Restaurants cited for opening patios during Patriots parade have cases dropped

Patrick Maguire reports the Boston Licensing Board has canceled hearings originally called for restaurants that opened their patios during the warm weather the day of the Patriots parade - and that the city is working to make it easier for restaurants with seasonal patio licenses to extend them to year round without an extra fee.

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Good call.

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I'm guessing the rules were put in place at a time there was snow all winter and the city didn't want the patios to be competing with road clearing with snow. Now snow is actually removed and hauled somewhere else when there is even snow so the rules have little purpose anymore. Let them allow the public to enjoy the nice days when we have them

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Where

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Do they put the snow now? I was under the impression snow was placed in big piles on the side of the road.

3- Natalia noted that they

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3- Natalia noted that they are working on a solution to allow restaurants with existing patio licenses a 1-day online permit during citywide sanctioned events that can be printed immediately and hung in their windows. [This would be moot for restaurants that extended their licenses to year-round...]

Before investing a ridiculous amount of work to issue patio licenses, why doesn't the city set up this online permitting for space savers, a far more widespread and neglected issue that desperately needs order? Show some leadership.

There’s a much better way to do space savers

Two actually:

1. Get rid of it, and enforce zero tolerance (yeah, I laughed out loud too).

Because that will never happen:

2. The city designs and purchases uniform space savers and offers residents a chance to rent one with their parking permit for a reasonable fee, tying renewals together, etc. Basically you can’t have one without a resident permit and these would then be the only space savers allowed in the city. Like parking permits, these could have a scannable barcode that allows the city to issue tickets for misuse, maybe even revoking privileges for those who do it habitually or don’t pay the fines.

Yes, there would be up front costs to the city. But it would be offset over time by the rental fees and money saved by not having to pick random crap up off the street a week after every “storm” we get.

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Ehh...

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but in the case of option 2, people will just keep using random trash to reserve spots. Untraceable unless you catch them putting it out there, in the act.

And even if they use your special permit-savers....they'll still get into fist fights when someone cleans out a spot and someone else claims it with their saver. Or people will move others savers and put their own down.

Zero tolerance is the only logical policy. Everyone should get dash cams with motion sensors and when some townie jackass keys your car, smashes your window, and slashes your tires...they should be arrested and forced to pay full restitution, as well as lose their own parking rights in the city as punishment.

Alternate-side parking is no

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Alternate-side parking is no longer practical in Boston because parking demand is too high. The city would first have to reduce car ownership and the total number of residential parking stickers. Only then could alternate side parking happen.

Year-round street cleaning

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Street cleaning throughout the year would also help. When there is a surfeit of snow, crews could remove it to the curb and haul it away, freeing up space for more parking.

Getting it right would have

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Getting it right would have been making the restaurants pay a fine.

They knew the rule and made a business decision to break it and encroach on city property when they didn't have permission to do so. It's also not a victimless action to take over a public sidewalk at the moment when that sidewalk is super jammed with people.

If they want to change the rule in the future, then that's a separate discussion.

There were never going to be fines

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The city doesn't issue them for license violations. Instead, a citation gets you a hearing at the licensing board, which then decides whether your infraction warrants a simple warning to not do whatever it was again, suspension of your license, outright revocation (very, very rare) or a reduction in your hours (rare, but not as rare as revocation but not really applicable in this case).