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Free parking in Boston on Friday and Saturday

You won't have to feed meters in Boston commercial districts Friday and Saturday (and then every Saturday through Dec. 26). You will still have to move your car after two hours, though.

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Comments

Every year, the same shit.

If you're rich enough to own a car, congrats, we have a handout for you!

If you're not, then pay your damn T fare you poor scumbag.

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Owning a car does not mean a person is rich! Give me a break.

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said the rich guy with a car. Sounds like the republican talking points of people who make $200,000 a year aren't rich, just getting by and need their tax cut. If you have a car in the Boston area, you have a lot of spare money.

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Who? ME??? I DON'T OWN A CAR and I'm not a republican, but a democrat who walks and takes public transportation. Wish I made $200K but have never even been close. You're an odd duck to be making so many assumptions!

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Owning a car or too many cars tends to make you much less rich! $800 for brakes? I can buy a really nice bike for that! Excise tax, registration, insurance that subsidizes all the losers MA insists on insuring at a discount? $3 a gallon gas?

That's why we have one for a family of four, which is nearly heresy! We have dual-career, child free, car free friends who take fabulous trips every year on the money they don't spend on vehicles.

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You chose to have children, so don't complain to me about how much it costs. You knew the deal. I, for one, would rather take my fabulous trips every year (I'm planning on Iceland next summer) than have to deal with dirty diapers, screaming children, and unnecessary expenses. Don't hate me because of the choices you made.

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When you die alone in the hospital with no family left to comfort you I'm sure all those "unnecessary expenses" will appear in a different light. Without children there is no future. Having too many children is just as selfish as having none under most circumstances.

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None of you need to judge anyone's choice to have children, or lots of children, or no children. All family constellations are beautiful, and other people's families aren't any of your business.

Now get offa my lawn.

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Agreed. The city really doesn't get it. If you charge less (or nothing!) for parking that is already in high demand, you're going to make it even more scarce. Even though the 2 hour limit is in effect, there will be more people searching for the same number of spaces since it is now free, and the people who are using it are now more likely to stay the full 2 hours. So you're actually accommodating fewer people in the parking spaces while more people try to find spaces. This is totally counterproductive, especially if the city is looking to bring in more people to go shopping who don't normally go there. The people who do drive in will probably get so frustrated from not finding a space that they won't even want to come back!

Now if the city really wanted to bring in more people to shop, they'd be giving out free T passes or setting up free valet bike parking. There's plenty of room for more T riders and more bicyclists in the city, especially on the weekend!

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This is crazy, its what, $1 an hour for street parking? The city is already losing so much money charging so much less than market rate, does Boston really have so much money they make it free? Why not use that money to make Boston more pedestrian friendly? Instead of enticing suburbanites to drive into Boston with increasingly subsidized parking, why doesn't he spend more time encouraging independent businesses that aren't in the burbs? His focus on getting Target/Best Buy/Wal Mart/Whole Foods and other big box chains and encouraging people to drive into Boston seem so illogical. Instead of turning Boston into a suburb, why not make it unique and encourage people with shopping experiences they can't have on a strip mall along route 9. If Downtown Crossing had a huge Reading terminal size farmers market people would travel to it. If he gets his choice, a Target/Wal Mart, whats the point? Theres already a ton of those stores nearby in South Bay as well as every burb around.

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I'm a huge advocate of cycling and public transit, but the city has done this before and it has helped and I think it is a good idea.

One reason people don't go into the city is the need to feed a meter. Seriously. Even I am tempted by this as I am physically somewhat limited right now and hate malls. If you are buying large stuff, taking the T doesn't cut it - just search back through the comments where people complain about people having packages on the T.

I think this could attract good business and not cost the city much. Why not?

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You can only stay at the space for 2 hours (its not unlimited free parking all day, the 2 hour limit is still in effect as the article states). Its just that the drivers don't have to pat $2 for the time they are there.
Why not? Because we are already subsidizing parking so much ($5-10 an hour in the private lot, versus $1/hour at the meter. The city just raised the sales tax, and this is how they are spending some of that revenue? You really think that many people change their minds to save $2? Maybe a few who would have taken the T are driving in now, since driving is the cheaper alternative if you take the parking out. But your saying people who were going to go to a mall in Quincy or Newton or Framingham are going to drive all the way into Boston for 2 hours of free parking, knowing they have to move after 2 hours? Id like to see the study that the city performed to get this conclusion. It seems more like George Bush style 'from the gut' governing. Meninos gut told him screw people who walk or take the T, we need to get more people driving into Boston.

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Look, if all the spaces were empty, then I'd agree that making them free would draw shoppers.

But they're never empty. The spaces fill up at the insanely cheap $1 an hour, so whats the point in making it free? Draw in people who then insist on circling the block for 30 minutes to get the one elusive free spot?

Meanwhile, folks who don't own a car are shit out of luck. They have to pay the T fare to get to the store, and then the delivery fee or taxi to take their large item home.

I think a much better choice would be making the T free in Boston on Sundays during December.

Also note that while Boston charges $1 an hour to park, a rate that probably hasn't changed in decades, cities like San Francisco and Chicago are charging $3.50 an hour and their economies are not collapsing. In fact, SF gets to take the money and put it towards streetscape projects making the shopping experience better for everyone.

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If I put in coins for 2 hours of parking, then keep the car there for 2 hours of free parking, that would be legal, right?

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You're never going to get suburbanites to drive into the center of town to shop with the hope that they might snag a free space. I think the free parking scheme is mainly to keep car-owning city dwellers from going outside of the city to shop in the suburbs!

Back Bay shops are unique enough to attract drivers from all over, but there's certainly nothing at Downtown Crossing attractive enough to get that soccer mom from Chestnut Hill to park her SUV for free.

I hate to say it, but Downtown Crossing's glory days are over - there's never going to be a Saks or a Nordstrom's there - we'll be lucky if Filene's Basement comes back, but don't hold your breath. What the area needs on a practical level are more big brand retailers like Target, Best Buy and WalMart, to serve the needs of people who live off the Orange and Red Line and use it to get to work and back. There are enough womens apparel stores already - there needs to be more electronics and toys, especially this time of year - and above all a supermarket! The Reading Terminal idea is spot on!

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For the clueless in the crowd, including myself: A large first-floor farmers market in downtown Philadelphia.

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