Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Metrolink Riders Soon May Use Lot near Forest Park

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Metrolink Riders Soon May Use Lot near Forest Park

Article excerpt

Starting Saturday, MetroLink passengers will be able to park their cars in a lot across the street from the Forest Park station - without worrying that they will be towed.

But the 21 MetroLink passengers whose cars were hauled off the lot Friday are unlikely to get back the $140 apiece they paid to get their cars back. But they will be given a free pass to ride Bi-State buses and MetroLink for the month of September.

The Bi-State Development Agency, which operates MetroLink, held a press conference Wednesday to announce its $2,000 month-to-month lease on the lot at DeBaliviere and DeGiverville avenues. The lot is owned by DeBaliviere Community Center, L.P., and managed by DeBaliviere Community Center Inc. There will be room for 200 cars on the lot, the first within city limits for MetroLink riders.

Bi-State had been negotiating to buy the lot but lacks the money, according to Raymond Jurkowski, a Bi-State official. The agency is still looking for a permanent solution to the lack of parking near the Forest Park station. The lot's owners have been trying for several years to put a Walgreens store there, according to 28th Ward Alderman Daniel J. McGuire.

Early Wednesday Bi-State workers began cleaning up the lot - painting posts, filling in low spots with gravel, trimming trees and posting signs. Bi-State plans to spend less than $10,000 to spruce up the lot. City officials stopped the job for several hours Wednesday because Bi-State had neglected to get a city permit. The permit was issued, and work resumed about 2 p.m.

Until the work is complete late Friday, commuters should not park there.

Bi-State has asked American Towing and Salvage to refund its charges to the 21 people whose cars were towed, with the exception of one car - a stolen one.

"We understand there was a misunderstanding between the lot's management and the towing company," Jurkowski said. …

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