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).