Yeah, let’s advertise that

On the docket for tonight:

16a.  REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING Upon the Petition of Attorney Robert Longden on behalf of the Trustees of Clark University request to prohibit on-street parking on both sides of Downing St. and Woodland Street between Main St. and Charlotte St. and to install “No Parking” signs on Downing & Woodland St.: recommend passage of the accompanying two proposed Ordinances

Here’s what that means:

1.  Finalize the closing of Downing Street.

2.  Changes to the street map. They (where “they” is “Clark University”) want to make “Woodland” curve around to be the rest of Downing.

3.  Major changes to parking.  They eliminate all parking from Main (next to Annie’s Clark Brunch) up to where the road is blocked off, on both sides, and then all the way down the new/old Woodland Street to Charlotte.

The subcommittee (Traffic and Parking) recommended (a looong time ago) that these proposed ordinances be advertised.

If the City Council votes tonight that they should be advertised, that means that they will be advertised in the newspaper.

It also usually means that this is a done deal.

When the Downing Street deal went down, the votes were as follows:

Yeas – Clancy, Haller, Palmieri, Petty, Smith, Toomey

Nays – Eddy, Germain, Lukes, Rushton

Abstain – O’Brien

Three of the Yeas are no longer on the Council.

Could the changes to the Council mean that the vote will go the other way?

I’m not sure, but I (and most citizens) should be concerned about the requests to eliminate parking on Woodland Street.  This is a densely populated area, one in which there are public schools (and teachers who need to park), businesses (patronized by people who park), and residences (with people who park).  I can’t imagine this will make things any easier for residents and those who work in the area.

It’s true that I’m no fan of PILOT, and I think that this will probably be another case where neighbors’ concerns are minimized in favor of the almighty dollar.

I hope the new city councilors will prove me wrong.

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5 thoughts on “Yeah, let’s advertise that

  1. jen says:

    i’m biased on this one as i don’t think the change is a negative one, but i’d be curious to know how many of the groups you mention actually do park in those spots. a good chunk of that area is already a no parking zone, so i’d be curious to count the actual number of lost spaces.

    • Nicole says:

      Some of the closed part of Downing was open to parking, and I assume that some of the folks who parked there were neighbors or students. What I probably should have phrased better was a concern that having even fewer parking spots could create competition for spots. That is, there aren’t any fewer cars in the area, so taking away even 10 or 20 spots could have a big impact.

      My larger issue with this — whether or not this was a positive change — is that there seem to be a lot of decisions about neighborhoods that are presented as a done deal to the neighborhoods with little to no input. Many of these decisions are not based on any ‘master plan’ for the neighborhood or for the city, but on the desires of a powerful organization (be it SMOC, a university, or CSX).

      I don’t think there’s one Better Way, but there’s got to be a better way to truly LISTEN to neighbors about what they want their neighborhood to be BEFORE a full plan is presented to totally upend their world. Maybe it’s neighborhood councils, maybe it’s something else, but selling off streets to the highest bidder is getting really old.

  2. jmstewart says:

    some economists claim taht if the number of spaces are reduced, each one becomes more valuable, maybe meters or an auction are the solution

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/2008/05/hard-time-finding-a-parking-spot/

  3. Jen says:

    I agree about more input on things being valuable. But I also feel like neighborhood groups don’t always look at the data presented to them. I’m all for a neighborhood council set up where these conversations could be had at a much earlier point, before emotions and battle lines are set in stone!

    I did some asking around and I need to try to pull up the city documents but I’ve been told that the removed parking will be from the closed part of downing not the remaining part (to be renamed woodland). Don’t quote me just yet but it makes much more sense to me.

    • Jen says:

      Ok documents were easier to find than I thought and definitely don’t say what I was told tonight. I’m going to follow up w my contact bc I’m curious of the rationale but I agree that eliminating those spots is silly.

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