Citizen complaint of the day: Damn out-of-staters and their damn out-of-state cars in Brighton

An irate citizen files a complaint from Sutherland Road:

Tons of ILLEGALLY PARKED out of state cars taking up spots from people that are from here. This has been an endless problem. Please tow the cars that keep taking the spots that are supposed to be for people that actually live here!!!



Free tagging: 


It's a problem everywhere

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From cars parked in resident spots without permits to cars parking in bus lanes, there just ins't enough enforcement to go around...

I'd like to see the city start some kind of program where people who live in the community could take training to issue parking tickets and get a cut of the fines that get paid. I'm sure there are a million problems with this idea I haven't thought through, but in theory I like it.

So apparently this person is

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So apparently this person is not aware that people who move here from out of state (like, say, large amounts of college students) don't immediately get new plates for their cars when they arrive. If they are indeed illegally parked then he or she has a legitimate beef, but lets not get started with whole you're-not-from-here-therefore-you-suck thing.

Are you not aware that you

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Are you not aware that you need a permit to park on city streets in most parts of Brighton, and that you can't get one of those with out-of-state plates? On its face this claim is valid. Lets not get started with not applying logic so early in the day.

Brighton and permits

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As you go further west in Brighton there's fewer streets marked for permit-only. I don't remember the situation for Sutherland off-hand, but it's possible that it's unmarked. I think someone else here mentioned that only one side is marked for permits.

I live nearby there.

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About half the streets are permitted, half aren't. In the case of Sutherland, the righthand side has no permit signs, and the left's are sparse at best.

Laws are for little people?

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Laws are for little people? Don't have plates or a sticker yet? Tough shit, pay for a parking lot or garage.

That doesn't help in the vast

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That doesn't help in the vast majority of neighborhoods where there are no pay lots or garages.

Gotta help pay for the MBTA!

With cars. Registration, insurance, inspections. More money for the taxman! Parking tickets are just the enforcement. MBTA employees in jail need to keep their jobs and pensions, after all.

When I'll Listen

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When my neighbors get a rebate on their taxes because the city doesn't clear sidewalks like it does roads.

When drivers pay the full and complete cost of their driving on an annual per-mile basis.

When parking subsidies stop being a write-off for companies and institutions.

Healthcare and not parking?

Health care has been an untaxed benefit to workers, no different than free parking at work. Until there is national healthcare, I suspect you won't complain about employers paying for it.

Not untaxed

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If you're a same-sex couple.

If you have a same-sex partner on your insurance, you pay for your partner's insurance as taxable income because they're a legal stranger.

Just sayin.'

Blame the local parking

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Blame the local parking authorities that over-regulate huge swaths of the city, forcing those with out of state plates to crowd onto the handful of streets that are non-permit zones.

People with out of state plates DO live here. They pay rents, taxes, and probably a healthy dose of parking fines.

Let people with out of state plates or Mass plates registered to other towns get parking permits - and charge them more for it. The higher fee will push many to register their cars here anyway, but those who can't (or are only here a short time and don't see the point) can park legally. The streets are public property and anyone who pays taxes should have the opportunity to park on them, with certain safety and quality of life restrictions of course.

If they live here they should

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If they live here they should have Mass plates, registrations, and have a city parking permit. Otherwise they are dodging fees and taxes which maintain the public asphalt they are occupying with their private property.

I live here, but don't need a

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I live here, but don't need a car or even a Zipcar membership since I use MBTA 360 out of 365 days a year. But when family or out-of-town friends come over, I rent. Rental agencies will often have out-of-state plates. Who should pay these theoretical fines whenever I park outside my own apartment, me, or Budget/National/Enterprise?


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Just because you're driving your parents' car, doesn't mean that you can keep it registered in New Jersey if it's in Massachusetts all the time.

I'd also be very concerned about doing this from an insurance perspective. If it turns out that you have the car registered in New Jersey with New Jersey-based insurance, but you're keeping it Massachusetts basically full time, is your insurance going to be valid if you get into a serious accident?

Crossing State lines

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You aren't allowed to do that or your insurance won't work! I have a theory that it is true, and even though I've never driven my car out of state - even to NH - I swear it must be true!


The fact is that if you are a student or in the military, and your official home of record is in another state, you can decide what plates you want. Students are not considered permanent residents, nor are people stationed at military bases. Your insurance is valid anywhere in the US - otherwise, how is it that people from MA visit Florida? How is it that I see all these NH plates where I park my car downtown?

You can get insurance based on wherever you garage your vehicle.

Members of the military

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Members of the military (and their spouses) are legally considered to be residents of the state where they lived when they enlisted, even if they're career military who joined up decades ago. We had a neighbor who was a career Army man, based at the Pentagon, but detailed here for a year so he could attend a special program at the Kennedy School at Harvard. He still had Washington state plates on his car because that's where he grew up. Or you can go over by USS Constitution in Charlestown and count how many different states are represented in the parking lot for servicemembers.

And that legal residence is also where they pay state taxes.

There apparently is a way that military men and women can establish a new legal residence, but it requires extra paperwork so few of them ever do it.

Car insurance, by the way, is based on the laws of the state where it's registered, which is not necessarily where it's garaged.

You should put a recycling

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You should put a recycling bin or chair in the spot to show them how much they're not welcome in it!

visitor parking

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I wonder if this person realizes that only one side of the street is resident parking. The other side is not permitted.

I'll give you the fact that

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I'll give you the fact that yes, they should be paying just like everyone else if the car in fact belongs to them and they are living here long term. Dodging fares on the T and dodging registration fees are not okay.

However, if they do exactly as you say and get permits, it doesn't reduce the number of cars vying for spots. If you put MA plates on all of those cars, they'd still be parked there and you'd still be bitching about not getting a spot. Welcome to city living. If you want a driveway and a guaranteed spot, buy a house in the 'burbs or rent a spot in a garage.

The real problem is that the train doesn't run 24 hours, so a lot of people feel like they still need a car. And god forbid, of course, if they have friends or family in town, or people over for a visit. The two visitor spaces on a street in many neighborhoods is somehow supposed to be enough for the hundreds of apartments in a single block, not to mention that they don't allow you to park overnight.

Perhaps there are more dire issues that require attention, say world hunger, violence, homelessness...

When you spot cars in a

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When you spot cars in a resident zone without a sticker, call the BTD at 617-635-3125. They will send someone out to ticket, usually very quickly.

While they usually do not tow, multiple tickets should convince folks to stop parking illegally. This worked well for me when the same issue came up on my street.

Apparently that person never

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Apparently that person never needs to leave the state or city where they live, or else they'd understand why a car from somewhere else might be parked on a public street.

A lot of people drive cars

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A lot of people drive cars registered to parents, family members, spouses, significant others, etc. It can be very difficult to navigate the beaurocracy it takes to register a car from one state to another. Some municipalities won't even allow a non-owner to appeal a parking ticket.

While someone with a NH plate parking in Boston isn't paying the state of Mass registration fees, they are paying gas taxes here and those make up a lion's share of local taxes funding road maintenance.

Two cities with parking problems equal to or greater than Boston's have very different approaches. In NYC, there's no permit parking but street sweeping requires cars to be moved frequently so nobody can "hog" a space near somebody else's residence for long. In San Francisco, a car without a permit can park for 2 hours in a resident zone, and a car with a permit from another zone can park there a little longer. Both cities have Bostonian-level shortages of parking but not our level of over-regulation of residential streets.

Also, having permit parking invites meter maids into the neighborhood, where they'll begin ticketing for other minor offenses (the kind of stuff that's not bothering anyone) when permit violators drop. Somerville's going through that now - fewer permit tickets to write, so they're making up for it by ticketing cars closest to corners (even if they're beyond the 20ft mark).

resident parking only exists to generate tickets

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The city doesn't care if you cant get a spot. Eliminate resident parking with arbitrary neighborhood lines and residents will slowly stop believing it's their inalienable right to keep a car on the street all year long.

In neighborhoods with T

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In neighborhoods with T stops, eliminating resident parking would essentially turn them into parking lots for suburban commuters.

The South End had a major

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The South End had a major issue with office workers in the Back Bay using the neighborhood for parking for years before it was converted to permit parking only.

Fenway, the North & West Ends also similarly had/still have major problems with people illegally parking during games/events.

Suburban people wouldn't tolerate strangers parking in their driveways without permission. Why should we tolerate them essentially doing the same thing here?

A driveway is private

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A driveway is private property. The street is public property.

If residents don't want all-day parkers, they can have time limits or meters put in. Of course, that would mean *they* couldn't park all day while they took the T to work, but fair is fair.


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Our streets are now de-facto parking lots for the LMA stiffs taking the 39 bus and the suburban simps taking the Orange line. We need resident parking zoning ASAP to eliminate these parasites.


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If it was about ticketing then enforcement would be more rigorous. BTD doesn't ticket on weekends or at night. Plus, according to city law, cars must be moved every few days, not once a year.

Dont ticket at night? Not sure where you live?

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Complain enough they ticket all hours, weekends too. Just because there aren't brigades of meter matadors flooding the streets doesn't mean there isn't a method at work. And nobody seems to question it. Neighborhood parking zones allow BTD to ticket residents for illegally parking in "Resident" spots, even though they pay for a permit and contribute taxes that pay for the roads. Get rid of all these disputed imaginary lines & replace it with one Boston sticker. I'm convinced some interesting things would happen.

So someone from Savin Hill

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So someone from Savin Hill should be allowed to park in the South End, but someone from further away who doesn't have good transit access (and might be carrying a lot more stuff) isn't allowed to drive?

How many of those cars

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belong to Brookline residents who don't want to pay for off-street parking in their own town?

And there is the nexus of the problem!

Thank you for saying it. It's Brookline's horses' assery that doesn't help when it borders Boston.

Seriously, let's just boot them out of the state already. Tell 'em to start their own state. Hell, let them be part of Israel. They love Israel, and America loves Israel. Now Israel can exist within America!

^^^ offensive

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If that offends you...

...I hope you never leave your house, because you would faint upon seeing all the things that are more offensive than that post.

Oh, Will.

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You're just hating because our forebears were smart enough to refuse that lousy annexation deal in the late 19th Century that the rest of the sucker mc towns south of the river got bamboozled into. Just think, West Rox, you wouldn't have had to deal with the shambles that is the BPS, among other things, but you gave up your independence for sewers and street lights. Ouch.

On an unrelated note, my ancestors were accused of wanting to be ruled by Rome, not by Israel. And we live quite happily in Brookline. So there.

Not many, because they're all resident parking only streets

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Almost every Brighton street in the vicinity of the Brookline border is Resident Parking Only - in part for this reason, but also because most of those streets happen to be close to where lots of BC and BU students live. The City understandably does not want to roll out the red carpet for the tens of thousands of students who would bring their cars but for the resident parking program.


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Brookline's ban on overnight parking was the primary reason resident parking was implemented on Sutherland Road and in the rest of the Cleveland Circle area. Brookline residents parked in Brighton to avoid the restrictions and paying for parking. The expansion of the program from downtown neighborhoods into neighborhoods like Allston and Brighton was undertaken by Ray Flynn's administration.

Chronic -- chronic --- what else is new

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As someone whom grew-up in Brighton and Allston back during the pony express era the issue simply gets worse and worse over the years.

I don't give a rats a** about any of it.

I gave up fighting with the students attempting to survive and get by --- many many years back in District 14. It wasn't worth my homeostasis and sanity. I made a decision years ago, that if I chose to live in Brighton I would always have off-street parking. Not easy, but it's available -- to some.

In my limited opinion -- Residential parking works in a very limited manner. I don't generally park on the street. ONLY recently got a neighborhood sticker after two tickets -- this past year.

The city is marginally better at removing student clunkers that are abandoned or simply die in-place, though in a limited fashion. This is a greater concern of mine. Out-of-state junks on and off public ways are a safety problem in Allston and Brighton

What about nonstudent

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What about nonstudent abandoned cars? Those are ok with you?

I've lived in Brighton for

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I've lived in Brighton for the past 3 years and only recently got my resident parking sticker after getting absolutely fed up having to park a mile from my apartment. It's a real pain in the arse to get the sticker. You must provide 2 forms of identification, your registration and another piece of mail, credit card bill, bank statement, utility bill, etc., dated within 30 days. I don't have any of these in my name so I brought a signed copy of my lease that clearly stated my address (acceptable according to the MassDOT website). The lady at the parking permit window (Government Center... $30 parking garage or 1.5 hour round trip on the green line) just laughed at me. I had to explain to her that I work Monday-Saturday from 8am-6pm and had to take a half day, unpaid, mind you, to come in. The parking permit people are only open from 9-4:30 Monday-Friday. After sobbing to this woman, she finally rolled her eyes and gave me my permit. Not before letting me know that she was doing me a HUUUGEEE favor. I'm sorry but I have major sympathy for these people.

I was in a similar situation

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I was in a similar situation and registered for an A/B resident permit online using my lease and a credit card statement (no postmark even, downloaded from the web). Had my confirmation within the hour and the sticker arrived a few days later. No muss, no fuss.

I'd like to offer sympathy...but I can't.

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I would have considered offering some sympathy to you and these other folks if you hadn't revealed that you were looking on the MassDOT website for information about a resident permit parking permit that is issued by the City of Boston.

No need to be a dbag. Sorry I

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No need to be a dbag. Sorry I mistyped. Meant to say
Happy now?

I have a license plate identifier

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My 5 year old is obsessed with identifying out of state plates.
We drive the same routes around N. Brighton all the time, to & from school.
The kid complains, "Mom, that car has been there so long, it should be towed!"
I just chuckle and tell him he should work for the BTD.
Seriously, this kid could be put to work for free. He keeps a mental inventory of all of them and would be happy to provide a list.
A lot of them are parked for a long time in the same spots.