A handful of Marietta Avenue residents and business owners along the 7300 block of Manchester Road heard plans for an expanded Marietta Public Parking Lot at a neighborhood meeting on Tuesday morning.
Construction on the $385,000 project is expected to start next Monday and end by late October. Three sections of the parking lot will be closed at different times to minimize disruptions.
Anthony Traxler, director of public works for Maplewood, said the primary goal is to maximize the number of parking spaces. The lot will increase from 115 spaces to a little more than 170.
“Free parking, close by and accessible - that’s what will bring people to Maplewood,” said Ward 3 Councilman Barry Greenberg, who also owns a business on Sutton Boulevard that backs to the lot. The new configuration will increase the close, prime business spots from 16 to about 40.
The neighbors along Marietta, concerned with business traffic parking in front of their houses, liked the idea of an expanded lot.
The city will also centralize and reduce the number of trash and recycling dumpsters, which will reduce the amount of truck traffic. Business owners will have acess to a cardboard compactor, a single stream recycling dumpster, food composting and a trash dumpster.
Lighting improvements will match the style along Manchester Road in downtown Maplewood. An electric vehicle charging station is also planned.
The section closest to Marietta Avenue will be permeable, allowing rain water to soak in, relieving the sewer system in heavy rains.
The grass along the south side of the lot along Marietta will be replaced by the enlarged lot. The trees may not be kept, said Bill Berthold of Frontenac Engineering, which is managing the project.
Next year, completion of the project will include a new Marietta Avenue, which may either be asphalt or concrete, a new sidewalk, and a wall along south side of the lot. The wall will be high enough to shield houses along Marietta from headlights.The wall will be attractice and not industrial-looking, Traxler said.