PREAKNESS PARKING | Pimlico employees won't be allowed to park on city fields
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Hundreds of employees who will work at Pimlico Racecourse for Saturday's Preakness Stakes will no long be able to park on city-owned ball fields on the grounds of the Public Safety Complex in northwest Baltimore.
Kweisi Ehoize, program director for Baltimore Terps Youth Sports, which offers young people the chance to play football and soccer, says hundreds of cars parked on the fields last year caused major damage.
"We are all from Baltimore, we all love the Preakness and we want it to be successful and we want it to stay in Baltimore, but not at the expense of the quality of life for the children," said Ehoize.
He adds that after the Preakness last year, city crews returned to make minor repairs to the grounds, but it was not enough to fully restore the ball fields.
"We have to deal with the ruts and kids with twisted ankles and parents who have to walk through mud every time it rains," he said.
Ehoize contacted Baltimore City Councilman Issac "Yitzy" Schleifer, who then contacted the Department of Recreation and Parks to voice concerns about the parking arrangement.
Schleifer said: "The weather reports call for even more rain, so it's important in this situation that we have parking at a different location on a paved lot."
Schleifer added: "My staff and I have worked very hard with the Jockey Club and with Rec and Parks and all parties involved, and we helped them secure a lot right up the street on Rogers Avenue."
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Department of Recreation and Parks, said "after reviewing the weather for the weekend, we have decided not to allow parking on the field during Preakness weekend."
Starting Friday, Preakness employees will be prohibited from parking on the grounds of the Public Safety Complex at the corner of West Northern parkway and Park Heights Avenue.
Instead, they will be encouraged to park at the Rogers Avenue Metro Station lot just a few blocks away.