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Developer proposes sharp decrease in parking spaces for Brighton building

Proposed Telford Street building

Architect's rendering, Telford Street.

The new owner of a Brighton parcel that already has approval for a condo building is asking the BRA to let it cut the number of parking spaces in half and add five additional units.

The Davis Companies of Boston need BRA approval for its revised plans for a parcel at Telford Street and Western Avenue on which it is proposing a six-story, 85-unit building with 72 parking spaces. The BRA had previously approved a proposal by the developer of the new Charlesview Residences complex to put up a seven-story, 80-unit building with 150 parking spaces.

Six of the condos will be marketed as affordable. Three vacant buildings on the site would be torn down to make way for the new building.

Telford Street notice of project change (2.6M PDF).

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Comments

Two sides, I think.

Fewer spaces than units encourage non-ownership of a car, use public or self-power;
but if there's more cars than spaces they try to fit on the street.

More spaces keep cars off the street,
but if they're not deeded to residences, car owners have to pay someone. Who gets that money, developer/management company, or owner of the apartment?

I'm new to the multi-unit building+parking scene. Shouldn't the parking space be deeded with the apartment, or able to be sold between apts within the building? Why should a developer or company profit from the residents who live in the building?

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Charge people to park on the street something proportional to what it costs a developer to add a parking spot to a building. If a parking spot adds $50k to the cost of a building that has a projected lifespan of 50 years then charge something approaching $1000/year for a parking permit. I'm making up these numbers to illustrate - obviously a spot on the street is less desirable than a deeded spot so it'd be less. Then let the market decide who parks where.

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...you turn an important shared public resource into something disproportionately for the wealthy only.

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Charge the cost of providing the parking, mark off a fixed number of spaces, and hold a lottery.

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is becoming disproportionately for the wealthy only. Requiring parking spaces for new development so that residents won't park in the street means more expensive housing for everyone. By giving away places for cars to park you have fewer places for people to live, at least us non-wealthy ones.

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important shared resource my ass

nothing shared about it

street parking is only for people rich enough to own cars

but if you can't afford a car then you don't get to share in this resource

how about you pay for your own parking, stop looking for a handout, you leech

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Parking is surprisingly expensive to build, which drives up the rent of the attached apartments, usually even if they are rented separately from the apts. If there were an actual market for on-street parking the problem would be less acute, but with so much of it being free, that lowers the price people are willing to pay for an off-street spot. If a apt. renter doesn't have a car, they're subsidizing the parking for those who do, because they're paying more than they would have in a zero-parking building, simply because of construction costs. Leasing the parking separately lessens this effect, though doesn't eliminate it, so should be encouraged. That way the folks who are paying to store their cars pay for more of what it cost to build the parking.

General price of building parking
surface parking: $7000/space at cheapest
structured parking:: $40,000/space
underground parking: $100,000/space

The other aspect of this is that more space devoted to parking means less space devoted to people, such as for, in this case, housing. The less housing is built means the higher rent will be, because the same number of people will be competing for fewer units.

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I don't know whats going on here, but i don't like nor trust it

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If we cut parking, fewer people will drive!

Except that a lot of jobs in Boston are where there's no regular, reliable T service to help them get to work (teachers, for example) or the T doesn't run past certain hours (commuter rail) or the T doesn't run to get them to and from work on schedule (hospital and service-sector workers) or they have to travel from sites/branches that the T doesn't connect (my old employer would have people go from the E line to the wilds of Reading...)

And then of course, people who own can't sell and move every time they change jobs, especially if they're married and have the spouse's job location to factor in.

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Heres an idea: If you have a job that requires a car to get to, then dont move into this building

Its one fucking building. Were not forcing everyone on earth to move into it. If it doesn't fit your lifestyle DONT MOVE THERE

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BUT IT DOESN'T CATER TO MEEEE!!!!!!!

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People may buy these condos when having a job they don't need a car to get to, but other people have futures where they might:
-Change jobs where a car is required.
-Cohabitate with someone, even if that person owns/needs a car.
-Procreate and find driving kids countless places less time consuming.

All because selling a condo and moving isn't as easy as changing dorm rooms when life circumstances necessitate a change. People will end up staying and park (badly) on the street rather than moving.

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(Please note I posted the first comment as well.)

I was very committed to the car-free lifestyle, up to and including a move to the suburbs where I limited myself to the bus/train options and all-weather bike commuted (there's really nothing like biking in a rainstorm when your glasses are wet and foggy.) I lived without a car for about 12 years.

However:
-This greatly restricted the places I could work, because I could only pick employers who were located within a certain radius of transit stations.

-This greatly restricted the kinds of jobs I could take: many employers weren't willing to hire someone who was only able to come in during the hours when the train/bus is running.

-When I did have jobs where my day-to-day duties were transit accessible, it greatly restricted my participation options for promotion, because trainings and events are often held offsite at off-hours and "I guess if the city staff doesn't have cars they can't come, not our problem."

-Now try getting married and try to find a career-appropriate job for a spouse in a highly specialized, narrow field on top of all of these preset restrictions.

And finally, do this for the duration of a 30 year mortgage, on repeat, as you each cycle through 5 jobs each.

Ultimately, I had to pick between a) buying a car, b) never advancing my career, or c) living separately from my husband so we could each live next door to our jobs and thereby never have a commute. Buying a car was the better option.

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Nicely articulated. There are many here who shame car owners -- I think they are mostly at entry level positions and/or don't have kids. If you have a busy schedule and you need to be flexible, you need to have a car.

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I have kids and a busy schedule and need to be flexible, and don't own a car. It's hard sometimes, but for me at least, doable. I know it's not, but I'd love to see us structuring our cities to make that possible for more people. Less investment in individual car ownership, more in public transportation, biking and walking, and car-sharing programs.

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These are valid points, but the fact is that not all of us work in industries where we have to make these kinds of choices. The *VAST* majority of housing in eastern Mass includes access to parking, including nearly 100 percent of housing constructed in the past 30 years.

I get that a lot of people will rationally choose to own a car. The question is, why can't we try to save some money by building housing for the 20 or so percent of us who don't?

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IMO, their justification is sound, but i wish they would not create any surface level parking. Bury all of it.

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It's capital-A "Affordable", not lowercase. Housing costs are a huge issue, and confusing enough as it is. Everyone wants everyone's housing to be "affordable", but that's not what Affordable is.

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I used to live a few blocks over, and it was a mixed bag as far as car-less convenience goes. On one hand, you have a grocery store and some decent food options right there, with Harvard and Allston a quick walk away and a bus to Target in Watertown.

As far as transit goes though, your options are the 70 or less frequent 86, or walking to the extremely unreliable 66. Even then, you have to make a connection at Harvard or Central to get in the city. Not bad during the summer, and biking is always an option, but it's pretty miserable in winter. This area is also right off Soldier's Field Road and the Pike, and I'm sure could be attractive to people who commute out of the city for work as well.

If the people who do live there want cars, street parking sucks in that area (I was lucky enough to have a driveway, which is the only reason I originally brought my car to Boston in the first place).

TL:DR If there are a few areas of the city where it's reasonable to have a car, Lower Allston is one of them, and it's probably more beneficial to the neighborhood for this building to have the spaces.

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It'll be about a mile from the new Brighton Landing development, which will be a huge transit perk in that area on both sides of the Pike.

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Something like 70 percent of existing housing in Boston does not include parking, and 40 percent of households do not even own a car. Why does 100 percent of new development need to have parking? Speaking to developers at community meetings one quickly learns that a lot of this off-street parking actually goes unused unless it's offered at a deep subsidy. Why force developers to build something the market doesn't actually need?

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100% of the market needs parking spaces.

All I said was that having lived in that area, I think it's definitely one of the Boston neighborhoods where owning a car is reasonable, as opposed to the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, etc. I also made it clear that you CAN get around via transit, but it isn't always convenient, even with the low bar for what's "convenient" with the MBTA. The other thing to consider is that street parking was already scarce around there before, and with Harvard rapidly expanding its footprint into Lower Allston, it's only going to get worse.

If anything, the anti-car crowd should WANT developments like this to be building parking, especially in areas like this, to keep the streets less congested. Furthermore, those arguing against the spaces are arguing for 5 more units that most of us can't afford in their place. Which is the lesser evil?

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Urbanity in Boston?!

PERISH THE THOUGHT

*clutches pearls*

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for the new owner/developer to sell more condos. The motivation is as simple as that.

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So? Boston needs more housing far more than it needs more cars.

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Where in the city do you live that needs more housing? Do you think the density of Roslindale needs to be doubled?

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If people are having difficulty affording rents, well, then there isn't enough supply.

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Lets be clear on something here: It is not the developers who want to build more parking. It's the city (and the neighborhood) that requires them to do it.

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For parking space reduction, but cut that "affordable" BS already! Why should everyone be penalized to benefit select few who happen to know a BRA official and end up at the top of the alleged lottery?

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Am I reading that right?

Even 72 spots for 85 units seems excessive but the other development...huh?

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Drive through any public housing development in Boston. There are cars everywhere, everyone owns a car. Developers would like you to think, and has all you fools buffaloed, that people like taking public transportation. This way they get to build more units with less parking, which equates to more money in their pockets. Fools!

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Yes, it works exactly like any other subsidy: We require that all public housing provide at least two free spaces per unit. With the cost to the resident being zero, there is little incentive not to use it. I suppose you might argue that providing space for free car storage allows residents better access to jobs. And perhaps you're right, but you have to ask: when space is at a premium and traffic in the city is already bad, is this really the most cost effective use of our scarce subsidy dollars?

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I was reading recently that Charlesview across the street has a ton of unused parking spaces in their new underground garage. Perhaps residents of this building can be allowed to rent spaces there (and the City would make some extra revenue towards affordable housing as well.)

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