Diti Kholi covered the ongoing fight over curbside dining in the North End for the Boston Globe. I was interviewed for the story because an article I wrote was referenced in the latest lawsuit from restaurant owners.
To be clear, I don't support the restaurant owners that filed the lawsuit. Their arguments range from weak (their Constitutional rights were violated) to nonsensical (Wu holds a grudge against white Italian-Americans).
On the other hand, I cannot support the arguments laid out by the Residents Association (and tacitly agreed to by the Neighborhood Council) - who I don't believe are negotiating in good faith. Curbside dining does not increase "motorcycles revving engines" and did not result in any net "lost parking spaces".
The City recognized this disconnect and announced the formation of an Outdoor Dining Task Force to work through the issues. I volunteered to be a member of this task force but was not selected. The residents I'm familiar with who were selected represent the vocal hard-lined opposition. And the restaurant owners that were selected represent... well, the restaurants interests. Hardly representative of "all voices" that we were promised. Unsurprisingly, both sides dug in their heels and no progress was made. No meeting minutes or other artifacts were made public and now were back to February with zero advancement.
Proposal: Appoint new resident members to the task force. This time, ensure that the members represent "all voices" as promised and, most importantly, ensure that they are willing to compromise and negotiate in good faith.
Let's find a solution. One that isn't a lose-lose.