3.4 min readBy Published On: July 24th, 2014Categories: News6 Comments

Concerned South Boston citizens gathered in the cafeteria of the Tynan school on Wednesday, July 23rd to discuss a proposed 7 Day Resident Parking Pilot Program for the City Point neighborhood.   City Council President Bill Linehan presided over the meeting and also presented the  proposal of the pilot program.    The proposed 90-day plan is slated to  begin in September and expand the current resident-only parking restriction between 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. to seven days.  Also on stage was City of Boston Transportation Commissioner James Gillooly. 

Key points:
Council President Bill Linehan did an excellent job mediating the sometimes fiery crowd.  He held his ground, spoke honestly, and remained to the point.  All the while, he reiterated that this program is a temporary pilot, which is a stepping stone to improving the overall parking situation in Southie – not a solution. He wants to use this program as a trial and create an open conversation for potential ideas.  He welcomes all ideas, and continuously encouraged residents to email and speak with him personally if they have suggestions.  

The overall consensus seemed to be that the residents at the meeting were not happy with the 7 day parking pilot program or the overall parking situation in Southie.  Many had concerns about how the program would affect the neighborhoods outside of City Point, and how much overflow would potentially make other neighborhood parking situations worse. Some felt concerned that they would not be able to have family and visitors from out of town stay with them anymore.  

The other main issue presented last night was Southie’s parking situation is in crisis mode.  Thanks to overdevelopment –  South Boston is now left with more cars than parking spots.  In a short amount of time, Southie has grown to include thousands of new residents, new residential development and new restaurants and businesses which has resulted in lack of parking spots.  Residents want to see this issue addressed directly; they do not want to simply put a Bandaid over the problem.  

Highlights:

  • One woman brought up potentially creating more one way streets so there can be room for angled parking in the streets, similar to San Francisco
  • Another idea was to build garages throughout the high traffic areas in Southie and build the garages upward so they can hold more cars
  • Another resident brought up potentially shortening the length and the amount of bus stops
  • One gentleman had numerous pictures of residents who “car jockey,” use Bumper Bullies and park without regard to spacing on the block.
  • The idea of changing the street cleaning times in some neighborhoods and eliminating towing was also addressed
  • Joann McDevitt of the City Point Neighborhood Association presented the results of an online survey she conducted with 57% opposed to the 7 day day parking pilot program. 
  • Linehan mentioned talks of a new transportation system underway (bus line) that will service run from  Andrew Square to the Waterfront

Standout of the night:
Southie resident Chris Hurld kicked off the meeting and set the tone by keeping it calm and professional.  Hurld stressed that resident parking is only “one small part of a larger problem of overdevelopment and frankly, too many cars.” He said, “We are punishing ourselves by not allowing visitors.”

Lowlights:

  • Hecklers in the back of the room ready to pounce and blame yuppies at every opportunity
  • A majority of people left at 7:40pm due to the repetitive nature of comments, concerns and complaints
  • At the end of the meeting, a man in the back demanded a vote – “like we do in the unions.” Linehan refused because it wasn’t up for a vote.  
  • Although Bill Linehan’s initial press release regarding the meeting stated that Councilor Mike Flaherty and State Rep. Nick Collins would be co-hosting the meeting – neither one seemed to be in attendance *EDITOR’S UPDATE: Reprsentatives from both Councilor Flaherty’s and Rep. Collins’ offices were in attendance.

A special thank you to Courtney Sheppeck and Betsey Walsh Frissora for helping to contribute to this piece. 

 

6 Comments

  1. Tara July 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    The one-way street idea is a great one. Some of the streets are already treacherous for non-experienced drivers as it is. No reason East third or East Second needs to be two way.

  2. Smithie July 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    This discussion is moot if DTA doesn’t enforce the rules, that ball was dropped a long time ago. Folks from the suburbs continue to use South Boston Streets as a free parking lot. From 8:00am until after 6:00pm they park and hop on the bus to their jobs, they are never ticketed –  it’s a great deal for them at our expense and inconvenience.  BTD  stated and confirmed at the meeting that they don’t have enough staff to cover South Boston in the morning, however they  do cover every other part of the city.    Visitor parking is used by folks who refuse to register their cars here because it’s “too expensive”.  Someone, anyone can park for days, weeks, months at a visitor parking spot and never get tagged.     So why get worked up over this new proposal.  Why doesn’t the City Council release enough funding to hire more BTD workers to enforce the present restrictions for 90 days, measure the results and come back to the table to discuss these findings with the community. It’s a start…Mike Hurld was fabulous by the way & the woman from San Francisco, J. McDevitt, thank you for the survey and Marylou Ivaska, great suggestion re: coding the stickers 

  3. Josh July 26, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Could someone please explain the benefit of shortening or eliminating the bus stops.  According the 2014 MBTA Blue Book, there were over 18,000 weekday daily boardings on the Routes 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 bus routes.  Making bus ridership more challenging to residents would only compound the parking problems in South Boston. 

     

     

  4. Maureen Murphy July 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I happen to like to see my family and friends visit on weekends.. where would they park ..? visitor parking for 2 hours? How many of those spaces are on every street?  If the pols and the BRA did not approve all the over building in the first place, maybe there would not be such a big problems.  

    I have found that at most neighborhood meetings, the neighbors never seem to win.  Gate of Heaven charter school may be the exception .

     

  5. Russell July 31, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    If this were about parking instead of revenue, the city would paing parking markers/spacers on each street so people can park effiently (with most possible cars).  See Mercer St.  A very smart, community focused neighbor painted parking markers/spacers on Mercer St.  One of the best streets to park because most people actually park in the marked spaces, so more cars fit.  Eliminate some bus stops.  Do we really need a bus stop ever other block?  Walk 2 blocks, or 3!  Get some exercise for the 2 minutes it would take to walk 2-3 blocks.

  6. charles moses September 3, 2014 at 9:49 am

    they need a long term solution i use to live in southie but i moved because of the parking handicap spots that people who are not handicap use because they use someone else card bus stops take up to much space and people who have driveways dont use them but will have you towed if you do or there are people with condos and their own parking spots yet they park on street instead itsucks that a lotof older people who live in southie have to pay for parking spots or garages a lot of it is the renting of condos to college students who share a cond and take 3-4 spots and never move their cars and just take the t so the cars are never moved and i cant even come there to visit anymore  maybe city should take some land by eminent domaine so they can build so high rise parking it is only going to get worse because all the new buildings going up 

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