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Free Saturday Parking Could End In Bethesda

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The Bethesda Row shopping district is clogged nearly every Saturday with shoppers and restaurant-goers. Many take advantage of the free parking allowed at Montgomery County-owned parking lots and garages.

But County Executive Isiah Leggett wants to start charging for parking on Saturdays, saying money is needed for maintenance and upkeep of the lots and garages. Many businesses in Bethesda are worried that might mean fewer customers on Saturdays, something Leggett says he'll keep on eye on.

"We'll continue to evaluate this, and if there is some appreciable differences, we will come back and look at some other ways to shore up the fund. But we think this is a reasonable approach," he says.

The County Council must first approve the plan, and it's holding a public hearing on the matter later this month.

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