What is parking?

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Is it a right?

A privilege?

Though there wasn't much business at last night's BACA meeting there was some between the cookies and sandwiches. I also noticed a sizable Bloomingdale contingent. I mention the Bloomingdale, other side of Florida Avenue contingent because of a citizen comment when Sgt. Lee of MPD had the floor.

The female citizen, who lived on a SoRi (South of Rhode Island) Bloomingdale street, complained about a parking ticket she got in the wee hours. She said she gets home late and by that time there are no legal parking spots so she had to park near a stop sign, thus parking illegally. Because it was in the wee hours, it was more than likely MPD and not DPW that issued the ticket. Her justification for parking illegally and desiring exemption, was fear of crime, including sexual assault. BACA prez. Geovani Bonilla offered a long term solution of residental parking and extending the hours.

Parking is a problem of sucess and/or gentrification. When many of the houses on your block used to house people to poor to own cars, or biking singles or vacant houses, the pressure for parking on your block is low. But as vacant houses get fixed up and split into condos, section 8 turns to market rate, and the biking singles get married, stay and grow families needing cars or minivans with carseat space, there are fewer available parking spots. New restaurants in the area, just add to the pressure. As time goes on an unacknowledged amenity, lots of street parking/ or the ability to use your backyard for something else other than a car port, goes away as the neighborhood improves. When it goes away residents accustomed to having it, react.

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