On Saturday afternoon, protestors fed up with paid parking at our favorite elite outdoor shopping mall will march near Reston Town Center, starting kind of at one side of said mall and ending at a midscale chain eatery just across the street from it, as the map below shows. We'll call it the March on the Macaroni Grill (RIP).
As we suspected, Boston Properties decided not to give the group permission to march on the private property we think of as our
fake gritty downtown -- which they can do, as RTC is about as public a public gathering place as the food court at your friendly neighborhood shopping mall. There's supposedly a "family fun event" there on Saturday, which likely involves introducing the adorable tykes to the bad words mommy and daddy say when they can't figure out how to download a, whazzitcalled, "app" to park the minivan in one of the garages. We're sure, however, that Boston Properties will be more than happy to take protesters' $2/hr while they're out marching on public property far away from those dwindling numbers of citizens consumers enjoying a leisurely Saturday brunch at a midscale chain eatery.
The march's organizers got permission from police for the route shown above. They shared the following guidelines:
1) Remain on the route identified as Reston Town Center is private property and we do not have permission to march thereSo much for looting the saladary and going home with enough roughage for a month.
2) Remain on the sidewalk at all times
3) Do not block pedestrians or cars from passing
4) Do not block business or residence entrances
5) Please be sure to park in public parking
6) Please keep in mind this is a peaceful march – do not violate any laws
Please DO make and bring your own signs for the protest
Meanwhile, Boston Properties insiders continue to sell stock, crisis managers continue to manage crises, cheaper stores are being replaced by the kinds of upscale retail that attract the right kind of people who wouldn't think of complaining about paying for parking since that kind of tacky grumbling is for the poors, not folk worthy of a $150 linen shirt, and as winter turns to spring, we're starting to get our first glimpse of those bumblebees in the wild. Look closely. Can you spot one?
Now that's a premium parking experience. L33T!
Saturday's protest runs from 1 to 4; as of Friday morning more than 400 people have pledged to attend. The organizers plan to post the starting locations and more details on their fancy "Face Book" page later today.
Update: Boston Properties has now paid cold hard cash to post an "open letter" to the community (in other words, advertising), basically asserting that paid parking is here to stay, that reports of adverse impacts on retailers are lies, and that protests are and forever will be verboten so as not to harm their elite customers' fee-fees:
As part of our obligation to provide a safe and family-friendly environment, RTC has never granted, and will not grant now or in the future, permission for any demonstration or protest on the privately-owned property that is Reston Town Center. This has been the policy of each owner dating back to Reston Town Center’s inception.Crisis management, FTW. Appropriate hyphen usage? Not so much.