Rawlings-Blake Vetoes Permit Parking in Hampden

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Late Friday afternoon, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced she is vetoing a bill that would have brought permit parking to Hampden. In a statement, SRB called the proposal “permanent and disruptive.”

The bill, which passed the City Council, called for Residential Permit Parking around the forthcoming Rotunda redevelopment. The project is set to bring a MOMS Organic grocery store, more retail and 300 apartments to the area.

Despite support from the likes of the City Council, the plan sparked a backlash from residents who feared the move would push congestion deeper into the neighborhood, and even became cause for a MoveOn.org petition.

SRB sided with the opponents.

“The bill’s proposed parking restrictions will begin before we know that the impact the Rotunda’s redevelopment will actually have on nearby residential streets,” she said in Friday’s statement. “Even worse, by implementing the plan now, we would be much more likely to disrupt parking throughout the broader neighborhood, including some residents who would be left with no viable parking options at all.”

The mayor’s statement also included remarks from Hampden Community Council Vice President Will Bauer, who called the proposal an “unfortunate piece of legislation.”

“Merchants and residents agreed that the proposed parking restrictions would only exacerbate problems, not solve them,” Bauer said.

The veto announcement followed the old political script of announcing controversial decisions late on a Friday afternoon when most people are beginning their weekend.



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