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October 29, 2008

Zero tolerance parking

park and rideAs a nightlife writer and Federal Hill resident, I'm going to weigh in on this zero tolerance parking proposal. I don't want to, but I will.

There's already been an earnest discussion going on under the Jeff the Drunk post, and I want to add my two cents.

But first, a brief synopsis: In most Federal Hill parking zones, you can park on most non-metered streets in Federal Hill for two hours without a permit between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., give or take. Before or after those hours, parking is free.

But on baseball and football game days, if you don't have a permit and you park in one of these spots, you get ticketed and towed.

Got it? OK. Now, here's what they want to do ...

parking meterWith the new proposal, they want to make it so you can park for two hours without a permit between the hours of 7 am. and 6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and similar hours on Sundays. Before or after those hours, you're going to need a permit.

If you live in a house with a garage or parking pad, under these new restrictions, you have to use it. You get one less street parking permit for each parking pad/garage spot you have.

I'm not entirely sure of the time table, but if community organizers get enough signatures, we could see these changes go into effect next year.

There is also a good deal of free parking in Federal Hill -- by Digital Harbor High School and along Fort Avenue -- which won't be affected by these changes.

Now there is no question -- between all the bar patrons coming in on Friday and Saturday nights and all the residents coming home from work, parking is a mess in Federal Hill -- especially on weekend nights.

There is only one garage in Federal Hill -- the West Street Garage. On Friday and Saturday nights, it fills to capacity. But most other nights, it sits largely empty. People want to add another level on the garage or get the state to build a new one, but the garage's business isn't consistent enough over the course of the week to justify expanding it. Sigh.

I've heard rumors about another smaller garage near the West Street garage which could be opened to the public. But right now, they are nothing more than rumors.

The community organizers are also trying to speed up the process to have the old meters replaced with the new EZ Park meters, which could add one or two extra spaces to each block in the neighborhood's bar/business district.  

parking ticketAs you can imagine, the proposed restrictions have some bar owners up in arms. Jason Zink, who owns No Idea and Don't Know, recently put them both up for sale because of this. He thinks the new restrictions will cripple his business.

I don't think the new restrictions will make or break any South Baltimore bars. But I do think they will substantially hurt business. If people drive into Federal Hill on a Friday night and the garage is full and they can't park on the side streets without getting ticketed, some of them will get angry and stop coming.

On the flip side, some residents have to park five and six blocks from their house on a Friday night because there are no spots anywhere nearby. That can be incredibly frustrating.

There has to be some middle ground here. Maybe the community organizers can slightly scale back the zones so there are one or two free spots on each block. Maybe they can encourage someone from the private sector to build another garage nearby. I'm no expert on this, but there has to be something we can do so that everybody benefits a little.

(Sun photos) 


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:18 AM | | Comments (89)
        

Comments

There definitely needs to be a middle ground, otherwise everyone will suffer. If they think they can impose these restrictions without hurting businesses then they are mistaken. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to walk 5-6 blocks to my car either, but if you are looking to park right in front of your house then you need to move to the county. If business close then the housing market in the area goes next. It's the businesses in Federal Hill that make the property values what they are. If you think the housing market is bad now wait until no one has any interest in moving to Federal Hill.

I have zero empathy for individuals who live outside of Federal Hill taking umbrage with the parking situation. I can promise you that the people who come to Federal Hill on Friday and Saturday nights do not have to park 5 blocks from where they reside. The parking situation should have been corrected years ago and yet, today, it is still an unmitigated disaster. If the person does not have a parking permit or guest pass they should be prevented from parking with Areas 19, 9, 11 and so forth.

Sam, very insightful post.
My feeling is that bar owners DO have a right to be worried about the proposed changes. I could see these changes hurting business immediately. Fed Hill bars mainly rely on people come down to them from areas outside of Fed Hill. If they make it permit during peak bar hours (evening and late night), they are just asking for people to go to Fells or Canton. And honestly, Fed Hill bars are the same as any other bars in the city. Maybe a different crowd (sometimes) but they are serve liquor.

I talked to a few people who go down to Federal Hill on the regular basis. They said that if the changes do occur, they will simply go to a different area. People want free parking (or non permit parking like Broadway Street in Fells).

As for resident parking, you have to take the good with the bad. You get good location and property rates, but bad parking. And I hate it when people say, “I have lived here for 3 years and hate the parking”. Well, why did you move there in the first place? You knew what you were getting into. People who have been living there 20 years can complain; newer people cannot.

Fed Hill will still get the Ravens crowd, but on non-sport days, I wonder how they will do if the changes occur.

Here's an idea, and maybe it's not completely thought through, but it seems like it would work.

Put the EZ parking meters everywhere in Fed Hill. Pick whatever hours you want for them, 7am-8pm, 7am-12am, whatever. Give the residents permits, which would mean they don't have to pay the meters.

I understand that residents are frustrated. Unfortunately, lack of parking is one of the downsides of living in the city. You know this when you buy a house down there. It's my #1 reason for still living in the county.

I don't understand the rational of a City that wants people to patronize the businesses in and around the harbor, but will penalize people for doing so (and have become very agressive in doing so ... almost like a swat team of parking police).

I live on a main street in Baltimore, which is completely packed on the weekends and particularly on Sundays for churchgoers. It bothers me that people come into my neighborhood and take all the parking, but I realize that my street is not MY street. Everyone, anyone has the right to park there. Why should they be penalized for helping the City's economy by supporting the businesses and churches.

I really wish the City's official and these Hell bent elitist community groups would be more considerate about this whole parking thing. Forty-two dollars (or more) just because you came into a neighborhood to patronize a business is outrageous.

I think Jason is over reacting. Neither of his bars are in Federal Hill they are in South Baltimore anyway. THe new parking rules will affect the "non-Federal Hill" parking areas. There are already 2 no tolerance zones in the area, so what's with 2 more. Personally I don't think it will change a thing unless they add more parking enforcement officers (not planned) so folks will continue to park illegally, get drunk and uproot trees and flower pots from Cross St to Fort no matter what and residence will continue to have to stay in town weekends or spend an hour or more looking for a space to park and end up parking illegally anyway...

I'm all for the new rules...

I don't understand the rational of a City that wants people to patronize the businesses in and around the harbor, but will penalize people for doing so (and have become very agressive in doing so ... almost like a swat team of parking police).

I live on a main street in Baltimore, which is completely packed on the weekends and particularly on Sundays for churchgoers. It bothers me that people come into my neighborhood and take all the parking, but I realize that my street is not MY street. Everyone, anyone has the right to park there. Why should they be penalized for helping the City's economy by supporting the businesses and churches.

I really wish the City's official and these Hell bent elitist community groups would be more considerate about this whole parking thing. Forty-two dollars (or more) just because you came into a neighborhood to patronize a business is outrageous.

Too bad there isn't better transit. If people didn't have to drive into the neighborhood to hang out, there wouldn't be so many cars. The new shuttle the city is planning is a start. I hear it may have a stop at the West Street Garage.

My other unsolicited ideas to improve parking:

Require residents who have trucks or full sized SUVs to pay more for their monthly permit. It makes sense since they're taking up more room. Besides, who needs a 4-wheel drive if you live Downtown?

Build a new garage, but make it for residents only to reduce the need for on-street permit spaces. The price would have to be subsidized (going from a $30 permit to a garage space would be a big jump in cost) but the businesses might consider helping defray the cost if it frees up space in front of their establishment.

somehow 'nightlife writer' and 'federal hill resident' just seem incongruous...are yuppies qualified for that kind of thing?

I think that they should tear down the Cross Street Market and build a parking lot. A new market could be built into that structure.

Who cares, those people moved to those communities knowing of the parking problems. Suck it up. Ask Mayor Dixon to build a parking lot casino or use the Hilton's parking lot.

Unfortunately there is a lot of abuse by renters with visitor parking permits. When you have 4 people splitting rent on a house and they each have a car, it takes up spots that would otherwise be available for taxpaying residents and actual guests of residents and local businesses. I'm not saying that if you rent you shouldn't have a place to park because believe me, I rented before I owned too - just never with four cars. It seems there has to be a limit. All I know is that we pay more in taxes alone than most of these people pay for rent - yet they sometimes have twice as many cars taking up spots on the street as we do.

Gawd almighty, what a STUPID idea. Does any city official or government business official realize that business is DOWN in the Inner Harber, that business is DOWN near the Power Plant, that business is DOWN downtown, that business is DOWN in Fells Point, that business is DOWN in Little Italy----and NOT because of the economic downturn? Business is DOWN everywhere BECAUSE NO ONE HAS ANY PLACE TO PARK AND PEOPLE ARE FED UP WITH THESE NEW RIP-OFF PARKING RULES, METERS, GARAGES AND TICKETS. It's very simple: If you continue to make it difficult to just PARK in the city, then guess what? No will give a damn anymore, and no one will come down there to do business. The Inner Harbor has already lost three restaurants--and why? Parking. Business leaders with the Ram's Head and other nearby bars constantly complain about the stupid parking rules nearby. Even bar owners on the Block complain--about parking. City officials have dug themselves into a parking hole. Again: You continue to make it difficult to simply park, then people will take their business to the suburbs--where you can pull into a lot, park---and enjoy yourselves. More stringent parking rules is not the answer--anywhere, anyplace, at any time.

Bar patrons should just suck it up and either park farther out and walk in or pay for parking -- welcome to the city, it ain't the suburbs, you don't get to park for free. By the same token, the residents should suck it up, get over their phony outrage about angled parking and allow it to be instituted on the streets around the park and nearby. That would make parking more efficient and add 40-50 spaces to the overall parking situation. The parking problem in the area is severe and it should be addressed in a variety of ways if you want to accommodate residents and bar patrons.

As for the bars being the heart and soul of Federal Hill business, give me a break. Federal Hill did just fine before the bars were there. If all the little 20-somethings that have moved in to get their drink on decide to move out, maybe people who actually give a damn about the neighborhood will replace them. I seriously doubt it would be the end of Federal Hill.

I'm all for the changes. Should the city be worried about a bar owner or two, or thousands of residents?

It will bring more money into the area and potentially ease the parking issue. Of course, they'll need to do some additional angle spots, where available, and get a garage somewhere else.

If you can't use a cab, bus, or your feet to go drinking all night on Friday/Saturday, then you are obviously drinking and driving, putting people at risk because you are cheap.

I think what would help this situation would be a monorail.

There isn't any parking in South Baltimore nowadays either. I live near both bars in question and unless you look for a spot right after work on Friday and Saturday you have the same situation as in Federal Hill. The problem is 7 days a week. I can't think of anywhere in Baltimore where parking isn't an issue. I don't understand why Federal Hill residents feel that just their area is hurting. It's a part of city life.

Steve J- My bars are in South Baltimore, the new rules are going to affect Federal Hill and South Baltimore bars the same.

Good news to report, Riverside and Locust Point businesses will be spared from Residential Parking for now. There was a meeting concerning parking on Monday night and the residents turned it down. Unfortunately the same residents won't be able to drive from Riverside to Federal Hill without a parking permit. The Riverside residents were very insightful and wanted to come up with ideas to create new parking.

Carey- that's a great idea however I was told you can't put the meters in front of residential houses

Aaron- wait til you want to have friends over and then you will understand how difficult the new changes will make your life.

Some ideas that I heard at the meeting the other night that could help Federal Hill were:

Allowing people to park in bus stops after a certain hour.

Allow people to park in daytime businesses and school parking lots after hours.

Create more angled parking wherever possible.

Spray paint marks for easier parking on the streets.

There has to be a way where both residents and business owners can get along. I agree with Firefly, the value of houses will go down even further if businesses start to go out of business. It will be sad when employees of nighttime businesses can't even park.

A better Metro system?

This problem could be solved very easily if more people used mass transit or walked. The whole advantage of living in the city is being able to walk to things that are close by. I know from experience that Baltimore's mass transit system leaves a lot to be desired, but Federal Hill is especially well situated in terms of its proximity to the light rail and bus lines.
Maybe instead of more garages, we should be thinking about more mass transit options. The solution is less cars, not more parking spaces.

Isn't Battery Ave. like 3 times wider than it needs to be? How about making that one way (between Cross & Fort) and making angled parking the whole way down? Include it in 19, leave the reg's the same.

I'm a little bit confused. I live in Locust Point, does that mean that when I drive from my house to Federal Hill I won't be able to park because I won't have a Federal Hill permit? The article makes it sound like you won't be able to park anywhere but the garage unless you're Fed Hill resident.

The ridiculous parking situation is why I pretty much never go out in Federal Hill- as much as I like the area, parking is just more trouble than it's worth, in my opinion.

If the West St. Garage isn't used all that much during the week, couldn't the upper 2 levels just be reserved at night for residents who pay a flat monthly fee? When I lived in Fells Pt. a few years ago, the one garage on Caroline St. was rented out to residents on a monthly basis and there was a waiting list to get in on this. Even if they extended it to weekends, the garage owners would still have to be making a profit from all the monthly parking fees that residents would be paying to use it.

I also like the idea of extending the light rail into Federal Hill- couldn't the Ravens and O's throw some money towards this since it is their fans who are showing up in Federal Hill to pregame and celebrate post game? They have something to lose in all of this too, even if it's miniscule to their bottom lines. If the light rail already has an offshoot for Penn Station, it can't be that hard for an offshoot over to Charles St. to cart in some of the county residents.

How about having the city giving residents property tax breaks if they converted their backyards into parking pads to get cars off the street?

To me, this is just another sign of B'more being in dire need of a heavy rail subway system that the city leadership deems to expensive to fund and begin building. As one previous poster mentioned, the harder and more expensive it is to park downtown, the less inclined people are going to be to spend their dollars there.

Just pay old man Ray at the Shofer's for weekend parking. $5 gets you a spot for the night. The lot does tend to fill to capacity, but it is another spot to look for parking on any night down there...

Jenn,

Under the proposed changes, if you live outside of Federal Hill and do not have a permit or visitor pass, you can't park in any of the zoned residential areas. Those are the areas with the incredibly confusing green and red signs about when you can and can't park.

bob,

That's a good idea. I know they recently made a street down by the Ostend Street Post Office one-way. And Hampden did this last year or the year before. I think that frees up all kinds of space. But I'm not sure what steps you take to make this happen.

KAZ,

A better Metro system/new Light Rail/less annoying bus routes would be a huge, huge boost for this city. But who knows if it will happen anytime soon.

Jason,

I'm glad the Riverside residents are willing to work with businesses and find some middle ground. This is an incredibly tricky situation. But with time and effort, I'm sure everybody can hammer out a compromise. I hope the businesses and residents are willing to put time and effort into it, and not just rush to one solution.

The issue is not the bars...Parking is bad in the Riverside area and there are very few bars. It is the fact that you have multiple cars per household. On average, you probably have 2 cars per household. Then figure the rental units, where at times you may have up to 4 people with cars living in a house.

Jason - I like the bus stop rule. I personally don't ride the bus and don't know a single person that does, so I say basically wipe them out except for every 6 blocks or so.

I live in Canton about 8 blocks from the square. I know coming home after 9 pm means I either drive around for 30 minutes looking for spots or park 9 blocks away. I also chose to live there. Permits would be great, but I don't think things need to get any more strict than they are now in fed hill.

I think that anyone that is 40+ (or acts like it), lives in fed hill and wants to complain about parking should finally move into the next stage of their lives and have kids/move out/retire and start wetting the bed rather than crying about a good walk.

My two cents (or three)

God forbid, you may have to walk 6 BLOCKS home! What a tragedy. That's like almost 2/10s of a mile! In most cities, the walk is much more farther, folks. But those are the breaks when you choose to live in a downtown area, so either move to Towson or quit complaining. Odds are, you could probably use the exercise, seeing how adverse you are to a little walking in the first place.

This discussion is mostly academic for me - I remember when I used to be able to find parking in Fed Hill. Also - I am loathe to go down there anymore because of parking issues and with the new fact that the neighborhood association's short sighted plans have inferred that do not want my business around there.

When I lived in downtown (oxymoron) Fredericksburg,VA - there were days when I had to park nearly a block from my house. It was part of city living.

Tho a monorail would definitely rate Baltimore as a word class city like Brockway, Ogdeville or North Haverbrook.

Although we were very concious of the 2-hour time limit and returned in plenty of time, our car was towed off of Battery Avenue. We are not huge baseball fans and didn't realize that there was an Orioles game. It was a $277 mistake that won't be repeated. It will make us think twice about visiting the area. We wondered out loud how we were supposed to know that there was a stadium event going on. The impound lot attendant asked, "Well, didn't you see a lot of people walking around with Orioles shirts on?" I am completely confident in saying that when we parked, there were zero people walking around on Battery Avenue with Orioles shirts on. I personally think that the city loves to tow people. Our car rode to impound and was there for 20 minutes. The city made almost $14 a minute off of us. You're welcome, but never again!

Welcome to urban living.

Any city worth its salt has parking problems. Thems the breaks. Now if, as you say, you can find a spot within 5 or 6 blocks of your house during the worst of times, it sounds to me like people are crying over spilled milk. Go for a 5 or 6 block walk. You might get in a little better shape. And honestly if you can't stand walking that far then maybe it's time to consider the County.

It also should be noted there's a Light Rail stop within easy (again shudder!!!) walking distance to the action in Federal Hill. However the schedule doesn't go late on Fridays & Saturdays. If the MTA would run late bar trains on weekend nights they could use a resource already at their disposal to help alleviate the crunch. Then by taking the Light Rail people can save gas, help the environment a little with less driving, not have to worry about parking, walk off a hundred or so beer calories and have a little time to sober up on the train before driving home at the end of the night.

Now an inevitable response to this is "What about the crime?" "Won't we get mugged in big, bad Sharp-Leadenhall if we dare walk through there?" This is something Baltimore has backwards. Crime gets worse because people are NOT walking around. Once there's a presence of passerby's on the street crime levels go down. It's called the Eyes on the Street theory and its a key component of revitalizing cities that have been stretched apart by cars. So start walking and stop whining people. Either that or move to Owings Mills.

There is already a proposal to extend the subway system (many people don't even know Baltimore has a subway system) with a Federal Hill stop.

However, I think they are a long way away from funding.

Just go to Canton instead people!!!!

Good god! Guess what, Federal Hill, YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONES!!!!

mdgrl1940 wrote:

I can't think of a neighborhood in the City that has done a better job of hanging a "you're not welcome here" sign than Federal Hill.

I could not agree more. Between the whiny Federal Hill Association and the legislation that the city is now threatening to pass (undoubtedly at the urging of the Federal Hill Association), it's all a big sign for people to move their homes, businesses, and money to other areas of the city.

I've lived in Federal Hill/South Baltimore, Fells, and Butchers Hill. Guess what people, this is not a localized problem to Federal Hill.

Any area that is halfway safe to live in is an absolute [curse word] to park in: Charles Village, Mount Vernon, Mount Washington, Fells, Upper Fells, Butchers Hill, Federal Hill, Inner Harbor, Little Italy, just to name a few.

All the residents in these areas play the game: drive around your block in an ever extending spiral pattern until you find parking, resetting every ten minutes or so, just hoping that someone will pull. Or they jockey a car into two spots, hoping to save one for their roommate when he/she gets home.

Finally, as for nipsey's comment, "As for the bars being the heart and soul of Federal Hill business, give me a break. Federal Hill did just fine before the bars were there." Guess what, South Baltimore has been a haven for nightlife/bars/clubs/restaurants for YEARS. It's not recent that the bars just showed up. It's only recent that it's become the "cool" place to go and to live.

First, it's a crock that parking restrictions are still in place for Orioles games when the stadium is barely 1/4 full, especially on weeknights.

Second, I'm a City resident from another area, and I stopped going to Federal Hill over 2 years ago because of the parking issue -- and not because I couldn't find it, but because I clearly was not welcomed there. The rules are so strict, it's like patrons are being dared to go there in the first place. I can't think of a neighborhood in the City that has done a better job of hanging a "you're not welcome here" sign than Federal Hill. I took my business away from several stores and a salon I used to frequent there and instead go to other areas that are hospitable.

I don't have the solution for residents who are genuinely short on parking spaces, but there's no doubt tighter restrictions will hurt businesses; the current restrictions already are. When mature colleagues and I are looking for an after-work drink or shopping spree or errand run together, we never even consider Federal Hill anymore. If residents want it to be a strictly residential area with no businesses, then they are well on their way of doing so.

Diagonal parking was also proposed along several of the areas around FH but the residents felt it would reduce the 'historic appeal.' I can't count how many times I had to park at Digital Harbor on weeknights after school when I was living on Cross St.- the problem is too many cars per household. nuff said

My other thoughts have been echoed 100X already so that's about it.

I'm a (new, 20-something) Fed Hill resident who didn't move there for the bars, although I can be found there on occasion. I can understand both sides - agree with Shannon, how can you seriously be expected to know if there's a "stadium event" unless the schedules are posted on the parking signs? Some of the areas that are covered by those signs are far enough from Camden Yards that it isn't obvious when there's a game on, especially if it's a low-attendance game.
Then again, there have been Thursday and Friday nights (less often Saturday, somehow) where it's taken me up to an hour to find a space, and my car can fit into much tighter spaces than some others. Every time it happens I wonder, if there are legitimately no spaces in my designated area (vs. no "convenient" spaces), what would the parking authority suggest I do? Unfortunately I never have this problem, or that thought, while they're actually open.
I generally agree with the suggestions that more people should use mass transit, but it doesn't help if people are scared to ride. We live close to the light rail, and my girlfriend is a law student; when she winds up working late at night, she calls me for a ride instead of taking the train. The number of creepy encounters she has during daylight hours makes her nervous about what will happen riding at 8, 9, 10pm. Yes, it's probably an ill-founded fear, but that doesn't make it any more likely that she'll ride. Mass transit that could make her feel safe and get her to Patterson Park, along with my office making its long-delayed move from the suburbs to Harbor East, would go a long way towards us getting rid of that second car and opening up one more space.

I live on the border of Area 19 and the non-permitted area south of Fort Ave. I take a night class that gets out at 10pm on Tuesdays, and when I get home there is zero parking anywhere, permit required or not. Most of the time I end up parking a 10-minute walk away from my house. At 11pm alone, this is not a fun walk. So the problem exists 7 days a week, even in permitted areas. I agree, the problem is absolutely too many cars in the neighborhood, which is only exacerbated on Friday and Saturday nights. After living in Federal Hill for 3 years now I have learned to be home and parked early on these weekend nights to avoid the dreaded parking search. However when I invite friends up to visit for a night, they experience the frustration of finding a parking spot and don't really care to come up as often. Most other metropolitan areas with nightlife have at least one large parking garage. Adding to the West St. garage would be a perfect solution - it fills up by 9pm most weekend nights, and the top levels could be closed off during the week to reduce maintenance costs. The additional revune is sure to pay off quickly. Public transportation is also a great idea, but no one actually uses it now, and there are no major improvements in the works for the near future. I really don't think the "zero tolerance parking" system will make things that much better for residents, but additional parking in the area is definitely needed if the neighborhood wants to continue to develop as it has the past few years.

When is the vote on this?

Take a cab to the bar. Problem solved.

Simple point most people are being elitist about.

If you choose to live in a tony city neighborhood, near the major tourist attraction of the area, and in a major US city, why on earth would you expect to be able to park in front of your house?

Either:

a.) Move to the suburbs
b.) take public transportation
c.) deal with the inconveneince of choosing to drive and own a car in a area with a huge population density.

In all honesty, you know what you are getting into living in the city. I lived in Federal Hill for a while, then was moved away for work. After two years and returned and decided to buy a house. I chose Riverside because it was walkable to Federal Hill but still pretty easy to get parking. Plus we have the grocery store's lot.

There is not a city in the country where parking is good. Sure some cities have better developed mass transit, but you probably already knew that.

It sucks, but we will all survive

Wait, there's a waitlist for the West St. garage? So that means more than enough people want to park there on a regular basis and pay $100/month. How can they not justify expanding then??

There's a ton of comments here, Sam.

You'd have thought we were talking about how delicious and humane foie gras is or asking who the heck is Chris Sligh?

Who is Chris Sligh, anyway?

Exactly.

If we had what other "real" cities had such as public transportation (the kind where you don't fear for your life), there wouldn't be this problem.
I live and work downtown, yet I drive just about everywhere b/c the bus isn't reliable and isn't safe and there's no other way to get around (cab fare is a little much everyday to work).
I rarely go to Federal Hill simply b/c I have to pay to either take a cab there (not a huge deal going, but coming home, finding one could be an issue) and if I decide to drive, I'll never find a parking spot after 6pm.
We should stop looking for more parking lots/garages/permits and whatever else and take a real look at what would solve not only Federal hill's problem but traffic and most other things in general, we need a real mass tranist system something that rivals the T in Boston.

I love how most of the people who have commented here don't even live in Federal Hill.

I'm all for the parking restrictions, maybe we can take back our neighborhood from the frats and sororities. We don't need the type of businesses that draw all of these college kids every weekend. There is plenty of money flowing through Federal Hill to support a more civilised neighborhood but most of the people who OWN a home in Federal Hill don't go out in Federal Hill on the weekends because of the ridiculousness of the bar scene these days.

Businesses would do just fine if we had shops and restaurants that appealed to the people actually living in Federal Hill! And as far as home values dropping I don't see it. Federal Hill is the ideal urban neighborhood. Walking distance to the water, parks, baseball/football stadium, convention center. Close to downtown, close to the major highways. I'm not too worried about the neighborhood.

PML,

You're right -- we do need a real mass transit system like the T in Boston or the Metro in Washington.

But that's going to take time. So between now and then, we need to take steps to help neighborhood residents and also out of town guests find parking -- one way or another.

One suggestion that came up while discussing this conversation with a couple of friends: the city could do the same thing Shofer's Furniture has been doing forever, and open up unused parking (stadium lots) for a small fee. With the different sections of stadium parking on either side of Hamburg, they should be able to open enough parking to meet demand without cars being so spread out that they need multiple attendants to manage it.
I agree that the number of cars per household is the primary source of the problem, but I haven't heard anyone suggest a viable solution beyond "improve the mass transit and hope people wake up and use it."

Mike, I assume that you live Fed Hill correct? First, how long have you lived there? And why did you move down there?

I know people who live in Fed Hill and they moved there for the party atmosphere. And the college people do bring a lot of business, ask the bar and res owners.

I'd like to know the % of people who drive and park when going to the bars vs. those who walk/cab/bus, etc. Just from my personal experience, most people I randomly talk to in bars fall into the 2nd category. Obviously a lot of people do drive as evidenced by parking being impossible on weekend nights, but my educated guess is most bar patrons are local and do not need to drive in.

I'd like to see if this new rule reduces the number of drunken idiots doing burnouts on Charles St. at 2am, that's something we can all agree would be a good thing.

Me personally, I got tired of parking up by the park and walking to Charles st. just to get home or just avoiding using the car all together, so I waited 6 months on the wait list for the West St. garage, and now I pay $100 a month for a guaranteed spot. Woofreakinghoo

I agree with LB take cab's that's what I do to get around the city!

I've lived in the neighborhood a little more than 3 years. I moved into the area because I think it has amazing potential as a neighborhood, I just don't think feeding into the "party" atmosphere is bringing anything to the community. I mean as much as I love the weekly public urination, yelling, bar fights, and my personal favorite drunken boyfriend/girlfriend fights I think we could do without it.

Actually, I was thinking that maybe I would take a poll and see how many Federal Hill homeowners (not renters) actually go out in the neighborhood on the weekends. Do you honestly think people who paid 3/4 of a million dollars for their Harborview condo are hanging out at McGerks? I don't argue that what we have now is bringing a lot of business to the area, I just disagree that we need that business to survive as a great community.

I honestly don't think that more restrictive parking will reduce home sales. I specifically didn't buy in Fed Hill not because there was limited parking, but because it gets way too packed on the weekends. The bars there have encouraged the weekend swell by all expanding, catering to the miller lite crowd, and just packing people in. Fells used to be that way, but no longer is, and its doing just fine.

I think there should be street parking on the main streets, but the purely residential ones should be zero-tolerance.

The main culprit here is the multiple cars per house. Sorry renter, they need to cut back on the four cars per house phenomenon.

I can not help but read all of these comments and wonder where some of these people are coming from. I am a 3rd generation person in this community who has lived under the yoke of permit parking for several years. Let’s get one issue clear right off the bat area 30 permit parking alone does not work! It never has. It was one thing when we: out the kindness of the City Government’s huge heart gave us free area A parking (that applicable to stadium events) for free.

But now we have a parking cancer. A cancer wherein if block A is conned out of frustration into signing up for permit parking then block A’s overflow of visitors park on block B, hence block B signs up and so the cancer spreads. Along with this cancer comes still the inability to park period. One is a prisoner in one’s home. One can not even entertain in your private resident without special permission granted through the Parking Authority, who we idiots as tax payers have supported and increase that support by paying for a potential spot and that is all area 30 gives you a potential spot. I have lost track of the hundreds of dollars I as a 3 generation resident has paid. So once again let’s get the record straight area 30 does not work. Now some people want zero tolerance parking in the area, now this is one great idea LOL...

As it stands right now Grandmamma needs to finish her meal and get out of your home in two hours, with zero parking Grandmamma isn’t coming at all. Have these well doers considered all the businesses this is going to hurt and how vital these businesses are to this community. For God’s sake you are even taking away a person’s right to make a living with this outlandish proposal. Under this new deal if one works here one has got to quit your job, you tell me how moral that is.

Then to discount the fact that these businesses are what have drawn new area residents to this community is out and out asinine. People who are attracted to urban living are attracted to the amenities of a community, and these businesses play a huge role in this. Otherwise we would all be in the suburbs and going to the PTA meetings. If this is not what you want as noted by others get out.

We have lived here for generations and some do-gooder is going to tell us now even more how to live. Say hello to Severna Park and you have no other worries for urban living is not your bag. Or are you one of those people who would make 100K on your house, tell us how to live in the meantime then move to what you consider a better community. May I remind you you inherited this community from us? Yes parking is a bear I know I have dealt with it for years but I would rather bear with that then reside in no-mans-land. It’s a price we pay but a price that the City and Mr. & Mrs. Goodwill is taking advantage of.

Nobody or private group of people should have the right to take away any tax payer’s privilege to enjoy their home and decide where or when they can park. Baltimore best wake up soon and SOBO best be the first, read your posts no big deal lets kill our local businesses after all Fells Point and Canton can pick up our slack. Furthermore to say that 60% of this population has the right to rule over the whole is unjust. For what it may be worth 99% of the residents are sick and tired of these private groups governing our lives and want no part of their behavior and treatment of their neighbor let alone their fellow man. We want to be left alone to live in peace. Is that too much to ask of the tax payer’s supporting our fine city or does the city government want to pass over control to who many of us consider the local communist party?

This parking proposal is exactly another example of a special interest group muscling in and controlling our community. To sum it up your destroying all that is good in an urban community and handing over our civil rights when private groups like this are beating on our doors day after day even when we say no. And I for one say NO NO NO

I agree w long time sobo...i've lived in sobo for 10 yrs..so sick of the restricted parking..I knew when i bought here there were issues w parking. I was area a but now my block is area 30. Now I"m being told that because I have a garage I can only get one parking permit!! I am now penalized because I bought a house w a garage?? so , now i'm being told that I have to use my garage to park ..we often use the garage as a work area but it has to be one or the other. I can only have one guest if they want to stay more than 2 hrs...a lot of my friends live in the burbs..so over the restricted parking!!

Dear Federal Hill Residents and Businesses,

PLEASE, PLEASE whatever you do, work it out together. Otherwise this will be an intra-neighborhood fight for generations. I should know. I am the Residentail Parking Permit committe rep. for Little Italy. We are area 14, and the only area in the city w/3 hour parking. The surest way to start a fight in our community meetings is to even whisper the words "parking" or "valet". I can't tell you what is right for your neighborhood, but I can tell you this fight can break a community.

The biggest problem with parking is the lack of respect and consideration while actually parking. There is no need to park directly in front of your house when the block is empty. Pull to the top of the street and hope everyone else follows suit. Also just because your car is new or costs over $50,000 doesn't mean you should park 5 feet from the car in front of you. It will eventually get scratched and bumped so just suck it up and cry now instead of later. And don't park in the middle of what could potentially be 2 spots. Everyone complains about parking but do not take the time to park properly.

LONG TIME SOBO- I 100% agree with you, thank you. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Only in Baltimore (and the suburbs) would people drive when they go to a bar. Take a cab. You can't have a vibrant city that's centered around cars.

The bars will not suffer. Did all the bars before the influx of 'Fed Hill' not make money or profit? Are they not around anymore?

I'm a born and raised South Baltimore guy, only leaving for a few years in college. I frequent the neighborhood bars, I also go to the Cross Street. I walk. It's not hard for me. If I have to go anywhere downtown, I'll walk. Again not hard.

The irony I find of this situation is we're talking about PARKING and DRIVING and CARS and...BARS! Are you people serious? We won't have spots to park when we come from out of the area to go drinking and party. Seriously? We won't have a space to contribute to our DUI or Vehicular Manslaughter charges. We don't want the residents of the neighborhood to park and enjoy THEIR neighborhood, we want to trash it up and possibly do a hit and run drunk on their car.

Get a grip. And Jason, your bars are frequented by locals. You don't need the out of town crowd that much.

And I enjoy your establishments and Taps, by the way. Right through an alley for me.

SOBO -

You say 'private groups' are governing our lives... in regards to your Fed Hill hood. Just curious, what groups? MADD, SADD, Historical societies. Sounds Orwellian to me.

Wondering- the groups that SOBO might be referring to is SBIC and Federal Hill Main Street Asssociation and there is a couple of other neighborhood associations.

Derek-First and foremost, thank you for visiting my establishments as well as Taps. One issue that I have is where are our employees suppose tto park? I can't even get a parking permit for area 30. The new proposals will make it difficult for employees to park. A main concern that I have is for the "locals" that live in Locust Point who don't want to walk 2 miles to the bars but would like to drive. Locust Point residents who are just on "the other side" won't be able to get a permit, same with residents of Washington "Pigtown" Village.

We are focusing on bars, but there are also other small businesses that will suffer. If you live in Pigtown or Locust Point and you want to go to a boutique or a vet or a liquor store on Charles Street, you are going to have problems parking. We need to compromise, all I am saying is that ZERO TOLERANCE is not the answer.

What's the point in drinking if you aren't going to drive?

Half the fun is trying to figure out which set of headlights is the real one!

Jason,
I understand where you're coming from. And you bring up a better point about those coming to do business with other establishments than watering holes.

And for your employees, that is a tough thing...especially if they are coming for the 6-2 shift.

Maybe instead of zero tolerance they should open the floor to temporary work status parking permits...and for Taps, that bus stop could be good employee parking. Hell, even for Don't Know or No Idea that could help a little.

I agree Zero Tolerance wouldn't be great. I like the parking in the schools parking lots as an idea though. I'm not sure if they already do it, but after a certain time Thomas Johnson Elementary would work great to ease the parking problem for a good deal of Light Street residents.

Sam, the annoymous post at 10 51 was from me, I thought i filled in the field.

Welcome to city living and the world of user hostile parking

" have to use my garage to park ..we often use the garage as a work area but it has to be one or the other"

Posted by: tbm | October 29, 2008 8:42 PM

Oh no, you mean you would have to use your garage to park your car??!? Oh the humanity!! Now you won't be able to use your garage as work area, you'll actually have to park your car in it?!?! I can't believe the city would do that. I mean you deserve to take up that street spot while you use your garage as a work area!! Good gracious, be a GOOD neighbor, some people aren't blessed with a garage!

Blessed with a garage? God doesn't go around dropping garages into people's houses. Some people spend the extra money to buy a house with a garage.

To the individuals who have posted such musings as "[y]ou knew what you were getting yourself into when you chose to live in a tony neighborhood like Federal Hill," you are absolutely right. When I found a beautifully restored house, marked down 20% from the asking price, close to my children's school and within a comfortable walking distance to my wife's occupation I should have re-thought the decision because I would struggle to find parking EVERY NIGHT I get home for work. How obtuse of me.

I am squarely in the middle-class. My tax dollars (e.g. property, sales, etc.) are what keeps this city afloat. When denizens like myself move to the suburbs the city suffers. Parking is a problem. It needs to be rectified immediately.

Jason, I could not care less if my friends have problems finding parking if they come to visit me. They do not have to struggle with issues like "I really need milk and pampers for my kids, but do not want to drive to Shoppers because I will not be able to find parking when I drive home." Thus parking problems have already made my life difficult.

Parking or lack therof is something you need to take into consideration before purchasing a home. I am sure that when you were looking at your house for the first time that you didn't just park out front.Maybe you should have checked out the area at different times of the day and weekends like most people do-for other things aside from parking. That being said, I understand your frustration, but don't think what they are planning is the way to go. There needs to be a compromise for all the parties involved.

Here’s one idea that I’m sure will go nowhere. It’s not all that innovative– many apartment complexes use a similar system. Nor is it perfect. But every city I know of has permitted parking in place for areas with a high demand on parking so like it or not, we are always going to be dealing with some type of permitting system. This proposal, IMHO, would cause the least disruption to residents and businesses.

Here’s how it works: the City would draw lines to mark off all parking spots in Federal Hill. Then it would number the spots so that one (and only one) is tied to each residence (and business??) in the neighborhood. Every year, each homeowner has the option to purchase from the City a one-year lease of the specific parking spot tied to his/her house. Obviously, only the leaseholder can park in that spot.

If a resident chooses to not purchase the lease for his or her assigned spot, he/she can sell the year's parking privileges to someone else (sort of like a PSL at M&T).

By limiting each home/business to one spot, this would create a lot of unnumbered spots, all of which are first-come, first-served (no permit required).

Incidentally, by delineating all spots, this will also help with the problem of inconsiderate parkers who take up 2 spots. Also, the system provides an incentive to not have a car at all – I’m sure there will be plenty of folks willing to purchase these parking lease options.

There are plenty of flaws to point out, but overall i think the good outweighs the bad.

As noted by a many a person yes there should be a happy middle road here. I still think if our community groups would concentrate their efforts on what is important to the population and not their own gain the citizens of this community could band together and demand a solution from the city, after all don’t we pay enough taxes that the city doesn’t owe us the right to enjoy our homes which the city constantly raises our taxation upon.

Furthermore I know from hard experience none of this residential parking crap works. Does no one out there have common sense? Have any of who park and pay for that potential spot to park benefited from this rip off perpetrated upon us by the City. Do you people have any idea between the cost of the permits and outrageous amount of tickets us residents still pay that this City is sucking out of us!

As far as the business community your plain idiots to think that if we destroy or area business you destroy this community and missy who had her heart on reselling for a profit might just be eating that house. I have researched this and other cities give their businesses in their permit area’s a voucher system wherein the business is given an amount of vouchers based upon their business capacity to give to customers who support their business. What in God’s name would be wrong with that? It is of historic record that once the commercial sector of a community is gone the community is gone.

Once again wake up SOBO go back to area A for that does protect our parking during stadium events and give us back our civil liberties to the right of the use and enjoyment of our homes. I mean read these posts, here is a person who owns a garage so he now has to give up his garage for all we know this could even involve the person’s income and yet because he paid for a home with a garage, which he is surely tax for that improvement, you take it away from the man: who gives these people the right to take away or control any American person’s right to the use and enjoyment of their property. What these people are doing is criminal.

I have already asked my Realtor to look for me for a home out of this prison should this law be passed. It would break my heart for my grandparents came her as immigrants prior to WWII but they fought to fight the spread of communism and to flee, well buddy we have it back alright in our own back yard. As far as the woman pleading that this could tear a community apart I have one thing to say and that is maybe it is about time it happens and we take back our rights our forefathers fought for.

I think the issue with people not parking in their garages and using them as a work space instead is simple -- they're taking up two parking spaces with one car. How is that possible, you may ask? The entrance to the garage gets rid of one spot -- no one can park in front of it, obviously -- and the spot the garage-owner uses to park her car on the street is another.

Garages are for cars in this city. If you're lucky enough to have one, for God's sake, use it for your car and have some modicum of respect for the suffering of your garageless neighbors. We have the same problem in Canton (thanks in part to everyone from Fed Hill who comes over to Patterson Park and kicks soccer balls at each other in their Godawful BSSC shirts so I can't freaking park my car even on weekends DURING THE DAY) but with less whining.

I bought a house here, I have to deal with it, but I don't have to like it. And if people were more considerate of others (your BMW does not require four feet of empty space in front and behind when you park it -- thanks for eating up three spaces with your pathetic car!), the whole affair would be a lot more bearable.

Avenue Pop - "Crime gets worse because people are NOT walking around. Once there's a presence of passerby's on the street crime levels go down. It's called the Eyes on the Street theory and its a key component of revitalizing cities that have been stretched apart by cars. "

My girlfirend was mugged at the corner of Charles and Cross with about 30 people on the street. Explain that one with your "eyes of the street" theory. What do you think will happen to young women walking to the Light rail (i.e. thief train)?

I hope you and others are not serious about the mass transit thing.

The city has far bigger issues than parking. the whole reason this is being proposed in the first place is to combat crime in the area. There have been meetings and dealings by criminals and dealers at Federal Hill Park. This bill is an attempt to prevent people from meeting in Federal Hill after dark.

Federal Hill Park? There's a Federal Hill in South Baltimore that's not a park? Kidding, old school humor.

But on a more serious note, 'criminals and dealers' are not prevalent in South Baltimore anymore, rather than a few streets in the heart of Southside. So stop trying to 'tuff it up.' with criminals after dark. Have you ever been up to Federal Hill at night? Seen that view. It's beautiful. To take that away would be a crime.

Back to parking now.

Aaron-

Please let me know when you have a party and none of your friends can show up. Once again, I am only against zero tolerance parking, for my employees and my patrons. I want you to be able to park in front of your house. Please stop by any of my establishments, I would love to hear your side about everything. My number is 410-212-7521, I would love to hear your side of everything. It is just so frustrating for me, I just want to get this whole situation resolved. I know that there is a happy medium where we can all get along. I am willing to lock myself in a room for a month until we get this resolved. I understand your problems but at the same time I don't want to put area businesses out of business. Feel free to call me anytime, after noon please.

Jason

"Blessed with a garage? God doesn't go around dropping garages into people's houses. Some people spend the extra money to buy a house with a garage "
-Sam Sessa

And that's great, garages are designed to be used for cars. Use it for your car. It goes back to my actual point which was BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR! Be considerate of the people around you. Thanks.

Well now, lets all just have a few more posts with personal attacks and little to no reasonable solutions...

Lets all just take a second to breathe before this gets totally out of hand.

First off, lets all get one thing out into the open!

Zoned parking, hold on....lets wait for it......

DOES NOT CREATE ADDITIONAL PARKING!

I repeat this for those of you who need it, permit parking does not create additional parking.

For those of you who have been convinced by the supporters of zoned parking that you will be able to park closer to your house, you are sadly mistaken. I have been a SOBO resident and home owner for 7 years and have seen the parking problems get worse and worse, and yes I was aware of the problem before I moved here. But now it seems that I not only have to park farther and farther away, (which by the way is not really a problem with me,) I will now have to pay the city even more in parking fines because there is NO PARKING, even for the residences, and it seems that more and more spaces are being taken up by "Handicapped Permit" Spaces. Once again, not a problem with me, atleast the residences that need them, can get them.

In my opinion this problem is one that requires multiple solutions to help ease the problem, and the solution is not one that can be provided by some local community organization, but one that should be provided by the city that we live in and pay taxes to.

Let us all remember these simple facts. Most of the row homes in the city are on average 14' to 16' wide with the exception on many blocks of having an end unit that may be as large as 18-20 feet wide. Most of those end unit houses or corner houses use to house some kind of local business in years past or in some cases still do. My point in saying this is to illustrate the math.

The average auto requires atleast 16 feet to comfortably park on the street (Parallel), so if you take that fact into consideration, you can safely say that there is not enough room on the streets with parallel parking to get even one car per house on the street, and most houses owned or rented, have 2 cars to the household. So you see, permit parking will not create parking where there is none to create.

Let me also say that wether or not you rent or own has no bearing on the fact that THE DWELLING, not the financial status of the person who lives in it should have anything to do with the parking situation. That one just drives me up the wall.

The city, not the local Comm. Org. should be taking the lead on this one. I know for a fact, as I used to work for a civil engineer dealing with parking. The city never requires enough NEW parking per developement when they let developers take advantage of less stringant parking requirements just so that the developer can maximize his profits. And no, I am not against developement, but Uncontrolled developement with no leadership from the cities government is what is putting us in this situation. Allowing apartment complexe developers to get away with not having to provide atleast 1 space per bedroom and one guest space per apartment is just feeding to the problem, not to mention allowing Big D to redevelope properties as fast as humanly possible and not phazing in developement is also adding to the pain. To also allow major developements to be planned, much less built, with out providing addtional public parking if possible is also adding to the problem.

The city should also place diagonal parking everywhere possible, not ask the local residences if this is something they would like, and then put it up for signatures....this is rediculous. Install the diag. parking where possible and get it over with. I can think of many streets that now have the room for it, Charles street, Fort Ave., Ostend St just to name a few, these could have atleast one side diagonal which would add more local parking. Also, getting rid of old no parking zones/ loading zones that are no longer needed as the dwelling has become residential and not commercial in it's use. These spaces of which there are many, are just ticket revinue for the city. And for gods sake, paint parking spaces on the streets, so that parking is more consistant. I drive down many streets where I could park my car but the space that is left by the free for all parking is not big enough to park a Hugo let alone any average car, and this is not because most are trying to be cute with the parking, its because sometimes people pull out and leave a much bigger space than the next car needs and then the problem grows with every new car parking till there is a space that is 6 feet long, but just not big enough for a car.

The city could also provide tax incentives for those who are lucky enough to own houses that would support either garages or parking pads in the rear of the houses to build them if not already there, not raise taxes because they are there! Also remember that some of us have lots that do not have alleys behind, just walk ways, and we need parking as well.

For the city to build some additional garages would help to ease the problem, not only for the half lot owners but also would ease the parking issue for local businesses, I know of alot of open parcels of land just sitting that could accomidate a garage or even just an open lot that could be temporarally built until the property is further developed. There are 3 large open spaces on Wells that already have paving or gravel that would be great for additional parking but alas they stay empty or behind chains.

It truely will take leadership from the city to help to ease this issue, and for the residents to stop thinking that there is an end all solution to the problem as the math stated above plainely shows. THERE WILL NEVER be enough parking to make us all happy, so lets make our voices heard, lets all be constructive, not destructive in our opinions...and yes, lets not blur the parking issue with other issues such as drunken dissorder, these are issues that the tavern owners have to be responsible for, lets not penalize all local business for the issues that we have with the bars that allow this kind of behavior, after all, there are some bars that do operate responsibly for the most part, and just remember, there have been local bars on the penninsula for many, many years, they have come and gone and have been replaced by new ones in another block, so lets not try to blame the new owners for a pre-existing parking issue.

One thing remains, and that is that making additional areas into zoned parking goes no where to solve the problem but only leads to further frustration with the existing residents and also antagonizes adjoining blocks as it forces the overflow into already tough to park areas. As exampled by the new zoned parking that has been placed in the areas of Heath and Charles and some of the other adjoining blocks, now the parking is worse than ever as the people who live one these streets who have more than one car and no parking behind the house are coming to my street to park so as not to get a ticket. This problem is EVERY DAY, not just on the weekends.

Hopefully people will reallize that having a Zero tollerance parking law will only fill the cities pockets with more revenue, once again, NOT CREATE ADDITIONAL PARKING, not allow the residents who live here to have visitors such as family come to call, force what local business we have to move else were, leaving the much needed local businesses revnues to disappear which makes the community much less desirable. For anyone who has studied urban planning on any level or has atleast the open mindedness to see that no community can live, much less thrive with out local business. Just take a look at all the areas that we consider problem areas, and areas that were once bad areas. It takes a healthy handshake of residential, local business and commercial business to make a community grow. So lets not forget all of our neihbors, businesses included when we look at this issue. Lets start by forcing the city to take on a more active role in trying to ease the situation, not just give them cart blanch to get more money out of all of us for very little return which is what more strict parking regulations will give us...and will for the last time, not create additional parking...

And last but not least, yes using public transportation more or taking a cab more or using the parking that you privately have on your property, all of these would go to help ease the problem. So lets all be not just a community, but neighbors as well.

I have no problem parking 7-8 blocks from my house in Federal Hill.

HOWEVER, on game days, parking 7-8 blocks away from my house puts me in a different area than I am permitted to park! So it's not just a normal Fri. or Sat. night that's the major problem... its the game day crap.

I'd be happy as a clam if the rules changed so that residents of Federal Hill wouldn't get towed on game days because they had to park in a different area.

I hate the parking police for being a*holes to residents, but I don't think they should tighten restrictions anymore than they are to screw over business patrons and employees.

Hi Neighbors, boy after reading all these various posts it sure is clear that this zero tolerance parking issue is a very heated one and certainly not one that should have been perpetrated behind the residents backs. I personally didn't hear a thing about this thing and mind you I am a avid reader until a Miss Goody-Good-Shoes started banging on my door relentlessly to sign a petition to give up even more of my civil liberties. I found this group first of all to be very aggressive and even upon advising these people I would not sign they continued to harass the hell out of me. I have spoken to a many of my fellow neighbors who are outraged over this whole concept and feel the City of course like with so many issues of this nature allow this form of harassment to line their coffers. As per my last post most that I have discussed this with first of all DO NOT WANT IT and secondly are not happy with this AREA 30 bull. Most of us were happy with the Stadium Parking program although we all feel if the City provided affordable and proper parking it still would not have to have been our problem in the first place.
But I have spoke my peace on that score enough although I will say from what I hear the local and especially original residents of this community are not going to stand by and allow this to happen. I certainly hope Mayor Dixon is reading these posts for from what I hear there very well may be quite a few people parked on her doorsteps in the near future. Following my last post I was questioned upon what special interest groups or group I was referring to here. To answer that question more specifically I am talking about SBIC. Now here we have a community torn apart over the parking situation that is becoming less and less tolerable and now they want to take away even more of our rights with this off the wall way approach to the problem but how many of us are aware that one of the persons going door to door non-stop even when asked to leave us alone is a Ms. Alt? Ms. Alt it seems is the group's parking person and once again when advised that one does not want this crap goes on visiting your home. The other ironic thing here is a Ms. Tice who is now running for President. This person is an architect and is promoting having a hotel built in the heart of the community, that should really help with our parking problems, thanks Ms. Tice. But I can not one help but wonder if this is not a conflict of interest for this group's proposed President to be the architect for a hotel in our community. I just can not help but wonder what logic there is in this kind of situation. Here this person stands a chance to make a buck off of this development but has the hypocrisy to say they are concerned about the welfare of our community at heart. Boy where is Richard Nixon when we need him? If it were not so sad a person could laugh at the stupidity of a society that supports this kind of behavior. We read the papers and see this investigation into our Mayor's behavior when we have corruption in our own back yards!

SOBO Veteran:

You forgot to mention the even funnier situation that happened not too long ago whe the former SBIC Liquor Advisory Chariperson fought hard to close down Heath Street Pub and after he successfully got it shut down, he BOUGHT the property. hahaha! how funny is that. Please report any harrassment to the city and I hope that Mr. Sessa passes this blog to the Mr. Reisinger himself.

Good God! Have you seen the people that use the light rail? Seriously.

I do not want a stop in Federal Hill. Because honestly...it won't be the bar goers taking it...the hours will never go that late. It is going to be the people that I don't want in my neighborhood coming in. There are enough of those folks now...no need to bus in more!

In response to Bill.

It would be helpful if you actually commanded some knowledge of urban planning and crime prevention before engaging me. Believe it or not, your understandable emotions about your gf aside, one isolated incident such as the one you're upset about does not explain in any way, shape or form criminal behavior in a public setting. I get from the ignorant tone of your post (calling the Light Rail the "crime train", using i.e. as though is meant aka) you probably think much of what goes on in this world is about you, but, fortunately, it is not.

And yes, I am serious about mass transit, as we all should be. Unfortunately the urban planning thus far on the transit in the city has been poorly done, to put it charitably.

As for this gem "The city has far bigger issues than parking. the whole reason this is being proposed in the first place is to combat crime in the area. There have been meetings and dealings by criminals and dealers at Federal Hill Park. This bill is an attempt to prevent people from meeting in Federal Hill after dark." I have no idea what you're talking about. I hope you can learn to be a little less paranoid however. Either that or move someplace else, since the apocalyptic environment you perceive in Baltimore really doesn't seem to suit you.

Sobo Veteran,

The election for SBIC, now SBNA, is next Tuesday, November 11th. Miss Tice will be running against Andy Harrison, both of whom are in favor of Zero Tolerance parking. Mr. Harrison is involved with the area 30 parking coalition. As a home owner in the neighborhood, who should I vote for?

The reason that this might pass in Federal Hill is that when they knock on your door they just say please sign here, it will make parking easier, hence people sign it.

People have been leaving petitions in mailboxes throughout Federal Hill, hopefully they realize that this is illegal and is punishable by a $100 fine per door. Please feel free to call 311 if this happens to you.

Zero tolerance doesn't have anything to do with criminals and dealers after dark, this really won't bother them. It is a community's attempt to hurt the restaurant and bar business in the neighborhood but at the same time they will be hurting everybody.

Here's another idea...why not find out when the parking authority work till. The hours are in affect until 12am in Area 30. Unless it's a weekend, are we seeing them out until 12am? I highly doubt that we are. Therefore our taxpaying dollars are being spent on nothing during the times they are not working Sunday-Thursday in that area. It really shouldn't be up to lobbyist to control this issue as was mentioned before, but to the City of Baltimore.

And please, if anyone can tell me what the hours of the parking authority are suppose to be, I'd like to know. I may be wrong, but I bet they don't work past 8:00pm on Sunday-Thursday, unless there's a stadium event.

My boyfriend lives in Federal Hill, but because he lives in an apartment complex where he can buy a parking space (and he does) he cannot get a street parking permit for himself or for visitors. So if he has any visitors at all, they have to abide by parking restrictions. I cannot come visit on game days at all, and if I park on the street overnight, I've got to get up first thing and move my car. I don't really understand yet how these new restrictions might affect us, but it sounds like I may as well just plan on never going to Fed Hill again. We are not the "young" frat and sorority types. When I go to Fed Hill, I am often there shopping at the boutiques, eating at Metropolitan or Corks or visiting friends. My trips are usually more than 2 hours. Does the neighborhood really not want me there? Shouldn't my boyfriend be allowed to have visitors for more than 2 hours, or does he get no consideration because he is a renter?

Federal Hill Visitor

You will still be able to go to Metropolitan or Corks but you will probably have to park in the garage on West Street. As far as your boyfriend, you won't be able to spend the night at all because the zero tolerance hours are from 6pm-7am. He won't be allowed to have any visitors especially if he lives at 101 Wells where they love to tow. Good luck.

I wish the community associations would spend as much time and energy on quality of life issues in our neighborhood...crime, drugs, trash, rodents!! Now those are problems! Not parking in front of my house I can tolerate.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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