Parking is perhaps the number one complaint in this town. And as I listen to different sides, I start to really wonder just how lazy are we? Don’t get me wrong, I drive to City Hall for City Council meetings and I live maybe a quarter mile away.
This past weekend, I watched people over and over park illegally near the downtown playground, get out and take children across the street to play. Parents complained about children not getting enough exercise over and over at the marathon meeting. Parents talked about the playground being a neighborhood gathering place. I wonder if these are the parents that signed the Save The Playground petition. They don’t want a parking garage, but they think it’s okay to park illegally so they don’t have to walk? I hope others see the irony.
Last night at City Council, the point was made again that people don’t like to walk.
First, it’s important to understand there’s currently a “moratorium“ on events that occur in Downtown Annapolis. That being said, every event that wishes to use City property at City Dock or close roads, must get City Council approval. And the City is a ‘lil behind on permits for such events. (They are now just approving May and June events.) One event on the docket last night was the concert series by the Naval Academy Band.
A nice Chief all decked out in khakis was present to testify. He pleaded with City Council for them not to take away their reserved parking during these events. His argument – some of the instruments are really heavy and essentially, too heavy to carry.
The United States Naval Academy recently spent a pretty penny to build an entrance that is essentially spitting distance to City Dock. You know, the one right there on Prince George and Craig St. by Gibson’s Lodging. Last time I checked on Google Maps, there is ample parking inside the gates of the Naval Academy. And because each member is a member of the United States Navy, they have access to this (free) parking. Most organizations that use City property do not have this privilege. I understand that they don’t necessarily want to carry some of the heavier instruments, but when I want don’t want to carry heavy items long distances, I drop off said heavy items and then go park. Is that asking too much? And if they’re concerned with someone stealing, they can have someone watch it. But I’m not sure how easy stealing a tuba would actually be.
Additionally, at the end of the day, they are members of the United States Navy. I get that they’re musicians and I appreciate that they offer entertainment for folks to enjoy. But the mission of the United States Navy is “to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.” I really hope they’re never called to combat because if they cannot carry a musical instrument a few hundred feet, I’m not confident they could carry a fellow service member from danger.
And sadly, not a single member of City Council asked that question last night. I’m trying to figure it out… who gets to host events down at City Dock and who doesn’t. Who does City Council question and who do they not? Other events on the docket were:
- APD 1-Mile Challenge, May 19. No one from APD was present to testify. A few questions were asked about road closures but sadly no doughnut references were made.
- Greek Festival, May 27. No one was present but the event organizer is a heavy hitter in the City. No questions were asked.
- Zooma, June 2. No one was present and the organization’s Executive Director lives down the road in Arlington. Quite a few questions were asked.
- Corvettes on the Bay, June 16. They had about 10 people present and they stayed until the vote. They were questioned quite a bit.
- USNA Band Concerts, July 24, July 31, Aug. 7, Aug. 14. Just the Chief and he dipped out after he testified. No questions asked.
I’m thinking Annapolis Chatter should host a big Local Gossip Festival at City Dock. We could charge one secret per adult and one parking solution suggestion per child. Attendees won’t be allowed to take the Circulator and we’d encourage attendees to park as close as possible. We’ll need to have all the parking spaces reserved, too. How many questions do you think would be asked? Who’s in?