Back in March of 2017, it was reported in the Boston Globe that 2100 new parking spots would be created via two large projects subsided by Massport and Boston Planning and Development Agency. 1550 of those spots are now available at the newly opened garage called South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center located at 500 D Street. Another garage will be built a few blocks away in the Mayor Raymond Flynn Marine Park to make up 600 more parking spots.
So who exactly are these parking garages for? The residents of South Boston? As we are slowly learning, hardly anyone lives in the Seaport District. So who will be parking there? Well, I’ll tell you who, commuters.
A little history lesson. Back in the day, the waterfront consisted of an abundance of affordable parking lots that catered to out of town commuters looking to drive into Boston but not pay downtown parking rates. You know, the people who use the rest of the neighborhood as a cut-through. Well, now that this part of the neighborhood is developing at a rapid fire pace, a major issue has surfaced – lack of parking for the people working in the new office towers.
So now Massport has built an $85 million giant “transportation center” at D and Summer Street. What is a “transportation center?” It seems to be a parking garage with a wig. According to the Globe, it’s called a transportation center because it would include a shuttle bus stop, possibly a taxi or Uber stand, and a Hubway (Blue Bike) bike-rental station. (What? No, gondola stop?) Also, I bet the word “possibly” used here really means “probably not.”
We are living in a era of car-shaming. If you live in the city, you are encouraged almost daily to give up your cars, take public transportation, walk to work, use bike lanes, support gondolas and the like. Apparently, the out of town commuters are not being fed this rhetoric but in fact being accommodated with large, luxurious parking structures close to their new offices.
You would think planners would have learned from the nightmare that is A Street at rush hour thanks to a 900-plus public parking garage there. There is a long line of cars in the one lane each way every morning and afternoon.
We seem to be getting mixed messages. Do you want us driving cars in the city or not? The city has not changed any infrastructure as far as widening streets and sidewalks, enhancing bike lanes, building gondolas or creating bus lanes. And they are basically encouraging more people from the suburbs to drive into Boston. And this giant parking garage will be filled every day at about $38 a car. Who’s making this money? Is any going back to the city, state or neighborhood?
So brace yourself, Southie. If you think traffic on L St, I St, D St, A St, Farragut Rd, Day Blvd, and Kosciuszko Circle (but not Haul Rd. because that cannot be used by cars) is bad now, it’s about to get a lot worse.
Good god. Boston is becoming a black hole for residents and a sell out to developers.
They did this to replace the thousands of surface parking spots that are now occupied by office & residential structures. The cars that will be parking there will be the same cars that were parking in said surface lots previously. If anything, it will just transfer some of the A street traffic to D street. Us West Siders have no problem with this result, obviously.
Yes, the city is trying to curb individual car use, but it can’t ignore the fact that the personal car is still and will continue to be a heavily used mode of transportation. As for where the revenue goes….you can ask that about all forms of city revenue….Where are my property taxes going? Where is my community preservation tax going? Where is my state income tax going? Where are my tolls going? Etc.
I’m admittedly not a resident of Southie, but I think that the time and money that’s going into this latest new development could’ve/should’ve been spent on expanding public transportation, and into seeing what could be done to relieve the resulting vehicular traffic congestion on A Street, instead of replacing the surface parking spots that are now occupied by office and residential structures and making already-bad situations worse.
This latest new development does sort of smack of hypocrisy.
Mark my words! The city will start with eminent domain on older houses so they can go to 6 story buildings with garage parking once they rezone , and believe me they will. The writing is on the wall.. all you have to do is look. It’s all about the dollar now.
The city isn’t in the business of using eminent domain to build structures for private use. What may happen is a private developer showing up to your door offering you more than you’d ever imagine for you family’s home…which is not new and plenty of “lifelong residents who care for and love southie” have succumbed to.
What was missing from this story is the New Omni Hotel with 1000+ Guest rooms Banquet space and posibley retail that will be built with no parking right next to this Parking garage. who builds a 1000 + room hotel with NO parking
I couldn’t have said it any better.
We are screwed.
I own a three decker and once or twice a week I get an offer to sell, who is giving out the three deckers owners information
On a side note I have called City Hall to complain about the trach pickup and the men not placing the barrels back on the sidewalk. Often they wind up in the middle of the street becoming a hazard. You would think the firm picking up the trash being hired by the city could be expected to place the barrels out of harms way.
If you are on the deed the information is public. There is no such thing as privacy anymore and it’s only going to get worse. The city assessors records are the easiest way to obtain the name of the owner of a property. Then just go on white pages to find a phone #. Really simple.
RE: A street
Hate to break it to you, but the garage is empty. All those cars are from commuters parking on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd street for free all day. I walk by them parking every morning.
They call it a world class city, but its a world class mess. The City of Boston has the power to stop this but they don’t. All they have to do is tell the develops they can have their permits if you provide parking. Given the space crunch they should put a moratorium on all building permits in that area until they figure this out.
Guess the bridal and bridal party get to take the MBTA. to the wedding. Such a shame as they are guaranteed to be late!! Outrageous