Last night a group of concerned South Boston residents packed themselves into the cafeteria of the Tynan School to discuss parking in our neighborhood. City Councilor Bill Linehan has proposed a 7 Day Resident Parking Pilot Program for the neighborhood of City Point. I personally don’t think that a seven day resident parking program is going to the fix the current parking situation. It’s not just a weekend problem, it’s an everyday problem. We are in crisis-mode and it’s affecting the over all quality of life in South Boston.
I’m sure you’ve all felt held hostage by parking. You’ve got prime real estate out in front of your home, if you drive to the supermarket, you run the risk of losing that sweet spot. “Screw it! I’ll walk to Stop and Shop,” you tell yourself. At the supermarket you say, “Forget the milk. I don’t need to be carrying a gallon of milk along with four other bags of groceries five blocks back to my house. I’ll pick up milk at Cumby’s later. “
So you leave your car and walk, take the bus or call Uber to go out to eat, meet friends, or run errands. You know it’s better than driving around for a frustrating forty-five minutes later that night looking for a spot. I’ve also noticed a new trend of people who give up the search and just leave their cars double-parked all night long. I guess it’s worth it to them to just pay the ticket than find a spot.
So what do we do? You can either move (after schools, parking is a very close second to why people leave Southie), get pissed off everyday at your neighbors who park like jerks or grin and bear it. The 7 Day Resident Parking Program Pilot is really like putting a Bandaid where a tourniquet is needed. This issue is not “I can’t find a spot on Saturday night at 7” the issue is “I can’t find a spot on a Wednesday or Thursday night at 7.” Bottom line is, there are way too many cars and not enough parking spots. Parking lots and garages would help but I’m not ready to go there yet.
How about a pilot program for angle parking? Maybe try it in the business district on East and West Broadway? Also Broadway along M Street Park. Or the inside of the “greenie” on Columbia Road from Old Harbor Street to I Street. Or Farragut Road. Angle parking is already working on East Fourth Street near the Sidewalk Cafe and in front of the Post Office on Third Street.
The DCR also need to get on board. This summer they’ve taken away spots along Day Blvd. where people have been parking for 40 years when we are in desperate need of them. They need to add spots. Why can’t you park on both sides of Day Blvd. from M Street to Farragut Road. That will help with spots and cut down on the notorious speeding on Day Blvd. (That’ s another blog for another time!)
Another issue is enforcement. We need to ticket those committing parking violations – we’ve all seen the car with the Connecticut license plate taking up prime parking after 6pm and no ticket.
And maybe publicly shaming our neighbors who park like greedy, inconsiderate jerks would help a little. Here is my list of worst offenders:
Handicapped placard abusers:
Not all people with handicapped spots are offenders, but in the two blocks around my house there are about a half a dozen handicapped spots and they are always the last spots taken. I’m just puzzled as to why at 10 o’clock at night, so many handicapped spots are open. Are all these people out together? And handicapped people must have the best social life because I’ve driven around the block at 2am and may spots are still empty. I can only assume that there is some shenanigans going on with the placards. If you see someone in your neighborhood abusing the handicapped spot, rat them out or at least give them a dirty look.
People who park like jerks:
Pull up to the car in front of you. Back up to the curb cut. Don’t take up two spots when three cars can fit there. I’m not sure if you are doing this intentionally or are just out to lunch, but be a courteous neighbor. If you park six feet from an intersection, you are taking up half a spot, therefore you will lose a parking spot on the block. I once was pulling in behind a neighbor who was also parking. Because she didn’t pull up to the car in front of her, I couldn’t fit. I asked her nicely if she minded pulling her car all the way up. She said, “I don’t like parking my car so close to other cars.” She seriously said that to me. Needless to say, she moved her car up but not without giving me the stink eye. Be a good neighbor.
People who conveniently appear to park like a jerk i.e. taking up two spots until their spouse or roommate gets home.
Off street parking owners who park on the street:
I’m not exactly sure why someone who owns a parking spot would park on the street other then to piss off everyone on the block. Guess what? We know what car you drive and that you have a spot. Be a good neighbor!
The parking crisis isn’t going to be solved overnight so remember – we are all in this together.