One reason the city decided so quickly to create a morning bus/bike lane in Roslindale: Most of the parked cars are from out of town

Boston's decision to permanently set up a dedicated weekday morning bus and bike lane on Washington Street between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills was based not just on surveys of people taking the newly speeded up buses during two pilot runs but on data collected in a 2016 study about just whose cars would be displaced by the elimination of parking in the morning.

The study, by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, found that at 10 a.m., just 17% of the spaces on the northbound side of the road were taken up by cars belonging to local residents:

Many cars were registered to areas outside the city with fewer or pricier transit options.

Based on this information along with the fact that the corridor has no parking fees or resident permit requirements, MAPC concluded that a large number of the parking spaces on Washington Street between Roslindale Square and Forest Hills are being utilized during the day not by local residents, but instead by commuters using the corridor for free all-day parking before heading to downtown Boston via the Orange Line train.

The new morning lane begins June 18. The city has yet to set a similar test of a dedicated lane in the afternoon from the T station to Roslindale Square.

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Comments

Doesn't help change my opinion of people from the suburbs

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Having grown up in Queens, gone to high school in Manhattan, and spent 15+ years in Somerville, it always seemed like people from the suburbs would do anything to raid the city, store their cars free, block sidewalks like tourists, beat Keytar bear, shout racist filth, kick out the windows on the Red Line....

Are they trained from birth that it's OK to act like this as long as they don't live here/there?

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Unlike Southie Natives . . .

who think it's just fine to dump their trash on the street and lay claim to public parking spaces for the duration of an entire season, right?

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And who double park with

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And who double park with their four-ways on because they don’t have a resident sticker and don’t want to get slammed with a parking ticket.

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Parking enforcement can't

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Parking enforcement can't ticket you if you're parked in the middle of the street. [smart guy meme]

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So, If "Sterotypes" True......

You should get shot walking through your urban neighborhood, no?

Your local restaurant operator will be watching you pee, no?

You will get run over by a car, no?

You will get a beaten at Alewife, no?

Those things were all reported on this site as happening in the big bad city, and not caused by suburban people but by urban people.

As someone who grew up in Dorchester and went to high school in the Fens and lived in Boston for over 30 years, all I can say is that there is a tremendous amount of annoying people who are in the city and mess things up for everyone else. However, as a native Bostonian who left the city so has not to have item #1 happen to he or his family, I can confirm that the worst urban blight of all is the know it all NYC transplant (Adam excepted) that pontificates on how much better their life is in Can't Afford Cambridge than some nice beachside community with access to good restaurants and amenities.

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Thanks for confirming that

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Thanks for confirming that the borough of Queens, Manhattan high school students, and Somerville residents have the market cornered on moral superiority.

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Having grown up in the burbs myself...

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Yes, you're pretty much spot on. We were taught growing up that cities were gross, loud places full of drugs, prostitution, and gangs so we should look down on them. We should only go to safe areas and take advantage as much as possible because who's paying attention with everything else going on?

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Well, yeah. Hardly anybody

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Well, yeah. Hardly anybody who actually lives in the city owns a car.

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Thanks!

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I needed a good laugh.

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Residential Parking Permits?

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If there are no residential permit requirements, what is stopping the out of towners from parking on the side streets?

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Nope

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I believe the only resident parking in Roslindale is on residential streets close to the commuter rail stations. Nothing south of Forest Hills close to Washington Street.

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Flawed report

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Not factored were how many of these parked cars are people working in local merchants in Roslindale's business district or the industrial-zoned side streets off the west side of Washington St between Archdale Rd and the station.

I know at least 5 people that work in that area that live in Dedham. Thankfully they do not park on Washington Street but the example stands IMO.

Still... no public process or community meeting for the people that live on that street or on the many side streets that feed into Washington.

Maybe they were afraid that the people impacted by the parking restriction might not want it... like the way the people in Mattapan didn't want a dedicated bus lane for the Rt 28 bus. MassDOT and the MBTA did everything they could to make the few public meetings inaccessible to people, but the people were that much wiser.

Maybe they were afraid that any public meeting would degrade into a shouting match about the at-grade traffic that still backs up Forest Hills.

In any event, no public process. And let's be clear what I mean about a public process. You flyer the neighborhoods and schedule a meeting at a local facility like the State Lab auditorium or the community center. Not some back-ass on-line questionnaire like those often seen from city hall these days that don't give you an option to say "no" but only degrees of how to say "yes." and certainly not bending to the will of a handful of alleged "community groups" or other "special interests" with well-placed elbow rubbers in their memberships.

Yes, I know who they are, and who they are connected to.

I'd have expected something like this out of the Oval Office, not in MA.

But then, it's WHO you know now, isn't it.

So great, now you dedicated a bus lane.

Now get off your arse and fix Forest Hills. Dedicate that.

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I thought they did address that

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Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but they note the industrial and commercial areas and then spoke specifically about the residential stretch between them (and the industrial/commercial buildings up near Forest Hills all seem to have their own parking anyway).

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Nope

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Commercial and Industrial business along that stretch, especially on the west side of Washington on the side streets have never received any flyers, visits, or calls about any of the plans and test lanes, let alone a permanent dedication of one.

Many have found out like others, via the press, or in many instances employees and others telling them because they found out in the newspapers. It seems, or there is some circumstantial evidence that only Washington St was part of any study or consideration. The impact to the neighborhood as a whole, including all of the side streets that connect to Washington and no place else.

I know people that live in the Fawndale-Stellman area and they all learned about this in the press or by rumor. Their streets are very dense and parking has also been limited due to some ongoing construction in the area. Some tenants found it beneficial to part on Washington rather than deal with the one-way traffic flows in that area. Drive down there at night and count the number of available parking spaces. It is as dense as South Boston for parking.

The fun thing that many people in the area are now experiencing is all of the lost souls that are trying to avoid the traffic and access side streets trying to get around or away from it. The non-residents that must drive through the area don't know that the whole area between Forest Hills and Roslindale Sq is essentially land-locked with no other way out. There was no consideration for that kind of impact by secondary abutters

Of course if they do weasel their way over to Hyde Park Ave, you have the same back ups.

Adam... there is a back story here that may even be byline worthy. Mosey on down there and start asking local business if they were asked for an opinion, or give any input, or received any flyers. Just about every side street north of Archdale on the west side of Washington has some kind of business cluster or office space. Then ask some of the residents on the side streets - both sides.

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I found different flaws

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One observation is worth noting- there are (or at least were) more cars parked on the northbound side of the street after rush hour is over than before it began. I totally believe it. I know of at least one person who parks (or parked) right at Healy Field and took the bus to Forest Hills from there.

The one major flaw in the data is the question of how many cars were parked on the road before commuting began in the time before the bus lane. Ideally, one would do a vehicle count at 6 AM, since one can assume that no one is parking their car there at that time of the morning. Why is this important? To only look at vehicle counts after rush hour ignores the possibility that residents leave their homes between 7 and 9 (or more likely 7 and 8) to get to their jobs in the hinterlands. The 6 AM count would be the key one to gauge the impact on the immediate residents.

The other flaw is that they don't define "neighborhood." Is it immediate abutters, or does that count all cars from Roslindale? I don't mean to step on the toes of certain people who run this website, but I do know people up on the hill (I met a guy who lives by the Conley School who told me he thinks the area should be called "Roslindale Heights") who would rather not wait for the 34 or 50 and also don't want the hassle of walking to the Square for the better transit options. They would be more inclined to drive to Washington Street and go from there. That leads me to ask what it meant by neighborhood.

Now before the haters jump down my throat, I'm not saying the bus lane is a bad idea. It's a good one. It's the study that is poorly constructed. Anyone can construct a study to get the result they want. Good science is constructing a study with the idea that your hypothesis can be disproved.

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Also registration doesn't equal residency

I'd hazard a guess that more than a few people who live down there might register their cars in other towns or even states for insurance reasons even though they primarily live in the city because the savings on insurance mean a lot more to them to say, me, who doesn't want to deal with the hassle of doing that to save $400/yr or something.

Still glad they did this. Still can not wait for this endless project to be over.

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More than a few

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Cars are i am sure residents who register their cars out of town to save money. take a short cruise around Roslindale HP and West Roxbury and check on who many out of state plates are in the same spots day after day

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Not many.

Thousands of construction workers come to Boston every day from New Hampshire, Maine, RI, and CT. They work 10 hour days and start early and to avoid the cost find every way possible to avoid paying for parking.

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Well then

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Maybe job sites should be required to organize buses for their workers.

Plenty of park-n-ride facilities available.

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Well then

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Maybe job sites should be required to organize buses for their workers.

Plenty of park-n-ride facilities available.

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Not practical.

Just make the entire City a 2 hour limit (Like Brookline) and address the parking complaints with selective enforcement.

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Fine then

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Job sites need to show that they have secured sufficient parking for their workers as part of their permitting, and that it be a cost of the job, not the worker.

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Brookline parking

I still think there should be tollbooths on Harvard St, Washington St, and in Cleveland Circle entering Allston/Brighton. $15 if you have a Brookline resident parking sticker on your car. Don't start a game of chicken with no overnight parking that you can't win.

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What could Boston even do?

You are complaining because Boston residents want more parking in Brookline? Brookline could put up their own tollbooths if your rules were applied.

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Actually Pete technically -

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Actually Pete technically - the entire city of Boston is a 2 hour zone - with the exception of Resident Parking Permit zones - or where otherwise signed differently. It just ins't enforced.

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Article IV, Section 12

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One may see it here. I think the key phrase is "during the hours indicated." That implies signage noting the prohibition.

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That would be so horribly

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That would be so horribly complicated and expensive that it's no surprise no worksite does such a thing already.

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Still not Boston's problem

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Who cares if they actually live there. They are cheaters and they get no special prizes for cheating the city out of money.

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Exactly

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Let's consider all the people who live in Boston but who pay taxes for their vehicles to other towns so that they can save on insurance but who also want the privilege of parking in Boston.

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Gee

It's almost as if government shouldn't set insurance rates!

Also, I love "cheating the city out of money." Why would you want government to take more money away from citizens? Whose side are you on?

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Do you even understand how excise tax works?

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Register your car in Boston and Boston gets the money to provide services for YOU.

Register it in Needham and you are paying Needham the same amount, only using services in Boston.

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What if I drive my car in

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What if I drive my car in both Needham and Boston most days?

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Early Bird Free Parkers Keep Getting Earlier And Earlier

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Ideally, one would do a vehicle count at 6 AM, since one can assume that no one is parking their car there at that time of the morning.

I have a favorite non-residential street where I can always find free parking, provided I get there early enough in the morning. Several years ago, there were spaces available until about 6:30 or so. After then, they were all filled by construction workers or other people who start work at 7:00.*

Nowadays, you need to be there by 4:00 AM to get a spot. People park and then eat, read, or nap in their cars for a couple of hours before going to work. Not everyone would want to do this, but there are enough people who do, gobbling up all available parking earlier and earlier as time goes on.

* The corollary is, you'll find lots of free parking at 3:00-3:30 PM when the early bird parkers go home.

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God, I can't imagine doing

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God, I can't imagine doing that. Driving from out of the sticks for an hour and then sitting for 2 hours in my car? No, thanks.

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I knew a guy who lived in Berwick Maine

and worked at a job site in Allston. Guy would get up at 4:30am every day, drive to Oak Grove (1:20), take the orange line to Copley and the green line out to Comm Ave (1 hour). Basically 4 hours a day wasted on commuting but the construction jobs are in Boston, not Maine or New Hampshire.

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We all make choices

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Most of us realize that commuting is a death trap and organize our lives accordingly.

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Was parking that bad near the

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Was parking that bad near the jobsite? It would take way more time to do that two-leg transit ride involving the Green Line than to just drive, even at rush hour.

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But Remember, There's No Traffic That Time Of Day

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The commute takes just a fraction of the time it would during rush hour. Of course, it's much less stressful, but it also saves a little money, because there's less fuel consumption and less wear-and-tear on the vehicle than there is in stop-and-go traffic.

While some enjoy napping or sitting in their car reading or whatever, other drivers find different things to do outside their vehicle, or else just start work early to get a head start on the day.

It's not hard to imagine why some people might find this highly preferable to the "normal" rush-hour commute the majority of drivers participate in. Also, while it may be unimaginable to some, there are hard working people who simply can't afford the cost of parking in the city. So, they do it out of necessity.

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As I posted in the other

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As I posted in the other thread, there's absolutely no reason for the bus lane to start at 5 am.

The Orange Line doesn't even OPEN until 5:16. There's almost nobody driving or on a bus that early. There's no traffic for the bus to bypass.

7 am would provide all of the timesaving benefits, and would also allow some residents to park overnight and get a full night's sleep.

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Someone has to put the cones out

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At 5am there's less traffic to deal with for the people who have to set up the lane. Also gives them time to tow anyone parked illegally.

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How does every other city

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How does every other city with 7-9 am parking bans that become bus lanes handle this issue?

I know that most of them don't need cones.

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Arlington is a free MBTA parking lot

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No resident stickers, few parking meters, and many side streets look more appealing than $7/day at Alewife garage if you can even find a space. Arlington Selectpersons seem to do it as a favor to the MBTA, despite paying $2M/year for just some bus service.

Some of that free parking may too be lost to the upcoming bus trial.

Adam, thanks for sharing this important information.

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What about the 2-hour on

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What about the 2-hour on-street limit? Not enforced that well?

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I work near Alewife now and

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I work near Alewife now and noticed that you can get to Arlington on one of the bike paths pretty quickly. I was surprised there wasn't much on street parking going on. It's not an obvious place, unless you do some hunting, but would seem there are always people who find it. I didn't see any signs limiting parking, but maybe there are.

Arlington used to be *very* parking friendly, but has added a lot more 2 (or 4) hour signs when you get close to the center of town and anywhere near a border. I don't think they have parking enforcement folks either.

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Mixed feelings

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On the one hand: we want residents to have priority over visitors. We want to discourage people from daily car commutes to densely populated areas.

On the other hand: we want to encourage people to take mass transit, and if the out-of-towners were parking there to take the Orange Line into town then it's discouragement rather than encouragement.

Parking and traffic problems are like a bubble under wallpaper: push it down and it just reappears somewhere else.

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People who were driving in to

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People who were driving in to park for free and then hopping on the orange line aren't the big spenders who are going to say fuck it and now drive all the way into the city to pay 30$ to park.

they're going to just move down the road and hop onto the commuter rail, or the buses in the square, after parking on washington or on belgrade (every morning I stand at the bus stop and watch people drive up, get out of their cars, and walk to the commuter rail station)

the best solution is to expand transit outward, whether that's orange line extension, building more commuter rail, or putting in bus lanes all over the place so an hour long crawl is reduced to 20 minutes.

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New information, to me

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That said, the plans sound a lot more reasonable now.

Also, I still don't think we should hate all things car related.

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Car Privilege

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Just like white privilege, questioning weather cars belong in an urban landscape and limiting their role due to their toxic impacts = hating.

Got ya.

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Cars are an unfortunate reality

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Some people seem to think hating on them will somehow make them go away. It will never be that simple.

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Why is this necessarily a bad

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Why is this necessarily a bad thing?

Making space for buses is good. But aside from that, I don't see why it's inherently immoral for a nonresident to park on the street to get to Forest Hills. Local politicians might not want to take nonresidents' opinions into account, but that doesn't mean it's fair to ignore their needs.

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It's a justification

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If the lane was full of area residents' cars before the experiment, there most likely would have been more opposition. It's kind of tough to petition the City against doing this when you don't live near the affected area.

As I've warned people before (and been slammed for it,) an attempt to do the same thing for the PM rush will be tough. There are too many stakeholders that will be negatively affected by this, as opposed to the small affect of doing the morning lane.

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Well, why?

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Well, why?

Who decided nonresidents (and they still haven't specified from how far away) should be ignored? Why should their convenience using on-street parking matter less than a resident's?

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Oh, boy

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Non-residents, but the very nature of not being from whereever a place is, should have their voices heard less than the people who live in an area because they are much, much more affected by whatever the decision on a matter is. In this case, non-residents can park somewhere else, or commute by other means. Residents who park in the area would be affected and would have little recourse.

I'll tell you what. Give me your address, and I'll go and buy the property and open a bar there. When you and your neighbors complain, I'll simply note that there are people who don't leave near you that would like to drink and hear music every night until 2 AM. I mean, why should your opinion on the matter mean any more than someone who lives 2 towns away?

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If someone worked in an

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If someone worked in an office next door to the bar, their complaint should be just as valid as someone who lived next door. I'd even feel the same way about someone who liked to spend time in a park next to the bar, or visit a friend who lived next door to it, or often go for walks past it.

If nonresidents can park somewhere else and get to this area from there, so can residents.

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