Gunpowder Falls Parking Woes: Baltimore County Council Considers Lifting Notchcliff Road Parking Ban


On a busy summer day, residents can be stuck waiting for up to half an hour to park near the falls. (Credit: Google/ Google Maps)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - Baltimore County Councilman Wade Kach has introduced legislation to alleviate some parking congestion around Big Gunpowder Falls.

The bill, set for a vote on Monday, seeks to lift the public parking ban on a section of Notchcliff Road near Harford Road in an effort to help residents enjoy the falls without spending significant time looking for parking.

As one of Baltimore County's top summer recreation destinations, the Gunpowder Falls area is often inundated with hundreds of cars waiting for their turn to fish, tube, or otherwise enjoy the outdoors.

The thin, twisting portion of Harford Road near Big Gunpowder Falls has long been a concern for public safety. Limited parking areas along this main road and smaller offshoots force pedestrians to navigate the tight space between barriers and ongoing traffic to reach the falls.

Acknowledging the safety challenges posed by the close-quarters mix of pedestrians and cars, the council banned parking along Notchcliff Road in 2020 to "address dangerous parking on the side of the road for visitors to the Falls." 

This wasn't the council's first move to regulate parking in the area - Councilman Kach floated a similar initiative in 2017, targeting Monkton Road

During the council's work session on August 1, Kach revisited the parking ban origins, linking it to continuous traffic concerns along the Gunpowder River, further complicated by insufficient parking arrangements from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

According to Kach, lifting the parking ban along Notchcliff Road would only create "about ten more spaces." 

"If you have any familiarity with the issues up there, ten is better than none," The councilman added.

The Baltimore Banner reports that the parking changes are supported by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

The proposed legislation would also post "No Parking" signs at the following locations - anyone caught violating the parking restrictions will incur a $200 fine:

  • Monkton Road between the areas of its intersection with Blue Mount Road and Manor Brook Road.
  • Blue Mount Road between the areas of its intersection with Monkton Road and the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail
  • Falls Road between the areas of its intersection with Monkton Road and 15 Corbett Road
  • Corbett Road between the areas of its intersection with Falls Road and 17 Matthews Road
  • Old Monkton Road West, between the areas of its intersection with 19 Monkton Road and Matthews Road
  • On Notchcliff Road, between the areas of its intersection with Glen Arm Road 21 and Harford Road.

Commercial vehicles affiliated with public service companies would be exempted from the new parking regulations.

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