Locatelli is objecting to part of the Town’s municipal lot being given over to the Belmont Farmer’s Market, which has dutifully served the community from that location for 11 years. Apparently, Mr. Foley and his employer banked on public resources (a small number of spaces at the back of the Town’s municipal lot) being there to boost the prospects for his private tenant (and the private property owner) despite an 11 year history. If he made any assurances to Foodies about the Market not being there in 2017 and those spots being opened, he was bargaining with an asset he didn’t own or control – always a risky business.
When you live in a compact, walkable town like Belmont, its easy to forget that many, many other communities across the country are what you might call “car bound.” They’re sprawling, decentralized, with poor access to critical services and lacking even the basic infrastructure, like sidewalks and bike lanes, to support citizens who choose to go car free. No surprise, also, that in these communities the collective memory of things like walking or biking places or riding the bus has disappeared, making those once normal activities seem foreign or downright dangerous. Thus, the news item that flashed across my computer screen today about high school seniors in Michigan being punished for riding their bikes to school. Crazy, no?