Letter to the Editor:
The City of Boston and the BRA need to reconsider their policy that discourages construction of parking spaces within new developments (City wants a cutback on new parking, 7/5/13). As the District 2 City Councilor, I represent some of the most congested neighborhoods in Boston. I hear from constituents on a regular basis that lack of parking affects their quality of life more than other issues. As a resident of South Boston I experience this difficulty on a nightly basis as I circle the blocks around my home looking for a parking spot.
BRA Director Meade cites US census data that the city has seen an increase in Boston residents between the ages of 20 to 35 and that this population is increasingly relying on public transportation and other modes of transportation to travel to and from work. While this is true and we should continue to encourage this practice, it has not translated into fewer cars on our streets. This demographic still have cars, they just don’t all take them to work or use them regularly. This creates less users of a particular space.
Another demographic that finds it difficult to travel without a car are young families. I have six grandchildren who live in Boston. My children, and other young families in my district, tell me that getting the kids to and from school and all their other activities is not feasible on public transit itself. Lugging the kids alone is difficult enough never mind all the sports equipment, carriages, lunch bags etc. that go along with each trip. Discouraging additional parking spaces is making it more difficult for families to stay in my district. This needs to change. We should be creating policies that attract and retain families, not drive them (literally) away.
Additionally, often seniors and retired members of the community do not move their cars after 3:30pm in fear of not finding a spot in a reasonable distance from their homes. Many of these folks are less mobile than they used to be.
Our policies need to be more holistic in nature and not just for target groups who at this present time are interested in living in our neighborhoods, as chair of the Council’s Economic Development Committee I will continue to push for just that. The demographics will change in just a few short years but housing infrastructure will remain the same for decades.
Bill Linehan, District 2 Boston City Councilor
Comments are closed.
Thanks so much to Councilor Linehan for this important post. I’m the mother of 2 and we’ve lived for 10 years. Even since we’ve gotten here parking has gotten dramatically worse. Lugging 2 children to a parking spot 4 blocks away in the rain does make it hard to commit to staying in this community, which we love. And young people don’t hate me but…I also think we need resident parking 7 days/week. I can’t tell you how many times all the parking by our house is locked up all weekend by out-of-state plates. Focusing on parking is essential to getting families to stay in Southie.
I am an everyday bicycle commuter. I am not opposed to what Bill Linehan states here, but the only thing that I would like to weigh in on is that the 20-35 age group (my age group) would like to see some improvements made to alternative transit options in South Boston.
I believe that with more frequent busses, & bicycle lanes on the major roads many MORE people in the 20-35 age group would be go completely car free. There are plenty of ZipCar stations around town for those days when a car is needed… and you’ll never need to worry about parking spots, insurance, gas prices, or space savers :)
So in South Boston how about putting in parking lines on the streets forcing people to park “within the lines” and to cease taking up 2 spots. Could ticket those who do not comply. Also why not offer paid parking spots in front of the homes you live in? I would willing pay for a spot yearly that was desginated for my use. Anyone that takes it and should not park there, would be subject to ticket and tow at their expense. Put in parking garages or lots for residents only. Have those who have driveways and garages use them. They took a spot off the street to have them so should be made to use them.
Allow only Residents to park in public parking areas overnight, or in the parking lot at South Boston High school for example. Tow the out of state vehicles in the evening.
Prefrence should be give to those of us thow have resident sitickers. We pay for the priviliage to live and park in this area. VT, CT, NH, NY, NJ and so on do not (or even those who register their cars at their parents address).
I agree that the “T” is the way to go, however,the young people “renting” or “leasing” here bring their cars that they only use on weekends.
your age group does in fact go car-free they park their oversized SUV’s for 1 and NEVER move them they are “environmentally friendly” enough to take the T to/from work then taxi it the rest of the time thus never needing or moving their cars (and when they do move and park they take up 3 spots……not even giving a second thought that they should share the streets) you don’t need more the problem is the amt of cars and the persistant under use which leaves us residents that actually need to utilize our cars for kids (and their activities), parents, food shopping, etc, in a persistant state of frustration i wish i had money to cab it everywhere and leave my huge SUV to always have a parking spot
the parking finally getting to ya bill that’s what u get for letting everykind of development squeeze into southie whether it fits or not quality of life here is @ an all time low and frustration and lack of parking is @ an all time high southie people tried to veto new construction or increase amount of residential areas but you politicians could only see one thing the bottom line and we lost everytime cry me a river we warned you but the politicians we voted for didn’t want to listen so get used to it from now until doomsday we’ll be circling the block praying to find a spot