Passing laws that are either unenforceable or can only be enforced sporadically or anecdotally isn’t a good idea. It promotes disrespect for the law in general and tends to make people think that whoever cooked up the law in the first place isn’t properly connected with reality. What are they going to do, paint a white line directly under where the canopy ends? (They’re gonna have to, if they want to make these tickets stick.) Compel meter people, who are not really trained or equipped to confront lawbreakers, write these tickets? (Here’s your Taser, Blaber!) Worse yet, are they going to distract city cops, who really do have their hands full in Kingston, by making them write these tickets? (Any crime in the state Penal Code is more worthy of police attention than somebody smoking under a canopy.)
Look, we know smoking is bad for you. We know — we really do — that the cig-butt situation in Pike Plan-land is pretty gross. And we know that someone dropped the ball by not anticipating that butt-cans or some other sort of means of disposal of finished cigarettes would be needed to keep the streets looking tidy.
But we also know this: People like to hang out in Uptown, and many of those people like to smoke. (Nobody likes seeing barf and worse on the steps to the parking lot, but if you want people to support nightlife in Kingston, such things have to be put up with. If you don’t want nightlife in Kingston, there are still the people who work and smoke in Uptown.) Harassing and vilifying them for no real reason will just encourage them to take their party-money elsewhere, which could well result in the one thing Uptown really doesn’t need — more empty storefronts.