By William Tauro
The latest in the destruction of local businesses in Somerville has struck again last week this time in Union Square.
Two bicycle racks were place on Somerville Avenue one directly across the street and one directly in front of Jerry’s Liquors.
Bicycle racks are a good thing if they are placed in the right location. They should be placed in an area where it won’t affect the every day operations of where they interfere with retail businesses and hurt them financially. Bicycle racks should be placed where there is large no parking areas and not where business owners depend on that everyday customer to make a living.
Jerry’s Liquor located at 329 Somerville Avenue in Somerville has been there in that same location for almost over fifty years.
Owner Marco Romao told us in an interview that “business is tough enough considering that there are five other liquor stores within almost less then a mile proximity and now losing another customer parking spot where a patron could park to spend money in his store really hurts!” “There are many shops down across the street that are vacant and have been closed for years and there is a big no parking area right down the street why couldn’t they have moved it there but they put it in front of my store?”
He also told us that the immediate parking spot directly before where the bike rack is located is also designated by the city as a five minute spot.” “The unfortunate thing is that people park in the five minute spot and they leave their cars in there for hours and frequent other locations for hours because no one is patrolling those designated parking spot to make sure the five minute parking rule isn’t being abused.”
A study is being called for by local business owners that the city, the Somerville Bicycle Committee and the Somerville Chamber of Commerce review its policies and reconsider relocating many of these bicycle racks to not interfere with local businesses.
The Somerville Bicycle Committee is an advisory group appointed by the Mayor. The Committee works alongside City staff to improve conditions for bicyclists in the City, promote bicycling as a means of transportation, improve bike safety conditions, and help implement bike safety policies and programs for cyclists of all ages.
Photo above: City designated 5 minute parking spots being abused by offenders.
Immediate photo below: A bicycle still chained to light post even though bike racks are only 3′ feet away