TAKOMA PARK, MD – Plans to develop the parking lot at Takoma Junction were dealt a major blow on Wednesday when the city council reversed itself and announced it would oppose the proposed development design, effectively preserving the city’s most beloved asphalt-covered paradise for the foreseeable future.
“We paved the way for municipalities to stop evil developers from turning our precious parking lots into walkable shops and restaurants,” said Karen Miller, who leads a local advocacy group that supports advocating against any change in the city. “This wise decision will protect the pavement-centric, fossil fuel-intensive, car-oriented society that environmentally-minded progressives have always wanted.”
The development seemed destined to move forward until last month, when the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) rejected the apparently radical proposal to build a delivery lane in front of the building, necessitating a traffic configuration that has never before been attempted anywhere except for everywhere in every urban commercial area in the region. SHA also determined that the proposed driveway exiting the development onto Carroll Avenue was way too complicated and unsafe for the typical Takoma Park driver, whose Prius lacks the acceleration to keep up with traffic in 25 mph zones.
After next week’s final vote to reject the proposed development, the city council will move instead to propose the addition of parking lots to the city’s long list of protected resources. Also, residents who maintain over 2,000 square feet of designated paved surface for their vehicles can qualify for a preservation property tax credit, and will be able to proudly display a yard sign designating their driveway as a “Certified Community Automobile Habitat.”
When asked if protecting the convenience of driving over density, job creation and the expansion and diversification of the city’s tax base was in conflict with Takoma Park’s notionally liberal agenda, Miller laughed. “The biggest existential threat to Takoma Park would be destroying our asphalt parking lots,” she said while wearing a Bike to Work Day shirt. “We should protect those precious resources at all costs. They are natural habitats for our most endangered species – long-term ‘progressive residents afraid of change.”