Hey, there! Log in / Register

Nothing illegal about being a bad neighbor in Boston, city declares

In response to a 311 complaint about some Massholish parking on G Street in South Boston (person consistently parking "between a driveway and a handicap spot" and basically taking up two spaces with one car), the city says:

There is no violation for being a bad neighbor. Sorry.

H/t Jared.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
Ad:

Comments

good

up
Voting closed 0

Anyone is welcome to strike back and park a Smart Car or motorcycle in the half-spot that's been created.

up
Voting closed 0

I've done this in other half spots. I come out to find my motorcycle knocked over and the car gone. Simply having the license plate number gets me no where with an insurance claim.

up
Voting closed 0

There's someone in the North End who does that. They have two cars, and when one needs to go somewhere, they move the other car forward/back a few feet to cover both spots.

up
Voting closed 0

This happens here in Chelsea on my street. Four cars play into this. One car leaves, someone else goes out and moves each car forward/backward to occupy spaces in a manner that no one can park there. They literally can occupy up to six spaces because of this maneuver.

I know parking is at a premium but this is such a dick-ish move...All because they don't wanna lose the spots in front of their house.

up
Voting closed 0

If you can manage with fewer cars, perhaps you can afford a mortgage on a place that has a driveway?

up
Voting closed 0

Must live someplace other than the City of Boston where there are plenty of driveways.

up
Voting closed 0

I wanted a driveway so I didn't have to act like/come in contact with entitled jerks. I factored my desire to have a family car into where I decided to move. How hard is that to get?

Why is that so hard for people to understand? You pick where you live, and there are tradeoffs no matter where you end up. I prefer quieter space and a place to put the family vehicle, but I still wanted to be close to transit and in a bikeable area. Walk score was the tradeoff, but not a bad one. Grown ups should be able to do a basic needs assessment, gather information on their potential living places, and generally handle that sort of rational selection process.

Never mind that I actually live closer to Boston City Hall than many commenters here do. Medford has its own parking issues because its permit system is horribly managed - as in, people with driveways getting ten permits for people who don't live with them. All the same, I don't exactly live in a "land of driveways" by any stretch of the imagination. I simply chose to have one because I don't think that anyone "owes" me parking just because I want to have a car handy.

up
Voting closed 0

Problem: neighbor parks like a jerk

Solution: buy a driveway and ride a bike

up
Voting closed 0

of course its Chelsea too.

But all the cars all have an image of "Mike Myers" (from Halloween) on the back. Not sure what that is all about. 2 of them are mini vans, one is a SUV, and the other is a Honda Civic. I think it's one family living in one building.

I mean I agree.. if you have to occupy that many spaces, than it's time to move to a place where you have a driveway.

But in this neighborhood, the attitude is "fuck ya, I got mine. Who cares about anyone else"

up
Voting closed 0

Maybe if we actually charged what these space are worth, people wouldn't feel the need to waste them.

up
Voting closed 0

That the easiest solution is for the city to paint lines designating spaces which you may not exceed or you get a ticket.

up
Voting closed 0

In most cases this effectively reduces the total number of theoretical parking spaces on the street, so in general residents tend to be opposed to the idea once it is explained to them how it will work.

up
Voting closed 0

They painted lines (not for each car) denoting parking spaces on Cambridge street between Harvard and North Beacon and the number of spaces was greatly reduced.

up
Voting closed 0

Just paint lines where it's needed. On long, uninterrupted curbs, you don't need to paint lines. But on short stretches of curb like in the photo, you paint lines to prevent abuse.

At the same time, the city really needs an inventory of every public parking spot it owns. Give every spot a number, put them on a map, and present it on the web. As far as I know this has never been done. Even if the spaces are not exact, it's worth doing. Every foot of curbspace is worth thousands of dollars and should be inventoried.

up
Voting closed 0

In most cases this effectively reduces the total number of theoretical parking spaces on the street, so in general residents tend to be opposed to the idea once it is explained to them how it will work.

As opposed to the reality illustrated by this post, in which the total number of actual parking spaces is reduced by the selfishness of one douchebag.

If you can't play nice, you get your toys taken away. My kids know this.

up
Voting closed 0

Especially in cases with differently shaped cars (truck next to compact, etc) or multiple small cars next to each other

up
Voting closed 0

Once again we have proof certain that the city's 311 service is being misused by people who have a sense fo self-entitlement.

Yes, the auto owner is an arse for doing that but you don't use this system to lash out at this person or anyone.

There is a law against misuse fo the 911 system. Maybe we need the same for the 311 system.

To the 311 person. I feel bad for your feelings of outrage, but... get a life, please.

up
Voting closed 0

Real people take care of the problem themselves, like God intended. It's not like breaking a window and tossing a lit road flare on the back seat is gonna take up a lot of one's latte sippin' and mommy bloggin' time.

up
Voting closed 0

The main selling points of 311 were to 1) reduce non-emergency calls made to 911 and 2) provide a comprehensive place for residents to contact their local government and have their concerns triaged and questions answered.

This type of complaint is a good example of how 311 should be used. The person working for the city might have researched the answer with the Transportation Department or Parking Clerk, supplied the answer to the constituent, and documented the answer for future use. Anyone at BTD or City Council can see how many times similar questions were submitted, if they want to investigate how common a situation it is.

up
Voting closed 0

For the two weeks or so, there's been a beat-up car parked which is new to the neighborhood. One of the windows is slighly open and there is an full formerly iced coffee in the drink holder the whole time. Hasn't moved in that whole time. It has plates but has the vibe of a stolen car someone ditched.

Should I 311 this? I'm not sure what 'abandoned car' means if it has plates.

up
Voting closed 1

This isn't calling 911, if it isn't something they handle, they'll let you know.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, Vaughn - you can/should report this car to 311. There is some law on the books (can't quote chapter and verse!) regarding cars not moving for 72+ hours. Obviously, it's rarely enforced but in a case like this, can be the rationale for having the car looked at.

In our neighborhood we had a car parked for a week plus without a resident permit in a permit-only spot. We reported it as being there beyond the 72 hours and it was placed on a list for the abandoned car unit (or some such entity) to review. It was ticketed also for not having a resident permit. At least you can let the Boston parking department know about the car and they can look into it.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes you absolutely should!
I've called Boston 311 before to report a car that hasn't moved in more than a week and within a few hours someone came out and put a notice on the windshield saying the car had been reported abandoned and would be towed if not moved in X time. It was gone the next day.

up
Voting closed 0

when you have a truck that likes to move smaller cars that do that.

up
Voting closed 0

Captain Greland told me personally to call police/911 for traffic violations.

up
Voting closed 1

Find the owner of the car parked in front of the bad neighbor, and get him to back his car up to the point that the bumpers nearly touch.

Problem (temporarily!) solved.

up
Voting closed 0

Simply backing the car in front up to the bumper would not create more parking space because the parking space in front is a HP spot, the empty space would just be relocated to part of the HP Spot

up
Voting closed 0

Draw in some "parking space" lines as a serving suggestion.

You might be surprised how well this works.

up
Voting closed 0

This is a daily occurrence on my street in Somerville, but it doesn't seem to be intended to reserve space for another car - it's just people who don't know how to park and/or can't be bothered to park properly. Usually when walking the block back to my house after having to park on another street I'll pass at a minimum 2 or 3 gaps between driveways that can easily fit 3 cars, but only have 2 parked in the middle.

I accept that I can't always park in front of my house (in fact, it's rare to be able to, and having to walk a little bit is good for me anyway), but parking is very scarce in Somerville, and it's frustrating to see so many spaces made useless.

I would suggest 'Parking like an asshole' be a ticketable offense, but that would be too difficult to enforce because cars come and go randomly, so it's impossible to determine which car was the first to screw up the parking spaces.

up
Voting closed 0

It's an exercise in futility making a good or service free and then trying to get people to use it frugally. If you want people to not waste parking, charge for it. You'd be amazed how many spaces this frees up once people realize it's cheaper to store cars they never use in rented driveways or garages instead of on the street in front of your house (or get rid of them completely).

up
Voting closed 0

Somerville does technically charge for parking permits, but even if they charged a lot more for them that still doesn't have any bearing on people respecting their neighbors enough to not take up two spaces. People are going to park like an asshole regardless of how much they're paying for the privilege.

up
Voting closed 0

Of course. The thinking is that if parking were priced appropriately, usage would be at 80% instead of 98%, so no one would care about the one or two extra spaces that were removed from the inventory by bad parking jobs.

up
Voting closed 0

I doubt that though. According to the city there are more than 11,600 registered vehicles per square mile - or one for every 1.6 residents. This, by the way, is compared to 3,000 registered vehicles per square mile in Boston.

You'd have to make permits cost thousands of dollars to get enough people to give up driving to bring peak usage down to 80% of capacity.

up
Voting closed 0

No parking space? No registration.

up
Voting closed 0

I don't see how the absolute number of vehicles would in any way change the effectiveness of such an incentive structure.

up
Voting closed 0

The absolute number of vehicles is indicative of how much demand exceeds capacity.

If demand significantly exceeds supply, then you'd have to significantly raise the price in order to actually reduce demand to lower than supply.

Say you have 10,000 cars vying for 5,000 parking spaces. You're advocating for pricing permits such that only 80% of capacity is used - in this example, 4,000 spaces. So you need to price permits high enough that 6,000 people decide to give up their cars. How high do you think the price would have to be to get 60% of people to give up their cars? It'd have to be a lot higher than if there were only 6,000 cars vying for those 5,000 parking spaces.

Of course I'm making up numbers for the sake of argument here, because I don't know the actual number of on-street parking spots in Somerville, and it's a bit too macro anyway since there are areas of the city in higher demand than others, but you see my point.

up
Voting closed 0

But my point is that without knowing the size of the public parking space inventory, the absolute number of cars is a pretty useless number. It's fair to assume, however, that with Somerville being fairly dense and parking being nearly free, the actual number of cars is roughly equivalent to the number of parking spaces. The unknowable figure (without some amount of experimentation) is how much value each of those cars' owners places on their ability to park those cars on the street. I suspect it is nowhere close to the land value of those parking spaces (for most people).

up
Voting closed 0

I wouldn't say it's useless. I would also assume it exceeds the number of available spaces, given that if there are 11,600 registered cars per square mile, I doubt there are actually 11,600 parking spaces per square mile. This assumption is supported by the frequency with which I see cars illegally parked and my experiences trying to find a space.

I will agree that the value people assign to parking spaces doesn't nearly approach the land value of that space, but if that value is what we were charging, then that brings us back to my point about charging thousands of dollars.

up
Voting closed 0

Presumably most of those 11,600 cars are in fact parked in driveways or garages. Probably also there are cars parked on the street that could be parked in driveways but aren't because there's no incentive for doing so.

up
Voting closed 0

Also I doubt it would have to be thousands. Right now they're basically free. It would just have to be expensive enough to make people think twice before choosing to store a car on the street. Probably a few hundred dollars a year. Still a relative bargain compared to the cost of the real estate that storing a car uses.

up
Voting closed 0