Councillor Tim Toomey has filed for reconsideration of the car-sharing ordinance (6.24), which was ordained by a 7-2 vote at the Cambridge City Council’s January 11 meeting. I voted with the majority for the reasons I explained in a prior post. Councillor Toomey did not explain his objections during deliberations, but Councillor Craig Kelley objected to the lack of a public process for neighbors to voice objections (albeit without giving them veto power), despite saying he favors car-sharing in general. Many of the large new residential buildings where car-sharing already exists as part of required Traffic Demand Management measures are located in Toomey’s East Cambridge neighborhood. To my knowledge none has aroused public controversy for providing a few ZipCar spaces in its garage or parking lot. New residential developments in Kendall and Alewife will doubtless seek to provide car-sharing spaces to accommodate residents and visitors who do not wish to own cars but need to drive occasionally. Car-sharing has been proven to reduce non-essential driving. It’s time to make it legal in larger residential lots and garages.
Procedural note: There is a loophole in the Council’s rules that permits any member to file for reconsideration. In Roberts Rules (which the rest of the Council rules follow closely), only a member on the prevailing side may file for reconsideration — this prevents a minority from bringing an issue back for another vote. Councillor Toomey as in the minority.
If you would like to watch the discussion at the January 11 Council hearing:
Go to the city’s Open Meeting Portal.
Look under Past Meetings for January 11 and click on the Video link at the far right.
When the MediaTraq Webcast window opens, scroll down in the left column to Unfinished Business #8.
Click on the blue hyperlinked text in #8 and the video recording will automatically advance to the point at which the discussion starts on the car-sharing ordinance (3:19:51).
Related documents are available as links to pdfs beneath #8.
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Jan Devereux City Councillor Cambridge, MA