints continued as the local park and ride did not offer enough spots for all the morning commuters, but Walker said since the lot is state owned and operated, there wasn’t much to do.
“Other than cause a ruckus, there wasn’t a whole lot we could do,” Walker said. “We were just noisily complaining—letting them know there was a problem.”
However, at Monday’s County Council meeting, Walker and the other county councilmen heard from a Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) representative who outlined the park and ride addition.
“We’re getting 240 spots, which is huge,” Walker said.
The Edgewater and Davidsonville area is home to many federal employees, and with local gas prices hovering around $3.60 per gallon, using mass transit can be a cheaper way of getting to and from work.
Gischlar said the SHA already owns the necessary land to build the additional spaces, allowing construction to begin on the project.
"We can do it right within our own envelope. Since we can build it in our own envelope, it'll save some time," Gischlar said.
The SHA spokesman said the proejct should begin around summer 2013 and end about 12 months later. Gischlar added that the project will add bike racks to the lot too.