Boston says raising parking-meter fees increased parking-meter availability in the Back Bay

Increasing parking-meter fees from $1.25 to $3.75 an hour in the Back Bay last year meant less congestion on local roads, because fewer people were willing to shell out the extra money - which had the bonus of helping curb double parking, the mayor's office announced today.

The 11% decrease in meter usage seen during a year-long pilot was accompanied by a 14% drop in double parking and a 12% decrease in out-of-neighborhood people settling into resident-only spaces, according to the Boston Transportation Department.

A more dynamic pilot in the Seaport area - in which meter prices were ratcheted up or down every couple of months based on demand statistics, was less successful in increasing turnover - decreasing usage by just 1%. But non-resident use of resident-only spaces dropped 35%, BTD reports. Unlike in the Back Bay, not all the meters are owned by the city.

With results of the pilot now available, the Boston Transportation Department will analyze the results and determine whether the program should be expanded to other parking meters throughout Boston. Parking meters are currently located in the Back Bay, South Boston, Downtown, South End, North End, Fenway, Allston, Cleveland Circle, Charlestown, and Longwood neighborhoods. As the results are analyzed, the pilot will continue in Back Bay and the Seaport.

Complete report (3.1M PDF).

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Comments

Hate when people keep trying

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Hate when people keep trying to push for a higher % of affordable units. It just makes the market rate units more expensive, so it hurts anyone who can't qualify for the subsdized units. That's why the rich and the poor are moving into cities while the middle class is pushed out.

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Voting is closed. 51

Checking in as a lifelong

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Checking in as a lifelong Boston resident that bought on 495 this summer. Can confirm.

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Good!

No such thing as a free lunch, glad to see market-rate pricing help with parking needs. Now lets work on congestion pricing!

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Absolutely.

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They should apply this to resident parking permits.

...and we need parking meters on east and west broadway in south boston. there are so many people coming in on the weekends to eat and drink.

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Wait

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Did you just gripe about outsiders coming into Southie to eat and drink?

Wow, you’re really learning how to think like a townie.

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I'm not 100% sure, but I

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I'm not 100% sure, but I think Massport or the DCR might. Can anyone confirm?

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Voting is closed. 43

Massport

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Massport on the streets they own in the Seaport.

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Voting is closed. 54

Massport owns most of the

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Massport owns most of the seaport meters and has police jurisdiction in much of the area as well.

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Voting is closed. 38

I have a feeling they mean

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I have a feeling they mean some surface lots in Southie have private parking meters (rather than a ticketing system). Pretty sure it's illegal for people to just put up a meter off a street, even if the space is deeded & private.

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Voting is closed. 36

Right

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I was thinking that maybe the City had contracted out some of the spots (maybe kinda/sorta like parking operations in some metered spaces in Medford?), but wasn't sure if another jurisdiction claimed them. Most comments here seem to indicate that jurisdiction is the State via Massport.

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They didn't need a year long

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They didn't need a year long pilot to tell them what everyone already knew. Now raise parking fees in every neighborhood. And start charging for resident parking permits. Don't do a study. Just do it. It will decrease traffic while increasing available parking spaces and money coming into the city.

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Voting is closed. 61

Parking garages already do

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Parking garages already do the work for finding out what people are willing to spend. They should just collect sample data from local garages and then makes the meters a percentage of what the garage charges.

For areas with sporadic garage usage then they could just base it off of similar areas across the city.

While I always enjoyed an hours worth of parking for a dollar back in the day , if you can never find a spot when you need one for just a quick run into the city then what difference does it make? I am willing to pay 5 bucks for an hour at a meter in Back Bay if that means I don't have to pay 20 dollars to park in a garage and walk 4 blocks back and forth for whatever it was I was picking up in the first place.

Anyplace where there are garages there is no reason why people should be parked on the street for more than 2 hours anyway.

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Voting is closed. 19

City is Gone

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It’s so sad how this breed of politicians has destroyed this city. Families are gone and all that is left are transients who get killed with feed, taxes, and surcharges, making it too expensive to stay. It’s a shame because it really was a great place to grow up in.

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Voting is closed. 45

Not gone

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Just the times are a changing.

For what it's worth, I've been suprised how many couple's pushing baby carriages I've seen the last few years in Charlestown, South Boston, and even Allston / Brighton.

10-15 years ago that didn't seem to be the case in those neighborhoods, for whatever reason.

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Transients

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Pushing baby carriages. Where are the kids playing street hockey and whiffle ball? Plenty of babies. As soon as they’re of school age, the family is gone. Neighborhoods with thriving youth sports programs consisting of 20-30 teams and some kids still didn’t make the team, reduced to 4 or 5 with some leagues needing to merge with adjoining neighborhoods just to keep the teams alive. The politicians drove the working families out of the city with their lax/non-existent rules on condo conversion and development. Paid off grifters. Again, a shame. It was a great place to grow up when people had pride in where they were from.

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Hmm

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So the politicians forced those who owned single family or multi-family units to sell to developers who in turn converted to condos? That seems wrong!

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If rules were in place

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If rules were in place regarding parking and made it a little more stringent regarding condo conversions and developing property that were aimed at keeping families here and maintaining the working class roots of Boston instead of to line the pockets of realtors and developers, we would have these working families still living here. I guess the answer is, yes. Indirectly, by looking out for developers/their own pockets instead of the families, the politicians bear responsibility for these houses being sold.
Now, tell me how much better the city is today as opposed to 20 years ago.

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Voting is closed. 24

You want parking?

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Go buy your own spot. You don't pay any more taxes than people in new developments do. You are the one who should be required to create parking spaces for your private vehicles - not rewarded by the city with exclusive rights to what everyone pays for - and many more than you.

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Transients?

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You know what they are really called?

Local people who live in the neighborhood. Local residents. People who can vote.

You aren't special because you are incurious to the level of paranoid and never move at all in your life.

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So those who choose to stay

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So those who choose to stay in their city for life become incurious and paranoid? Sorry you grew up someplace that wasn’t worth staying in. Must’ve been a tough place to grow up in.

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They’re called blow-ins and

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They’re called blow-ins and carpetbaggers with no vested interest in the neighborhood they’re temporarily occupying. They aren’t what traditionally made up Boston neighborhoods. Yes, I uttered the dirty word, “Tradition”. It would be nice to see good, middle class people move here and raise families here, but the politicians have made Boston a place for haves and have nots.

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Your attitude is bad

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Seriously? You think that you are special because you have never moved?

You know what that entitles you to? Nothing. Well, nothing other than a future of fear and confusion when you eventually have to go somewhere else.

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Funny

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I'm in Boston right now and the City still seems to be here. Still families here, and non-families...and both have the right to live in the City.

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Voting is closed. 48

Ever look at census data?

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1. Massachusetts has a stagnant population
2. That population has been aging for decades

You don't see kids because there aren't kids. People don't have sixteen children and live in cities with them. People visit their grandkids in other places. You see old people because that is who lives here now.

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Even in the 40’s, not a lot

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Even in the 40’s, not a lot of people were having 16 children. Even 6 or 7 was a lot. Why go to extremes to try and prove your point?

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Walking around Back Bay, I've

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Walking around Back Bay, I've definitely noticed less double parking and more open parking spaces than I have in the past, even on Newbury St. In some locations, they probably need to raise the price even more.

I'd also be curious to know what the average time to find a parking space is now compared to before the pilot program, but I'm not sure if/how they measured that.

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Really? I live in the Back

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Really? I live in the Back Bay. Walking is my primary mode of transportation. The number of numbskulls double-parking is more or less the same on Newbury Street. I do notice that there are more ipen meters on the residential streets of Back Bay, but certainly not on Newbury. Traffic and congestion in the Back Bay overall is the same as it's always been: the parking meter price increase hasn't changed vehicular congestion whatsoever.

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The report says Back Bay had

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The report says Back Bay had an 11% DECREASE in metered parking usage, not an increase.

What efforts did Boston take to decrease restrictions on metered spaces that become resident-only at night, to achieve the supposed optimal goal of one open space per block?

How much extra subway, bus, and commuter rail service did Boston sponsor as part of this project? How late did they extend the 12:30 am closing time? How many traffic lights got bus priority, and how many blocks of bus lanes did they add? Or is this project only about making things worse?

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Hmm ...

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I'm looking at their press release (always a dangerous thing, true) and here's specifically what it says:

In the Back Bay, there was an 11 percent increase in available metered spaces, and a 14 percent decrease in double parking.

Now, obviously, they didn't add 11% more actual spaces, so I took that to mean they were able to fit 11% more cars in because of higher turnover.

But you're right. That doesn't mean 11% more drivers packed into spaces but that higher prices meant 11% fewer people were willing to pay for a space.

Grr, my apologies, and thanks for catching that.

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Voting is closed. 24

Wow. That press release isn't

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Wow. That press release isn't just confusing. It's wrong.

Here's what the report said:
"More spots are open in the Back Bay. Overall, there was a 11 percent decrease in the number of cars parking in metered spots."

They didn't count the number of open spots at one specific time. They counted the number of cars that used a meter over some time range. An 11% decrease in the number of cars could go along with an increase or decrease in the number of open spots, depending how long each car stayed.

Say there are 100 spots, 99 of them full at 4:30 pm on a Monday before the price increase, and 88 full at a similar time after the increase. That's an 11% decrease in the number of cars.

But it's not an 11% increase in the number of open spots. It's a 1200% increase. If instead all spots were taken before the price went up, it would be an infinite percentage increase.

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I found that statistic

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I found that statistic confusing as well. Did they mean 11% decrease in the number of vehicles using a space or 11% decrease in the amount of time that a space is occupied?

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Just imagine how many spaces

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would open up if people with placards (city, USPS, handicap) actually paid for their meters? On any given day you can find at least three cars with placards on a single block in the Back Bay/South End. And all parked long past the two hour limit with no ticket.

(ducks)

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Voting is closed. 23

What a perfect justification

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What a perfect justification to raise the rates on the rest of Boston! Get ready everyone, that includes working class neighborhoods with families already struggling to get by! Listen, SOMEONE has to pay for that $23 million dollar footbridge sexual predator Steve Wynn wants for his casino.

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