About 25 parking spaces reappeared on The Square May 21 as business owners there signed a temporary deal with the Buckingham Branch Railroad in which the stores assumed liability risks for their customers parking on CSX property.
“We’ve worked it out with the shop owners,” said BBR senior vice president Steve Powell. He declined to say whether the railroad would be willing to extend the deal when it expires June 30.
Parkway Pharmacy owner Brenda Plantz, who had first approached BBR about paving the area, bought the steel posts and plastic net fencing from the railroad and relocated it about 30 feet nearer the tracks along a line marked out by the BBR. The enlarged area allows for cars to pull up to the fence and back out without entering both lanes of traffic through the Square.
Parkway’s Paul Plantz and Terry McDaniel, soon joined by Rick Ruscher and Jeff Birckhead from Crozet Hardware, began moving the fence before 9 a.m. and had finished shifting it about an hour later. Ruscher said he hopes parkers will not leave too much space around their vehicles and therefore reduce the potential area available.
“I couldn’t believe how fast the lot filled up after we finished the fence,” he said.
White Hall District Supervisor Ann Mallek said Albemarle County officials have contacted CSX railroad about negotiating a transfer or lease of the 30-foot strip now reopened to parking.
“We’re waiting to hear back,” she said.