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Open Thread: Tell us your thoughts on the new block party permit policy

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In order to get a permit, you’ll have to go through your local police department first.

Courtesy of Go Mt. Airy

A new city policy requires residents to get the all-clear from their local police department before hosting a block party—and the news has many residents upset.

The policy was instituted the beginning of this month, making it mandatory for all residents to get pre-screening approval from the police before submitting the normal application for a block party to the Philly Streets Department.

The city didn’t say how police would decide which parties to allow and which veto, but they did put together a list of 922 blocks that are discouraged from block parties due to traffic or other safety concerns, according to Philly.com. However, applications involving those blocks will be considered on a case by case basis.

The city says the new policy is meant to, “improve the integrity and efficiency of the program.” The policy gives residence notice about whether their permit is likely to go forward before they buy food and submit a permit fee, according to the Streets Department announcement.

Some residents are adamantly against the new policy. A petition by Philadelphia 3.0 to get rid of the policy, called it “unnecessary red tape.” They argue that the extra step to get a permit will deter people from applying, and that it allows police to deny a permit based on unclear—or even personal—reasons. The petition had over 500 signatures by Thursday.

Now we want to hear from you. Do you think the new policy will make the block party process more efficient? Or does it give police too much say over a neighborhood event? How should the policy be changed (if at all)? Would you still consider hosting a party despite the extra step?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.