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#ParkinginSouthie a blog by Peter Gailunas

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.

Car jockeys:
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. 
 

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.

Comments

  1. colleen morrison says

    Thats a great excuse blame it on the handicap…who are they to have a life. Heres a thought why dont you blame it on the yuppies god forbid the healthy has to walk
  2. Anonymous says

    I agree- and the whole point “why can’t we park in handicapped spots after 10pm” Handicapped people are not just elderly (not to say elderly should not be out late)- it could be a war veteran missing both legs. And he/she should be able to stay out past 10pm! Redic. 

  3. parking says

    Everything said here rings true, what you said about handicap spots too, you didn’t say everyone that has one isn’t handicapped, but the majority of these people I see parking in these spots are YOUNG HEALTHY PEOPLE that could walk! But that’s not even a huge problem, I’m probably just jealous… it’s pulling up to the car in front or backing up to the crosswalk, I can’t tell you how many “1/2 spots” I see EVERY DAY! 6 feet behind and 6 feet in front of a car for 3 to 4 cars in a row, it’s rediculous! That’s now 4 spots gone and I’m parking down the beach 4 blocks away when there’s enough room for a semi truck if everyone could just pull up! You’re exactly right, be courteous, make sure you’re creating spots or leaving room for a neighbor not just taking one and heading into your apartment. If you’re so concerned about your parking abilities not being up to par, or someone else, get one of those god forsaken, ugly, bumber covers. Angled parking could definitely help where it can be done, alleviate some of the congestion at least!

  4. Another thought says

    Since it appears the handicap spots are mostly for bus/van pickup and drop off, how about designating hours for those spots? Having a no parking in that spot between 8a-6p…obviously only necessary for those spots where there is not a car in the family. Also- bus stops. We all know the MBTA doesn’t run 24/7: why can’t we park in those spots overnight and more your car in the morning?
  5. Anonymous says

    I have an off-street spot–generally I always park there to be considerate to my neighbors who are not as lucky, but sometimes I do not for a variety of reasons – a family member visiting, a visitor etc– I pay excise taxes and have just as much a right to park on the street as anyone else– pretty short sighted to assume someone who has an off-street spot and is out on the street is being a jerk.    

  6. Another Thought says

    From the handicap spots that I’ve seen, it looks like the majority (not all) are specifically used for bus/van drop-off and pick-up. Why not desigated those handicap spots for no parking between certain hours so when you’re looking for a spot late at night there is another option. Something else to think about is the bus stops. We all know the MBTA does not run 24/7, so why not designate those bus stops for over-night parking knowing that you need to move your car by a certain hour? There are options here!

  7. Anonymous says

    It’s no secret that the handicap placards are abused throughout the City of Boston, but that’s not the real point of the article. It’s one of many problems – don’t be a reductionist of the discussion or – worse – make it an us vs. them issue. We all live in Southie, so let’s all find a solution together.

    Peter, thanks for writing. This is one of the best posts I’ve seen on parking ever, not just regarding the issues we are facing in our neighborhood. Angled parking would be a welcome change. Lines would be a good start. Props to you for suggesting parking on the other side of Day Blvd as a much need traffic calming measure, as well. I don’t understand why city reps won’t sit and talk with us to develop solutions instead of just seeing if we like what they think – we elected them to represent us, not think for us. Let’s have a discussion instead of a shouting match with the neighborhood associations, the City, DCR, MBTA, BRA, etc., to develop a wholistic approach to resolving this issue. It’s not just about parking, but about development, zoning, transit, and so on. If you plan for cars, cars show up. Let’s plan for people instead.

  8. Anonymous says


    Need to take care of the out of state plates and commercial plates (there is a truck that parks on East 6th, Monks St and Peters St EVERY NIGHt of the week).  Really??  No tickets??  I don’t have much faith in a 7 day a week program when the 5 days a week isn’t  working so well. 

     

  9. Anonymous says

    When in doubt blame it on the yuppies. Who do they think they are owning fancy cars? Every night I get home from work the only open spots are handicapped. They must all be at Murphy’s together.
  10. Sarah says

    Finally! I do think the pilot program will help, a little, with the out of town ‘overnighters’ on fri and sat. However, angled parking- YES. Esspecially on the large one way roads, like M for example. SO much wasted space along day blvd/ columbia. I completely agree with you, on all points! As for the handicapped parking, the only thing that bothers me are those few handicapped spots, whose drivers are moving furniture up 3 floors on their backs, and then disappear all weekend. But that is a whole other issue….

  11. Anonymous says

    Haha yuppies.. It’s like pulling the race card. Easy over there and we are now all in this together.
  12. Save K Street says

    As this article states, the real problem is that there are too many cars and not enough spots. How does every other urban area reduce the amount of cars over time? Transit. Our broken transit system is forcing the entrire neighborhood to remain reliant on cars. If buses ran more often, were more dependable, and weren’t always at capacity, the neighborhood could evolve beyond the use of personal cars.

    Better transit = fewer cars, more parking, less traffic, less pollution and healthier local retail.

    Help to do something about it by taking 30 seconds and signing our Southie MBTA Petition:

    https://www.change.org/petitions/massachusetts-bay-transportation-authority-overhaul-the-public-transportation-system-in-south-boston

     

  13. Rob says

    What about utilizing bus stops in the off hours. I’d set my alarm early to move my car out of the stop
    If it meant opening up more overnight spots.
  14. says

    Often reading these comments I find many readers have lost site of the notion of Freedom that this country was founded upon. That freedom extends to any citizen, from ANY state, to park where they want. Maybe you would all like to live under Communism where everything is perfectly equal. 

  15. Dave says

    I have lived in South Boston for several years. Though I am not from here, I love this city and have found 99% of people who are born/raised here to be incredible people. The lack of  some people’s imagination lends itself to the overuse of the word ‘yuppies’ .

    Consider this about me: I am in my 30s. I have a job. I enjoy nice things. I commute most of the time on the MBTA. When I drive back to Boston I park properly. I pay taxes. I pick up trash on my street when others who are from here throw their ice coffee cup in the gutter. I am respectful. I do not commit crimes. I hold doors open. I volunteer in South Boston. Does that make me a yuppy? Consider your thought process before you make the word mean even less than what you intend it to. And get an imagination.

  16. Lise Ann Ruggeri-Kalil says

    in this article.  Peter hit the nail on the head in this article.  And it’s not the “Yuppies” fault for taking advantage of what the City has turned their back on which is South Boston.  Do you blame people for acting the way they do when there is no one in the City to to back up the residents of Southie, whether you’re life long or new to the area.  The bottom line is that the City could not give a rats butt about the residents of South Boston.  

    The one item that was all agreed upon last night and in conversations throughout the neighborhood is that it is too damn crowded.  The only people to blame is the past Mayor.  It is now time for the present adminstration to remember that the people of South Boston matter – we helped get you elected and as fast as that happened we’ll run you the hell out of town.  Let’s all band together to stop further deveopment of South Boston and to let the City know that we matter.

     

  17. Laura says

    Angled parking won’t work everywhere, but painting parking lines on the road would work everywhere, especially if there was an ordinance enforcing the observance of them. And be careful about accusing someone of ‘jockeying’ because we’ve all parked our cars responsibly, had all the other cars move, new ones come in and park badly, and then we end up looking like the jerks. Lines on the road would solve that. Many times I’ve gone out to move my car up to another because I’ve ended up in the middle of two spots when others have moved. And I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the ridiculous size of vehicles people drive. I understand a family with kids who play sports needing a large SUV, but singles or couples with huge cars? With so many individuals driving these unnecessarily super-large vehicles only a fraction of cars can park per block as what could if the cars were all small. That is a great solution that no one seems willing to make the sacrifice for.

  18. take things into your own hands says

    There is an app called citizens connect where you can snap a photo of an offender (out of state plate, expired residnt sticker, no resident sticker, ect ) I find that they usually dispatch BTD who give tickets. highly suggest it

  19. Krissy says

     I also like the idea of exploring the concept of angled parking, reducing street cleaning days and having DCR give back all the parking spots they removed. 

    Also what about Conley Terminal Expansion Project? Looks like there’s a proposal to increase the 57 parallel parking spaces on E. First Street to 114 spaces.  Is there any suggestions about increasing this to a higher number, or perhaps putting in a public garage?

     

  20. Anonymous says

    There are not enough OFS’s to cause these parking problems, so who else could it actually be? Where is everyone on Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc…that’s what I thought. Thanks.
  21. Anonymous says

    No, you don’t, because when you carve a driveway into the street, you take a spot off the street.

  22. Parking markers/spacers says

    If the city wanted to actually address the actual problem, they would take simple yet very effective actions.  They could “mark” off parking spaces.  That way when a street has plenty of open spots, people can easily park between markers and hence the full street is perfectly utilized.  It has been done on Mercer St and works great.  Unless you park right next to the curb, how can you effectively space where you park in order to get the most cars parked.  And the parking problem is NOT on weekends.  It is the other 5 nights of the week. 

     

  23. Anonymous says

    Because all the immigrants go home to Mommy and Daddy’s house. Plenty of parking then, so whose fault is it?