Mayor Walsh says he loves him some apps, but not one that alerts people to the nearest metered parking spaces - and let's them alert other users that they're about to leave. In a statement today, the mayor says the city will fight Haystack, which recently launched in Boston
In a statement, he says:
At this time, we are not engaged with Haystack in any discussions around a partnership. City representatives have met with Haystack to explore their service, and at this point, we remain concerned that their app, and apps like it, artificially inflate the cost of parking, and allow individuals to profit from public space. We are exploring our options to protect the residents and consumers of Boston.
In a separate statement, he adds:
The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) welcomes innovation in all aspects of urban transportation, including the use of apps by smartphone users. BTD is excited to pursue new methods of easing congestion and promoting green alternatives for all those who live and work in the Boston area. Such methods, however, must not interfere with the public’s right to access public resources, including parking. Pay-to-park' apps may impede access to public parking spaces.
By inviting users to transfer the occupancy of a particular parking space for a fee, these apps may subject public spaces to private regulation. Use of these apps while searching for a parking space may also lead to distracted driving.
BTD, the entity with exclusive statutory authority to regulate the flow of traffic and manage parking in the City of Boston, ensures fair and equal access to public resources. As such, BTD will continue to evaluate any and all systems that may infringe upon the public’s right to equal access and/or those that may artificially inflate the cost of spaces on Boston roadways and in municipal off-street parking lots, and BTD will take appropriate measures to prohibit any such app that is determined to do so.