Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.
Print Email

Quick and Dirty

Park Now, Pay Later

By Van Smith | Posted 7/28/2004

The Sun’s Letters to the Editor section on July 20 ran a missive about the city’s new EZ Park system written by Parking Authority spokeswoman Maureen Mulima.

“The Parking Authority staff,” Mulima announced, “has decided that parking will be free for motorcyclists who park within the areas managed by our EZ Park meters.”

The new meters, installed around downtown and Fells Point, take both cash and credit cards and spit out timed receipts that users must display on their dashboards. Each machine covers multiple parking spaces. But, as a July 10 letter to The Sun from Owings Mills resident Stephen Kariotis pointed out, this system simply doesn’t work for motorcyclists because, well, motorcycles don’t have dashboards. Hence, out of fairness and as a result of Kariotis’ letter, the Parking Authority declared free EZ Parking for motorcyclists.

“I was rather surprised that they even considered it, much less announced it,” Kariotis says of the authority’s permissive, pro-biker policy that he instigated. The 37-year-old building-supply salesman says that he visits downtown and Fells Point “a lot, enjoying the attractions, spending money, and I prefer to take my motorcycle, which uses less gas and takes up much less space than parking my car. But with the new meters, it was looking like the only way was to take my car down there. So I’m glad they’re making it free for bikers. I never expected it would end like this.”

Well, it isn’t over yet. During an interview with City Paper on July 21, Mulima backpedaled, saying the published announcement is not the final word from the Parking Authority on the matter—only a preliminary policy while it peruses its options.

“I’ll give you all the details once I have them,” Mulima says, adding—ironically, given her previously published blanket statement about free parking—that “I don’t want to be putting ideas out there without them being substantiated.” In the meantime, Mulima says she’s willing to take the public’s questions about EZ Park and motorcycles, urging those with concerns to call the authority at (443) 573-2800 and ask for her.

“I still don’t see how they’re going to do it, short of making it free,” Kariotis responded when told that the free-parking policy wasn’t necessarily permanent.

Related stories

Quick and Dirty archives

More Stories

Green Machine (7/7/2010)
The Charm City Circulator is more than a cool free bus--it's part of a hopefully sustainable relationship

Peddling Faster (4/21/2010)
City Paper's second annual Bike Issue

3 Feet Wide and Rising (4/21/2010)
Baltimore's future as a cycling city depends on advocacy from its cyclists

More from Van Smith

Blunderbusted (8/5/2010)
Two Maryland Men indicted in Arizona for illegal machine guns

The Big Hurt (8/4/2010)
Inmate claims gang-tied correctional officer ordered "hit"

Not a Snitch (7/22/2010)
Court filing mistakenly called murdered activist an informant, police say

Comments powered by Disqus
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter