Mayor Walsh today announced a series of steps aimed at speeding bus service in Boston, which he'll pay for in part by increasing parking fines.
An entirely new department of six people will work with the MBTA on steps such as dedicated bus lanes - starting with a pilot along Washington Street between Forest Hills and Roslindale Square - and synchronized lights aimed at letting buses get through intersections faster. Four people will be assigned just to overseeing development of the dedicated bus lanes.
Walsh estimates increases in parking fines will not only help reduce street congestion but pay for other work, to the tune of $5 million a year. "No Parking" violations would jump from $55 to $90 downtown and from $25 to $55 in outlying areas, for example. Overstaying a visit at a meter would cost you $40, rather than the current $25. [Complete list of fine increases]
Don't worry, drivers: The mayor says he will set aside $2 million of the new revenue for road resurfacing and to hire three new workers for traffic signals - one engineer to "manage and retime" lights to better speed traffic and two to repair and install signals.
Also in the works: $750,000 in new funding for better walkways, $400,000 to create new pedestrian and bike paths to parks and existing paths, including the Roxbury-Fenway Connector linking the Southwest Corridor and the Emerald Necklace; the Roslindale Gateway path; and a multi-use path connecting Fenway and Yawkey Stations, and $300,000 in new funding for bike-specific paths.