This story was corrected on April 19, 2012. An explanation follows the story.
Commuters who wake up early just to claim one of the 1,800 parking spots at Glenmont Metro station might get to sleep in a bit later, thanks to a new garage that opened Monday.
The station increased its parking capacity by opening a six-level, environmentally friendly parking garage on the west side of Georgia Avenue, which has a capacity of 1,200 cars. That brings the total number of parking spaces at Glenmont Metro station to 3,000.
Among those in attendance for the unveiling were U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. (D-Dist. 8) of Kensington, state Sen. Roger Manno (D-Dist. 19) of Silver Spring, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and Montgomery County Council members.
The Glenmont Metro station first opened in 1999 and has an average of 6,000 weekday boardings with the fifth-highest ridership of all transit stations in Montgomery County. It serves as both the first and last stop for many Metro passengers, and Leggett said he hopes this garage will lessen congestion on nearby roads.
“[This garage] will be a boon to transit and a boon to the environment,” Leggett said to the crowd of about 50.
The garage is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified based on its light pollution reduction, water efficient landscaping, construction waste management and use of local construction materials, said Kathy Porter, a Metro board member and former mayor of Takoma Park who said she hopes the “garage will serve as an enticement for even more people to ride the Metro.”
Harise Poland-Wright, a member of the Layhill South Citizens Association and regular commuter to and from the Glenmont station, said this project “has to be a positive thing” for her community, citing its convenience and attractive structure and landscaping.
“Many of us can walk — but that's just a lucky few,” she said, noting many of her neighbors have had to park on residential streets because of the lack of parking at the station after around 7 to 8 a.m. during the week.
“In some areas Metro construction has brought a rise in crime, but I don't see that happening here,” she said.
The project took about 13 months to complete at a cost of $24.7 million. The financing was provided by county revenue, liquor bonds backed by Metro, parking surcharges at all Metro stations in the county and a $1.6 million matching grant from the state. Patrons can use both SmartTrip fare cards and credit cards to pay the $4.75 required to park per day.
The story should have stated that Harise Poland-Wright does not foresee a rise in crime at Glenmont Metro station because of construction.