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C&O limits Lock 34 parking

May 18, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

In response to complaints from area residents, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park has agreed to temporarily restrict parking near Lock 34 on Harpers Ferry Road.

But a spokesman for the residents said the changes are unsatisfactory.

The change is temporary while a permanent plan is developed.

The change for the five-car parking lot is effective Saturday and will remain in effect through Labor Day, according to a Thursday news release from the National Park Service.

On weekends during that time the lot can be used only for loading and unloading passengers, the release said.

The same change was made last year, said resident Gary Slaughter, who lives about a quarter of a mile away on Harpers Ferry Road.

"The situation was intolerable last year," said Slaughter, who said he was speaking for about 300 to 500 residents of the area. The changes are neither acceptable nor adequate, he said.

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Residents have expressed to park officials their safety concerns about visitors parking there and vehicles unloading, Slaughter said.

"We know it's unsafe Someone is going to get killed," he said.

Commercial operators using buses and vans to transport people and inner tubes must access the lot from the west, the release said.

Only one commercial vehicle can unload on the lot at a time, the release said. A park ranger will oversee the area to ensure safety and make sure "no parking" restrictions on Hoffmaster Road are enforced.

The lot is popular with visitors wanting to float on the Potomac River as well as hikers and bicyclists, the release said.

Park officials suggest that visitors who enjoy that section should park at Dargan Bend, Brunswick, Md., or Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

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