Hello, St. Paddy. Goodbye, city

Written by on March 29, 2012 in Baltimore Voices - 1 Comment

Editor, The Guide:

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With interest I read your article regarding the aftermath of the area’s most recent St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Canton Square.

Unfortunately,  these festivities also managed to overflow unto the surrounding communities(as expected).  I live alongside Patterson Park in Highlandtown.  The overflow of cars that we encounter  day to day from neighboring streets, Creative Alliance events, park ball games and regular park activities was further heightened by Canton partygoers who did not manage to acquire a spot closer to the Square.

The parking situation is irritating enough but when you witness a drunk urinating in front of your house in broad daylight, who shrugs her shoulders after I scold that the street is not a public restroom, then proceeds to drive away endangering others, its time for the party planners to head back to the table.

Blah, Blah, Blah….everybody has got to work together. ……that mantra does not seem to be working.   Do not get me wrong.   It’s great that our county and city neighbors want to visit us (Highlandtown, Patterson Park and Canton),  but they need to act responsibly and when they do not the city needs to act by issuing tickets.

The business community and the City of Baltimore need to plan out these events together.

If the city is issuing permits for street events they should also plan out parking so that it does not impact the area residents.  Angle parking on all streets.   Marked car spaces  on the street itself so that a driver does over-park a space…..issue a ticket when outside a space.

Assign more foot patrol during events so that the overindulged do not lose their dignity by using the streets as a public restroom.   I do love the city and have been in Highlandtown for over 25 years but lately, because of the parking and now getting Canton overflow,  I am thinking about leaving the city.

Mary Meagher



Editor, The Guide:

My family resides very near O’Donnell Square. We have given up and move out during the St. Patty’s and Preakness weekends. It’s a broken record. Every year people meet, discuss the problems and it’s repeated.

My answer–public drunks, brawlers, people that vandalize get loaded in a police wagon and arrested immediately. Police should be at every corner and patrolling alleys. I find remnants of drug use in the alleys, litter, etc.

We pay high taxes for what? Off and on trash pick-up!

During the weekend a car was side swiped in from of my house. Of course, a hit and run. I of course cleaned up the broken glass and plastic.

Yesterday I cleaned my own street. Picked up many cans and broken bottles.

Amazing my dog has not cut her feet with the broken glass everywhere.

After 10 years of living in Canton-

1. Multiple broken flower pots/plants pulled

2. Two broken car antennas

3. Two sideswiped cars

4. Three keyed cars

5. Multiple fights outside my door

6. Blood trail across my marble front steps

7. Two car breakins (resulting in over $700 losses)

8. Badly dented car hood from drunks sitting on it

This is one reason we are selling this spring and moving.

Baltimore can say goodbye to my tax dollars.

David Phelps


One Comment on "Hello, St. Paddy. Goodbye, city"

  1. Sarah May 23, 2012 at 9:30 am · Reply

    I think that its (long past) time for the residens of Canton to accept the fact that we live in St Patricks Day Ground Zero. People love to come to our little part of the city to celebrate this holiday, and that’s not going to change. We must accept it in order to do what needs to be done in order to make the best of it.
    It’s time for the community to stop fighting it – and each other – and work together to actually organize an official event that welcomes families and revelers to Canton, while minimizing the negative impact on the neighborhood that the holiday has had in the past.
    St. Patricks Day has been left to the bar and restaurant owners to celebrate and promote in any way they want to. Naturally, the main priority of any bar/restaurant is to make money, so the bigger the better!. Protecting and supporting the neighborhood and its residents comes second, if at all. We cant begrudge them of that. Whatever happens in the neighborhood as a result of an influx of drunken disorderlies is legally not their problem. (nor should it be).
    But the cops can’t be everywhere we want them to be. And us residents shouldn’t be pushed out of the city for the weekend either.
    We are never going to find a solution that works for everyone, but we cant just throw our hands up in surrender either. If we are ever going to have a shot at getting a handle on St Patricks Day, we need to accept the fact that the holiday isn’t going anywhere. Then the community can take ownership of it and stop leaving it up to the bar owners and bunch of overtime cops to deal with. By establishing an organized event, we have a better opportunity to control it. The reason that the Highlandtown Wine Festival dosent turn into a fracas, is because someone is actually in charge of it. Having an official organized “event” means that we can raise money for trash clean up and port a potties. We can hire private event security to manage the crowds in the square and the immediate vicinity so that the police can be free to patrol the neighborhoods and handle the more serious crimes. Most importantly, we can own and control what happens in our own neighborhood, instead of counting on bar owners and off-duty cops to do it for us (and then blaming them when things get out of control).
    St Patricks Day can, and should be a great thing for Canton. We’re lucky that people want to come and spend money and time in our corner of the city. But we (the residents) are the ones that need to be in charge of how they do it. We are the real hosts of the party, whether we like it or not. I think we need to act like it.

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