Friday, May 31, 2013

500 Block Loses Two Parking Spaces

Everyone agrees we need more lodging in Hudson, and for a year, we've been enthusiastically watching the progress of The Barlow, the boutique hotel that welcomed its first guests this past weekend. Throughout the lengthy permitting process, The Barlow got the cooperation and support of city government to make it happen. A plan was worked out, which required amending a local law to make annual parking permits transferrable from car to car, so that the hotel could provide offstreet parking for its guests. The hotel was granted an area variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals to install an awning that extends over the sidewalk. These things happened in a public process that invited public input, and the input received was universally enthusiastic and supportive. So one wonders why the final concession to the hotel's needs seems to have been done by fiat without anyone's prior knowledge.

Within the past twenty-four hours, it has come to Gossips attention that two parking spaces in the 500 block of Warren Street are no longer parking spaces. The curb has been painted yellow, the parking meters have been removed, and a sign reading "No Parking Loading Zone" has been installed.

According to the city charter, it is the police commissioner who has the authority to make decisions about parking: where it should be allowed and where it should be prohibited. At the last Common Council Police Committee meeting, Gary Graziano reported on a number of places where he had eliminated parking spaces at corners to improve sight lines and make intersections safer (Union at City Hall Place being one of them) and moved handicapped parking spaces, but I don't recall any mention of eliminating two spaces in front of The Barlow.

City Hall's new interest in accommodating Warren Street businesses is a welcome change from the way things used to be--back when Stair Galleries got no cooperation from the former police commissioner to create even a temporary loading zone in front of 549 Warren Street for their auctions which regularly brought hordes of people to Hudson. Our gratitude for this new attitude notwithstanding, we just had the experience on the 300 block of Warren Street of one business owner's desires being accommodated to the detriment of the other businesses on the block. Given that, it would have been nice if the decision to create a loading zone for The Barlow had been a more public process.

Thanks to Sam Pratt for bringing this to Gossips' attention.

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