By John Schaffner

MARTA police say they face problems with late-night crowds of nightclub patrons roaming the area near the Lindbergh rail station.

Two MARTA officers made an unusual appearance before Neighborhood Planning Unit B’s public safety committee on March 2 to report adding additional officers to patrol some nights because of the crowds roaming the streets.

The MARTA police said the overall crime rate in the Lindberg area is down 39 percent over last year, but they made 56 traffic stops in the area last month.

Officer T. Locklear said additional officers are patrolling the area on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights. Locklear said the crowds are attracted primarily by the Tongue & Groove and the Gold Room, which recently opened in the former Gold Club location on Piedmont Road at Lindbergh.

“There is a lot more street traffic” within the Lindberg area, Locklear said. She said customers drive in about 1:30 a.m. to go to those clubs, which don’t close until 3:00 a.m.

“The biggest part of the problem is people walking back and forth between the clubs,” she said.

The officer said Gold Room does not have enough on-site parking to handle the late-night crowds. The club now uses a parking lot across Piedmont for some valet parking, which costs $20, she said.

MARTA police say Gold Room patrons park in the MARTA parking decks, although those spaces are supposed to be reserved for use by patrons of MARTA or shops within the adjacent development. “The Gold Room needs to find adequate parking,” Locklear said.

Sally Silver, chair of the NPU-B Transportation & Development Committee, said the NPU needs to check into whether or not the Gold Room management is living up to the conditions it agreed to in order to gain approval last year to operate the late night club at that location. She said the club was required to provide parking as a condition for winning of approval of its liquor license.