Boston to experiment with demand pricing at parking meters; Back Bay, Seaport to serve as test bed

Mayor Walsh announced today that the cost of parking at a meter in the Back Bay and the South Boston Waterfront will jump Jan. 3 in a program to see if raising prices can reduce congestion along local curbs.

In the Back Bay, the city will simply increase the cost of parking at a meter from the current $1.25 an hour to $3.75 an hour and see if that discourages people who might otherwise just try to park in the same space all day, in the year-long pilot.

But in the Seaport area, the city will use a dynamic pricing model - and sensors at individual meters - in which spaces in demand will see their prices gradually rise over several months, while spaces that nobody wants will see their hourly charges go down.

On January 3, 2017 all meters in the Seaport pilot area will be priced at $1.50 an hour and adjust by 50 cents every two months. Approximately 591 metered spots will be adjusted over 40 blocks. High demand blocks will increase by 50 cents, while lower occupied blocks decrease by 50 cents. The minimum price will be $1 per hour, and the maximum price will be $4 per hour. Price will vary by four time bands (weekdays 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.; 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.; 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. and all day Saturday). Prices will be posted on meters and available online.

City officials are hoping that by freeing up spaces, they'll reduce auto emissions - since people will spend less time driving around looking for a space - as well as reducing the crazy that comes in a densely packed city like Boston.

Arsenal Mall to be transmogrified in that no man's land between Cambridge and Boston

Architect's rendering.

The owners of the Arsenal Mall, um, Project, today announced plans for a major revamp that will turn the old Army complex turned shopping mall into one of those new mixed-use residential/commercial/office complexes that are all the rage these days.

For those unfamiliar with the location of the new Arsenal Yards, its Web site pinpoints it as being "where Cambridge meets Boston."

OK, a press release from the developers does mention Watertown as the home for the planned 500 residences, 350,000 square feet of retail space and 100,000 square feet of office space.

This new community in Watertown’s East End will bring vibrancy of the city and an urban energy along with the convenience and warmth of a suburb. ...

Arsenal Yards is an all-in-one neighborhood destination for active people looking for the perfect place to meet up with friends and neighbors, take in a movie, grab groceries, share a drink, meet for breakfast or lunch, or settle in for dinner.

Planning for the Washington Street corridor in JP, Roxbury, falls apart in typical JP fashion

The Bulletin reports on the infighting that has delayed a BPDA vote on what to do along Washington Street in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, which has devolved into people involved in the process only agreeing to talk to a reporter off the record.

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