3.6 min readBy Published On: April 28th, 2017Categories: Features14 Comments on Is the Parking Crisis in Our Head?

Oh boy!  Here we go again!  The parking debate rears its ugly head once again and outsiders who don’t live in this neighborhood – like to say Southie people are wrong and don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to the parking situation.  It was announced this week that a new development at A and Broadway (Gulf Station) will have 56 units and 64 parking spots.  Team Anti-Car – believes a development of this size should not have that many parking spaces.  They believe there should be more focus on walkability, use of bikes, and taking the T.  This development is a block from Broadway Station so why would these condo owners need a parking spot?

Well, first if someone is spending almost $1Million on a condo, most likely they own a car.  Even if they take the MBTA to work, or ride a bike, they will still have a car.  Maybe they want to go to the cape on the weekend or take a trip to Target, they want access to a car.

It is naively optimistic to think that people will just give up their cars.  The hope is people will give up their cars – maybe out of sure frustration at this rate but there has been no incentive presented in our neighborhood – just theories.  Less cars means less traffic, more parking, and it’s better for the environment.  Sure, there are people that will give up their cars.  My father Richie Dahill, a 71 year old life long resident and retired State Trooper gave up his car a few years back but his wife has one. I would love to give up my car.  I have kids – kids who play hockey and have after school actives in other neighborhoods across the city and beyond. I believe a family in the city needs a car.

People will not give up their cars with a broken down system like the MBTA, either.  If it can’t handle the current population of commuters waiting in crowds for the #7, then how do we expect it to handle more people. The buses are full sometimes by the second stop. Not to mention, the bus schedule is completely unreliable with some buses not showing up at all.  At a recent community meeting, the MBTA was asked if there could be more buses to which they replied, “No. There physically aren’t enough buses.”  The MBTA’s train system is also broken.

But the city continues to develop more condos, which equals more residents, more cars, more traffic, more people taking the MBTA and less parking.  Yes, I’ll admit, we South Bostonians like to complain about parking. It’s because it’s a quality of life issue that affects most of us daily. Lack of parking spots is the direct result of development and an area becoming too densely populated. So until these cars start vanishing, this parking crisis is a reality and even Urban Planner and Parking Guru Donald Shoup’s theories can’t change what we all see.

Currently, it is free to park on the streets of Boston.  You can register your car for $0.  So why wouldn’t people bring their car to the neighborhood even if they are not going to use it.  I’ve seen cars on my block parked for weeks a time and never move. Clearly that car owner doesn’t need it but there it is taking a parking spot.  If the City of Boston charge $250 to register a car would it deter this car owner from registering it?  Maybe.

Before we approve more large scale developments, before we take away parking spots for Zip Car, before we judge a neighborhood for being parking crazy, maybe we should work on fixing the MBTA and solving our current parking situation.  How about trying angled parking and enforcement of parking scofflaws and handicapped placard abusers?  Let’s start there and see if that helps.

You can spout off your facts, show me data from different cities, quote Shoup in a snarky tone and try and convince me that this parking crisis is all in my head, but it isn’t going to change the fact that I’m going to have to search for 45 minutes for a parking spot tonight after my boys’ hockey practice.


  1. Typical Millenial April 28, 2017 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    The East side is fine, especially as you approach the water. The West side however, does have problem. I find it hilarious when people complain about parking and then also complain about a new development that includes parking, which replaces and old building that didn’t have parking. “You’re destroying the integrity of the neighborhood”…BLAH BLAH. Let’s face it, Southie is an immediate neighbor of the central business district of the Boston. Someday a tower that exceeds 30 stories will be built in Southie, it’s only a matter of time and need.

    The overall theme here is generational owners who have lived in the neighborhood for an extended period of time HATE CHANGE. It doesn’t matter if it’s for the greater good. If it’s not how it used to be…then they don’t like and will do everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t change.

    • Bryan April 28, 2017 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      Maybe you should start your own web site since you apparently know so much www.typicalSOBOmillenial.com.

      90% of your comments are nothing more than YOUR opinion, no facts!

      The only time there isn’t a parking issue is when you go home to your parents house in CT for Thanksgiving, Xmas and Easter.

      Great on point article Maureen!

      • Typical Millenial April 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm - Reply

        Inspiring, maybe I will…but then I would start taking away from Maureen’s page views and marketing revenue. We want to keep our neighborhood watch dog is business, or at least I do.

    • B Lee April 29, 2017 at 12:05 am - Reply

      Who is Typical Millenial?
      Pat Mahoney!!!

    • SB April 29, 2017 at 12:13 am - Reply

      Parking in the point is not by any means “fine”. The problem with new developments isn’t the change in the neighborhood, it’s the fact that single family homes that may have had 1 or 2 cars are now becoming condos to house 3 or more “families”. These families could be one couple or numerous roommates and now you end up with 1-3 cars per unit. In regards to the development mentioned in the post there are 56 units and 64 spots, what if more than half of these units house families that have more than 1 car, I’m sure the unit only comes with one spot. I think the problem with the new developments that people “complain” about is the fact that those developments even if providing parking aren’t providing enough parking for the number of tenants being housed in them.

  2. Old time southie April 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply


  3. GregM May 1, 2017 at 12:09 am - Reply

    What if the city stops issuing resident parking stickers to any new development over a certain size. This would force all future residents to either park in their deeded spot or pay for private parking.

  4. Bill May 1, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    We should definitely have resident parking 24/7. And it’s crazy and unfair to only have it in upper City Point. That pushes the cars down onto neighboring streets. Weekends used to be a relief from the parking nightmares, now the weekends are the worst of all. Patrons of the restaurants and bars on Broadway (along with the house parties) make it impossible to park.
    Whomever is pushing this “no car” idea must not have children. Try lugging hockey equipment on the T. Try food shopping for a family with no car. Try caring for an elderly parent and shuttling them for appointments with no car. This is the real world we are talking about with real families – not some utopia that urban planners envision. The people who are supporting this concept are indeed driving families out of the neighborhood. Families need cars, and cars need a place to park when not in use.

  5. Eileen May 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    I have been a resident of South Boston for over 17 years and have lived and continue to live on the East Side. While parking has always been a challenge, what has made it even more difficult is the 7 day a week Resident Parking status. Those of us that live here have friends and family who visit. At least they were able to do so on the weekends. It started as a pilot and appears to have become a permanent solution. However, this is not the case for the rest of Southie. It has to be one way or the other. Some shouldn’t have the advantage while others do not.

    Thank you for listening

    • Drosophila May 1, 2017 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Exactly the point I would like to make. I also think the city should permit only one permit per unit everywhere else, or in extremis, one permit per building. Also regarding Ellen’s post I also feel that the 7day a week ban (overall) is a pity for family and friends should be able to visit and also be able to use our wonderful public spaces. AND WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE STATE ROAD, DAY BOULEVARD, CLOSED TO NON-RESIDENTS AFTER 6PM AND ANY OTHER TIME? Ticketing at Curley Rec Center evenings and Sunday? I’m a lifelong resident. What Mayor Walsh needs to do is start planning for more transit or transit hubs in areas like Hyde Park, Roslindale, etc. to provide people w/o cars access to downtown, so development will spread to ease the crush and density of new building in a few areas like South Boston.

  6. John May 1, 2017 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I remember when there were more cars parked on Bantry way than on 8th between M&N. One could say there is a parking problem, that depends on how your look at it. One could say there is a real estate problem. I am in the latter. A real estate problem, there ain’t enough of it. Do you want a home or do you want to park your car? Change the parking policy, put a band aid on it. It boils down to one thing, space. Decide what is best for yourself.

  7. Ann Perdicaro May 2, 2017 at 4:56 am - Reply

    I sadly left Southie(life long resident) 17 yrs ago, due to the parking issue. We searched for 18mos, for a house in Southie with parking before leaving. Regardless of the reason, THERE IS A PARKING PROBLEM IN SOUTHIE.

  8. Old time SOUTHIE May 2, 2017 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    They have 24/7 parking on “A” street (street off A street by BARLOWS)..WHY DOWN THERE BUT NOT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD? Wake up southie this place on the weekends is unbearable with the influx of “party guest” taking up spaces..park at lots DOWN by “A” AND TAKE A UBER

  9. Nino May 9, 2017 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Maureen,
    Thanks for all the updates and info you continue to educate us with.
    There seems to be no end in sight of the development of residential and commercial properties, not only in South Boston, but throughout the city. And along with that brings parking problems.
    My question is, with all this going on and seeming to be never ending, why can’t the city, as a gesture of good will to its tax paying citizens, paint parking spaces,on our streets similar to those spaces that people have already privately created and paid for out of their own pocket.. Wouldn’t that be one good use of our tax dollars?
    Just thinking.
    That’s all I got.

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