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Quantius t1_j8nmjtg wrote

What an idiotic idea. Leave the parklets alone. They generate economic activity by making it more appealing to eat out and be out and about. Talk about shortsighted, cutting your nose off to spite your face.


YoYoMoMa t1_j8o167y wrote

Absolutely not.

We should be taking over entire streets for eating and thoroughfares, at least past morning deliveries. I am looking at you Charles and Thames and 36th and Cross(?).

Every city, here and abroad, that has made parts car free never goes back. NYC did this shit to times square "for a year" about ten years back.


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8q411j wrote

Those cities have half decent public transportation


YoYoMoMa t1_j8q7nzk wrote

Nah. I went to Dubrovnik and there are no cars in the entire city center. Not much better transit than Baltimore.

Transit should be worked on but people will come MORE if you ban cars not less. People with cars want to come and park and be in amazing spaces the same as the rest of us.


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8r74jd wrote

Dubrovnik Croatia?!?

Does that city even have a quarter of the population of Baltimore?

What a terrible example


bmore t1_j8s6w98 wrote

There are plenty of examples in the US and globally that make it work just fine with comparable transit systems and populations.

Decent transit comes at the expense of parking and driving convenience. Gotta pick one.


instantcoffee69 t1_j8nz7au wrote

> Many of the comments DOT received were about aesthetics and the lack of uniformity in the city’s estimated 120 parklets, Davis said. Eighty-five percent of respondents supported the parklets. Most of the contentious comments, he said, revolve around Fells Point, which has the highest concentration of parklets.

Make a reasonable building code. Not a intentionally prohibitive, but reasonable to ensure safety. Don't like the aesthetic, move to a cookie cutter burb.

> Paul Dolaway, owner of MaGerk’s Pub & Grill in Federal Hill, wanted no part of the parklets.
“I’m against them,” said Dolaway, who has observed the street-side structures attracting non-customers — from those looking to extend the party to people experiencing homelessness seeking shelter. With the lack of uniformity, he said the majority of the parklets look rickety and randomly constructed.

These bar owners got some nerve.

The last thing this city needs is more parking. Get people into the streets, bars, and restaurants. Not spaces for single use cars.


bmore t1_j8o31e7 wrote

I love this. 85% in support but somehow "many" have concerns. And a clear acknowledgement "most contentious" comments are being weighed more than supportive comments.


guest0112 t1_j8oj3fi wrote

You gotta wonder how much the % is between city and county residents (county being more likely to be annoyed with less parking available)


todareistobmore t1_j8olnkb wrote

Given that 85% support the parklets, my first question would actually be whether the number of supporters + the number of people with concerns exceeds 100% of respondents. I'd bet so!


YoYoMoMa t1_j8o1uni wrote

What if an unhoused person is happier though? Have you all considered that consequence?


_mvemjsunp t1_j8oqoib wrote

I don’t know what the answer is but there should be a distinction noted between bars that serve food and restaurants that have bars. Places like Magerks are not going to gain/lose business based on a parklet whereas restaurants will. Sobo Cafe comes to mind. Their food is great but if I can’t sit outside, I’m probably going to go somewhere else. Would Max’s in Fells (or any waterish front bar in Fells) be impacted by a parklet closure?


EfficiencySuch6361 t1_j8ow92u wrote

I live near MaGerks and honestly the surrounding parklets are very often trashed beyond belief by the late night after bars closed crowd that’s bringing liquor bottles and blunt guts and tons of take out food containers and beer bottles and vomit and half eaten food and used tampons/condoms. It looks like an actual dump sometimes if u get there before the Saturday and Sunday morning litter pickup team (who I am so grateful for!)


bmore t1_j8pdip9 wrote

Street just felt like that before them though.


EfficiencySuch6361 t1_j8qzv41 wrote

No, this is simply untrue. I moved here in 2009, never witnessed anywhere near this amount of trash & loitering & fights that are now weekly occurrences


FlimFlamMagoo728 t1_j8ohj57 wrote

Build more parklets. Close more streets to traffic! Seriously I wish we would build this city to work for the people who actually live here instead of having more parking so people from the counties can come drive their big ass SUVs down into the city 4x per year.

Also, ffs if 85% of people are supportive of parklets and streeteries, I'm really not sure why this is being treated as contentious (lol actually of course I do, this city isn't a democracy but rather a mafia run by like a dozen wealthy families and corporations)


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8q4h5p wrote

The fuck are you talking about? Lots of city residents need to drive to get anywhere in the city at a reasonable speed.


Nintendoholic t1_j8rf4qd wrote

And they can certainly do so, even if we shut down every 4th street to car traffic


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8rktgi wrote

So a near 25% reduction in parking spots?

We need to address public transportation gaps first before we start jumping ahead here.


Nintendoholic t1_j8rlph0 wrote

Induced demand my dude

You can’t get people to use public transpo when using a car is always more convenient. Need both the carrot and the stick


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8rm5d5 wrote

So you want to reduce demand? What does that mean? Less people frequenting baltimore businesses?

Build the public transportation first, then shut down those streets. It should happen in that order, that is all.


Nintendoholic t1_j8roreq wrote

Have you considered that roads are a barrier to people walking places, reducing the amount of foot travel and therefore demand? You could very well see an uptick in business if people feel confident that they can get there safely and directly.


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8rpnbl wrote

Urban sprawl and the lack of public transportation are the reasons why people rely on roads and cars.

Even if people want to use public transportation, they can't if it DOESN'T EXIST


Nintendoholic t1_j8s2xqv wrote

Roads and parking lots ARE urban sprawl. Get rid of them and you can fit more people and amenities!


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8s4p5r wrote

You dont need more people and amenities first. You need better public transportation first.

If the elimination of select roads is part of an integrated and strategic public transportstion overhaul, sure.

But "getting rid of roads" is not the first step in fixing the problem.


bmore t1_j8s76gs wrote

Cars are the biggest barrier to improved public transit. We could have dedicated alignments for all of our high frequency buses if there wasn't parking or car traffic in the way.


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8s8853 wrote

And like i said if the removal of roads is part of a strategic public transportation overhaul program i support it.

But arbitrarily closing off every 4th road to cars is not the right first step


drillpublisher t1_j8w7j29 wrote

Dude, Jesus Christ.

Cities and urban environments existed long before "public transit" and even the bicycle. We've got even better amenities now with electric scooters/bicycles. Yes, people have adapted to how cities have evolved, but they're not necessary.

Waiting to spend billions on public transit before increasing urbanization and density is a wild push.


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8w7oo8 wrote

Not at the population densities that exist today.

Are you seriously advocating the shutting down of 25% of baltimore's roads to cars before addressing public transportation? Youre out of your mind


HorsieJuice t1_j8s9jca wrote

Shutting down roads won't reduce the amount of walking people would have to do since it doesn't magically uproot the stores and homes that already exist. My dentist or my grocery store are still a half mile away regardless of the number of streets I have to cross in the middle. And if you're only closing one out of every four roads, that leaves 75% that people will still have to cross. If you have trouble crossing streets, you're still going to have trouble crossing streets.


HorsieJuice t1_j8phmp3 wrote

Where do you live that you think it’s only county people who drive in the city? I do live here and I’m not taking three or four busses to go to dinner in Harbor East or Fells when I could get in my car and be there in 15 minutes.

I’m all for making the city more walkable and for improving transit options. I’m even for keeping the parklets in some capacity. But I’m also for basing our plans on the present reality being lived by the folks here rather than on some idealized fantasy of how we wish things were.


StinkRod t1_j8rf3vr wrote

You can get in a cab and be there in 15 minutes and not have to find parking at all.


bmore t1_j8s7lhh wrote

How many minutes does it take for you to park and walk to your destination on either end of this 15 minute trip?


HorsieJuice t1_j8s8nkf wrote

I park in front of my house, so zero time there. Maybe a couple minutes tops on the other end; if we're getting fancy (a couple times/yr) I'll valet it. It's rare that I spend much time hunting for parking.


bmore t1_j8sa58l wrote

So it sounds like the parklets don't negatively affect you at all.


HorsieJuice t1_j8scz77 wrote

I’ve been places where they’re more obtrusive - Mount Washington comes to mind. But not generally, no, they don’t impact me much. That said, I think it’s entirely appropriate for the city to charge for the spaces. Whether the amount given in the article is optimal, I don’t have an opinion.


drillpublisher t1_j8w7qm2 wrote

If a park let charge exceeds the maximum revenue a parking meter would accrue daily, it's excessive.

Even better would be the same amount charged for residential parking permits.


todareistobmore t1_j8np3zd wrote

> Under the proposed rate, the city is actually losing money in some places where parking revenue averages out at $5.40 per day, Davis said.

Yes, love too compare the daily cost per "place" to a annualized cost per square foot. Very persuasive.


bmore t1_j8o2mu2 wrote

Meanwhile valet can take up meter parking or any other parking for a fixed $1,100 fee. No analysis of lost parking revenue nor per square foot fee. Seems fucked up to me.


mobtown_misanthrope t1_j8o783p wrote

Would have been useful had the reporter asked if the restaurant owners would be willing to pay the same fee per space, eh?


theyoungbloody t1_j8o7ijo wrote

ohhhhh good point. $5.40 x 365 = 1971. So if a valet is daily they are getting a deal.


bmore t1_j8oho16 wrote

Valet takes 3-4 spots, so quadruple that figure.


moderndukes t1_j8ov4jd wrote

A sqft fee that adapts to the street in question is probably the best route tbh rather than trying a city-wide flat fee that tries to avoid losses anywhere. Like a neighborhood where losing parking spaces isn’t a huge issue or a street with a more pedestrian feel should be cheaper, and definitely shouldn’t be raised to match this loss.


mobtown_misanthrope t1_j8o6gx8 wrote

tl;dr: ask follow up questions!

I feel like this article (like many in the Banner, sadly) could have been much more informative and useful if the reporter had dug a bit deeper in his interviews. In particular, most of the owners interviewed said they would take down their parklets because the $10/sqf fee was prohibitive. OK, ask what fee would be viable for them? Would you be comfortable with $5/sqf? $7? $3? Should there be a low fee to start, with a timed escalation over 2-3 years to give you time to determine the ROI? Would credits/discounts based on quality of facility design, etc. be useful?

Especially when combined with newly-imposed design standards, if you're asking people to pay a (potentially) prohibitive fee and ALSO spend even more on a (non-permanent) redesign/redevelopment of what they have already paid for—all without a strong idea of the revenue that it will generate minus the pandemic influence—we're just going to lose the amenity and the city is going to lose any potential revenue. There needs to be a balance struck between city revenue, aesthetic considerations, and the fact that these business owners really don't know what that ROI is going to be in a changed environment. An article like this could have jumpstarted that conversation, but as is, basically reiterates what we've already heard in other outlets and in the survey.

More broadly, this is an issue I've seen in all the coverage of this issue—the city set an arbitrary $10/sqf rate, and there seems to have been no substantial public discussion at all about whether that's the appropriate rate or not—just a zero sum alternative that there should be no fees. Dig deeper, Banner (or Sun, or Beat, or whatever).


moderndukes t1_j8ow55j wrote

I feel like the discussion on design aesthetic isn’t the right direction - especially because it feels slightly … coded. The more important design questions should be regarding safety, like when places would put propane burners inside parklets with poor/no ventilation.


lolokaydudewhatever t1_j8rmp66 wrote

Execution is key here, but im not opposed to an appropriate fee.

Restaurant owners are using public land to help drive economic activity to their businesses.This is good for everyone

Paying a reasonable % of their increased profits to pay parklet fees is not unreasonable.

With that said, im 99% confident that the city will find someway to fuck this up.


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coys21 t1_j8nvtc2 wrote

I see nothing wrong with the city making up the lost revenue this way.