Take Back The Streets (...and alleys)

Blackbird

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Stlin

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Outdoor dining spaces need to close at 9:30pm on weekdays and 10:30pm on weekends? Why?
I imagine in deference to residents who may live above or near restaurants and don’t necessarily want to go to sleep with the sound of restaurant patrons outside their windows. I imagine it’s far easier to articulate a city wide policy than to be more discriminating.
 

BeyondRevenue

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Outdoor dining spaces need to close at 9:30pm on weekdays and 10:30pm on weekends? Why?
…Because tourist and (overwhelmingly) suburbanite pandering by mostly suburbanite-owned businesses significantly affects local residents quality of life. What idiocy level should city dwellers tolerate from liquored up man-boys and doorway squat-pee-ers from the exurb culs-de-sac? Quarter-acre mortgagees venture into the city to feel something other than their crushing debt while kvetching about the “car in the shop”, drinking 13-dollar shots with abandon, digging still deeper.
Talk to people who live in the North End about “Weekend Bingo” - sidewalks strewn with marinara vomit, broken bottles and urine splotches (common), panties and spent condoms (rarer) netting imaginary points when spotted. These are the markers of capable savages allowed to scratch an itch away from the self-imposed constraints of a Lennar tract home.
Asshat mating season starts with the first martini powered WWHHHHOO HOOOOOOOOOO!

I get it.
 
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Blackbird

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Asshat mating season starts with the first martini powered WWHHHHOO HOOOOOOOOOO!
What does any of this have to do with restaurants staying open past 9:30pm? It’s not exactly the witching hour; in fact, it’s barely past sundown in the summer.

If the tourist parts are really the places that are hardest to control, then enact this ban there. Why should restaurants on Dot Ave have to close early just because the North End gets overrun with wealthy, misbehaved suburbanites?
 

Charlie_mta

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…Because tourist and (overwhelingly) suburbanite pandering by mostly suburbanite-owned businesses significantly affects local residents quality of life. What idiocy level should city dwellers tolerate from liquored up man-boys and doorway squat-pee-ers from the exurb culs-de-sac? Quarter-acre mortgagees venture into the city to feel something other than their crushing debt while kvetching about the “car in the shop”, drinking 13-dollar shots with abandon, digging still deeper.
Talk to people who live in the North End about “Weekend Bingo” - sidewalks strewn with marinara vomit, broken bottles and urine splotches (common), panties and spent condoms (rarer) netting imaginary points when spotted. These are the markers of capable savages allowed to scratch an itch away from the self-imposed constraints of a Lennar tract home.
Asshat mating season starts with the first martini powered WWHHHHOO HOOOOOOOOOO!

I get it.
I agree, but that's why entertainment districts are needed, such as what Kenmore Square used to be. Mixing residences and lots of restaurants and bars in the same neighborhood. such as Hanover Street, is incompatible after a certain hour of the night.
 

KCasiglio

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…Because tourist and (overwhelingly) suburbanite pandering by mostly suburbanite-owned businesses significantly affects local residents quality of life. What idiocy level should city dwellers tolerate from liquored up man-boys and doorway squat-pee-ers from the exurb culs-de-sac? Quarter-acre mortgagees venture into the city to feel something other than their crushing debt while kvetching about the “car in the shop”, drinking 13-dollar shots with abandon, digging still deeper.
Talk to people who live in the North End about “Weekend Bingo” - sidewalks strewn with marinara vomit, broken bottles and urine splotches (common), panties and spent condoms (rarer) netting imaginary points when spotted. These are the markers of capable savages allowed to scratch an itch away from the self-imposed constraints of a Lennar tract home.
Asshat mating season starts with the first martini powered WWHHHHOO HOOOOOOOOOO!

I get it.
Do we have any reason to believe this is people coming up from the exurbs and not Camberville, Eastie, All/Bright, etc? Or, frankly, other residents? Having worked most of my adult life in Boston hospitality and being perfectly biased against the burbs as anyone my experiences don't line up at all with what you describe.

EDIT: Particularly the idea of Joe from Pembroke and his friends being the people out past 10pm in the North End defies common sense.
 
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BeyondRevenue

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EDIT: Particularly the idea of Joe from Pembroke and his friends being the people out past 10pm in the North End defies common sense.
And yet… there they are defying common sense by drinking too much and doing everything I mentioned above. After they pay the check at your place they roam the streets and then The Stupid sets in.
To Blackbird’s point there needs to be districts set up for this sort of behavior. Right now, this informal arrangement is being greedily exploited by irresponsible restaurantuers and every common victualer with a license to pour. And they all drive in to circle for free neighborhood parking if the valets have left any.
At least it’s not Quickie in An Alley season yet.
 

JumboBuc

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Could a mod move this to the thread where we’ve been discussing outdoor dining here:

 

Blackbird

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Yikes. If I were a north end restaurant, I’d consider not opening out of protest. Probably be a big loss of money though.
 

Charlie_mta

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Blackbird

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Yeah. I have considered myself a Wu supporter, but she’ll lose many points in my book if she doesn’t back down here. There’s no reason North End restaurants should face harsher requirements for outdoor dining than anywhere else in the city.
 

SuffolkHeights11

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Everyone is rightly focusing on the unfairness of the $7500 fee but the $500 fee per parking space could use its own thread. So the city knows the value of the parking spaces they give away for free, unlimited, every year, to residents? Interesting. When a restaurant that generates thousands of dollars in meals taxes for the city and sales tax for the state takes a parking spot its $500, but when a resident wants to store their private vehicle on Hanover all day and night its free? Got it.
 

Blackbird

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Well said, but I think I might push back a little. The $500 is for the whole season, right? If it’s roughly $1/hr at the meter, that cost extrapolated over 8-12hrs, 6days a week, and for 3 months…

Basically I don’t know if $500 is significantly more than the city *would* get from private vehicles.

Or am I just misunderstanding, and the $500 is per day or per month?
 

JumboBuc

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Well said, but I think I might push back a little. The $500 is for the whole season, right? If it’s roughly $1/hr at the meter, that cost extrapolated over 8-12hrs, 6days a week, and for 3 months…

Basically I don’t know if $500 is significantly more than the city *would* get from private vehicles.

Or am I just misunderstanding, and the $500 is per day or per month?
The proposed fee is $7,500 per year plus $458 per parking space per month. That does seem, um, a little steep.

I see this threat from Wu as a game of chicken: either restaurateurs agree to the fee or she’ll cancel the whole thing. I don’t like it, but Wu is making a political calculation here: currying favorite with vocal North End residents is more valuable to her than with North End restaurateurs and diners (many of whom are not Boston residents, and are less likely to be engaged politically even if they live in the City). Wu is a shrewd political operator, and she knows what she’s doing. But applying this same political logic to questions of development would align her with vocal “community groups” over the greater good of increased density and housing supply.
 

Blackbird

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The proposed fee is $7,500 per year plus $458 per parking space per month. That does seem, um, a little steep.
But that’s what I was saying above: $458 or $500isn’t unreasonable if you’re comparing against the 1$/hr for 8hrs 6 days a week the city could make from a meter.

The extra $7,500 for being located in a certain zip code is certifiably insane though.

I don’t like it, but Wu is making a political calculation here: currying favorite with vocal North End residents is more valuable to her than with North End restaurateurs and diners (many of whom are not Boston residents, and are less likely to be engaged politically even if they live in the City). Wu is a shrewd political operator, and she knows what she’s doing.
I don’t know that it is a good choice. It goes against her campaign promise of tying to make things easier for entertainment and small businesses in the city. It also creates a “who’s next?” kind of fear. Would she pull this sort of thing in her home neighborhood of Roslindale if her neighbor knocked on her door and asked nicely?
 

SuffolkHeights11

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The proposed fee is $7,500 per year plus $458 per parking space per month. That does seem, um, a little steep.

I see this threat from Wu as a game of chicken: either restaurateurs agree to the fee or she’ll cancel the whole thing. I don’t like it, but Wu is making a political calculation here: currying favorite with vocal North End residents is more valuable to her than with North End restaurateurs and diners (many of whom are not Boston residents, and are less likely to be engaged politically even if they live in the City). Wu is a shrewd political operator, and she knows what she’s doing. But applying this same political logic to questions of development would align her with vocal “community groups” over the greater good of increased density and housing supply.
I agree it's a smart political calculation in a vacuum - the vocal residents have more political value than the restaurants. But for someone who campaigned on a new vision for Boston, moving Boston forward, unlocking Boston's potential, etc. this move runs counter. In a small, dense, walkable city like Boston the goal should be to have a thriving outdoor dining program that other cities look at and try to emulate. Instead it's the same old Boston that can't get out of its own way.
 

BeyondRevenue

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Don’t be a knee-jerk Wu basher. It’s not a good group to be in. Wu’s constituency are the citizens of Boston, not asshat suburban dwelling money siphoning restaurant owners. The city gave them a generous two-year real-estate freebie to help save their asses and now the city is saying they have to pony up. Street permitting of general public space for private use has a cost per day and everyone should pay. Restaurant owners have been collectively acting like victims while raking in a LOT of cash on those free seats. It’s not their property, it’s ours. The abutters are sick of the bullshit, rats, trash, traffic, noise and they are letting city hall know it. The city has to pay for extra cops, street cleaning and inspectors. Restaurant owners are notoriously opaque about their double-booking finances and when they cry poor I raise an eyebrow. How much would a landlord charge for a 350 square foot commercial space (roughly 3 parking spaces worth)? The city, as my management company, should demand the same from any tenant. The two big reasons the North End is being singled out are 1) the unique density of the area in question compared to the city as a whole, and 2) the general combative and recreationally litigious nature of some of the louder owner/complainers. If you’ll forgive the misogynistic overtone, this is a justified bitchslap to erstwhile bitchslappers.
 

Blackbird

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Street permitting of general public space for private use has a cost per day and everyone should pay.
Honestly the early closing times and early end to the season would bother me more than the fee. But the problem with the fee is that it begs the question: “are you trying to incentivize restaurants in this neighborhood to not include outdoor seating?” If yes, then you admit to trying to keep the city dull and making life harder on small businesses for no reason, which goes against Wu’s MO. If no, then it’s just extortion.

Restaurant owners have been collectively acting like victims while raking in a LOT of cash on those free seats.
It’s not their property, it’s ours.
How is owning or renting retail space any different than owning or renting an apartment or condo?

As a resident of the neighborhood, you don’t have any more inherent “ownership” over it than a business does.

Restaurant owners have been collectively acting like victims while raking in a LOT of cash on those free seats.

The abutters are sick of the bullshit, rats, trash, traffic, noise and they are letting city hall know it. The city has to pay for extra cops, street cleaning and inspectors.
Then make these fees and restrictions city-wide. There’s nothing special about the North End here compared to other central neighborhoods like Fenway or Chinatown.
 

SuffolkHeights11

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How much would a landlord charge for a 350 square foot commercial space (roughly 3 parking spaces worth)? The city, as my management company, should demand the same from any tenant.
I agree 100%. Why are resident stickers free and unlimited? Why is the plaza along Cross street a free parking lot?

Don’t be a knee-jerk Wu basher. It’s not a good group to be in.
Not trying to be a Wu basher I'm a supporter who voted for her. I was thrilled with her hires for chief of staff and chief of streets, both of whom are well known for their work in re-imagining city streets to be less car centric. I just don't see how this is consistent with those goals.
 

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