On Saturday, Feb. 1, my wife and I took our son to dinner to the Towson Tavern at York Road and Shealy Avenue to celebrate his birthday. When we pulled up in front of the restaurant to park at one of the metered spots right in front, the restaurant had red, no-parking bags covering all parking places on Shealy. This meant we had to go with the restaurant's valet parking.
When we left the restaurant, we tipped the valet but were surprised when we saw that all he had to do was give us our keys, as our car was parked at one of the red bag spots right in front of the restaurant. I was astonished.
The next Monday, I emailed Sen. Jim Brochin and County Councilman David Marks asking about this. I learned that there is an agreement between the Revenue Authority and four or five other restaurants in downtown Towson that allows them to take over the free onstreet parking after 5 p.m. They bag up the meters and use those spots for their valet parking.
This is extremely unfair to not only people who are not able to use the free metered spots because restaurants are hogging spots for valet service, but also to other businesses who don't pay the Revenue Authority money and find they are going to lose money if customers can't park close to their businesses. We thought we wouldn't patronize the restaurants doing this, but after the way it was presented to me from someone at the Towson Chamber of Commerce, we have decided we just won't bother going to any establishment in downtown Towson until this practice is stopped and a level playing field is made for everyone concerned.