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Spiral cut

Government Center garage getting taken apart

Patrick McMahon watched some of the demolition work at the Government Center Garage, much of which is making way for the Bulfinch Crossing tower thing:

It's a little sad that you won't be able to rent an unfamiliar car to drive the spiral of hell anymore!

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Rent the 1973 classic, "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" with Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. Bonus footage of the Big Bad Bruins playing the Blackhawks in the movie.

Excellent movie and an even better read is the source, the 1970 novel by George V. Higgins, a real taste of old school Boston.

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Voting closed 12

Oh great, once again the Walsh administration opts for more high rise residential structures and less parking. Hopefully a new mayoral contender will see the folly of this approach and run and win on the issues of a worsening parking and traffic crisis and an increasingly inept public transit system.

I eagerly await the predictable two cents from the 'Less cars, more bikes and scooters" advocates whose vision for Boston's future seems to be "Boston 2019 can be Beijing 1977".

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Don’t forget landing zones for next transportation mode to be hip,

https://images.app.goo.gl/M5RPTwVgtbkX3rBR9

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We clearly need fewer cars in Boston. If we could actually make the T reliable, that would go a long way.

In the meantime, I'm not going to cry over fewer parking spaces. With the current cost of rent and housing, the more residential structures the better.

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Blue Notes, you speak of "worsening parking and traffic crisis". I am intrigued by your proposition to add downtown parking while reducing traffic congestion. Can you please explain it to us one more time?

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If you haven't noticed the worsening traffic issues over the past few years then I can only gather that you don't drive in Boston.

Why is it worse ? My impression is that there are more cars in the city than ever and fewer places to park them. Some spaces are lost to the bike racks in Spring, Summer and Fall. Some, such as the garage spaces referenced in this article, are being lost to new construction. My understanding is that the city is also allowing new residential construction without mandating that sufficient parking be included in the design. This could be ok if you had reliable public transit in and around the city but obviously we don't have that in Boston and there is even less of that in the suburbs so that suburban drivers like myself choose to continue driving rather than adding a minimum of two hours to my travel time by taking the train and subway.

The Walsh administration is being disingenuous when they claim that all of these new residences are not adding to the congestion and the higher parking rates downtown are simply a money grab that essentially reserves a good deal of the available parking for the well to do.

In the long run major improvements to public transit in and outward from the city may be a better solution. That will take decades. The city could improve life in the city in the interim by finding some available space for parking. I'm surprised that you haven't noticed this, dvg. The cars are here. Now if we could only find a place to park !

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I haven't seen a study backing this up, but I would be willing to bet that adding parking spaces is like adding lanes to a clogged highway--the demand rises with the added capacity. I do not think the solution is more parking spaces; I think the solution is devote more resources to getting people out of their cars. I am sympathetic to what you say about driving in. I live in Boston, but some trips are just so difficult to do via public transit I either have to drive (including taking an Uber) or forego the trip altogether. I think the problem is that traffic is a regional issue but decision-making is too fragmented between state agencies and various local municipalities. We really need a comprehensive approach to tackling the issue of traffic but no one person or body has the authority or the political will to do so.

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I just wish that some of the "cliche's" casually dumped into these kinds of discussions were evaluated logically for their illogicality.

It's very easy to key in Induced Demand when someone mentions more highway lanes or more parking -- but what does that phrase actually mean in practice.

In the real-world -- You can not have Induced Aggregate Demand in the absence of an unlimited supply from which to draw.

The place where the supply is unlimited is in the Dirac concept of a Vacuum as a "Sea of Virtual Particles" waiting to be "created" or induced into visibility. This works with particles and anti particles in the Quantum Realm -- not so much with cars.

What you can do by arbitrarily reducing or increasing the the local availability of a Scare Good such as Parking in Boston is to reallocate the aggregate demand. Initially you will just alter where people attempt to park as they adapt to the change in the supply.

For example consider someone who works at 60 State St.and drives in from West Concord -- If the number of spaces at Government Center drops -- initially they might just try to arrive a bit earlier. If that doesn't work they might chose to drive a bit more and park at North Station where a few hundred more spaces have opened up. They will then be induced to walk a bit more.

Eventually -- If they are frustrated enough in searching for local parking and tired of walking from North Station in inclement weather -- they might seek to:

  1. Change their commuting behavior more significantly::
    1. changing hours -- if practical -- from both the perspective of home and job
    2. try the T from Alewife and then walk from DTX
    3. try the T from Alewife and then change at Park and walk from Gov't Center
    4. try the T via CR from West Concord and then the Red Line from Porter and then Govt Center via Park
    5. try the T via CR from West Concord and then the Red Line from Porter and then walk from DTX
  2. Look for a job in the suburbs
  3. Retire and become a home-based consultant
  4. Move to Texas.

You will have induced a change in behavior by some number of commuters-- but it is not at all clear that it benefits any one person, or everyone for that matter

Conversely, adding parking at Government Center at the current price probably doesn't do much except allow the 60 State Street commuter to leave a bit later to insure a "choice space." It might induce some people currently parking further away from their job to try parking at Government Center. There might even be a few people who used to park next to their place of business when their employer was a VC in Waltham and recently moved to the Financial District -- to abandon the inconvenience of the T for parking at Government Center and walking down Congress St. An induced demand at the margin.

Note that its highly unlikely that someone would chose to move from Texas to the Boston Area just because of the availability of more parking at Government Center.

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Parking follows the same pressures as road capacity. When there isn't enough parking, more people choose not to drive. If you increase the amount of parking available, there will be a temporary relief of the problem, but soon the number of people choosing to drive into the city will increase and you'll be back to the same parking capacity problem with the added bonus of more cars on the street making traffic worse as well.

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Studies show these vehicles are driven around about 25% of the time with no passengers. Meanwhile, when somebody drives their own car, it's parked when not in use. Rideshare thus produces worthless road use a significant part of the time. If they weren't driving around, they'd be double-parked blocking traffic!

Today I made a rare trip to Boston and traffic was horrible, even compared to Cambridge.
The biggest shock was seeing $50 (event) parking at the Garden, as if I needed a reminder why not to go to and spend any money in Boston, ever. There can't be a parking surplus if people get away asking $50 for parking.

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Sounds better than Beijing in 2019

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/YpIplue.jpg)

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So you value cars over people. You value parking over housing. Why do you car nuts hate humanity so much?

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You just want to shoehorn housing where the area is already saturated, straining the existing infrastructure. Some people want and need transportation, you are trying to shame them to march at the beat of your drum. Not everyone can work on a public transit line nor at a time that has service from the same.

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There has been a lot of added rental units in downtown and the rest of the city. How come rental prices have gone up and not down? because all the advocates for more dense houses say this will happen. It hasn't and actually the opposite has.

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the costs to rent apartments or own condos continues to remain high. All this building in Boston has not helped the residents of Boston. A lot of us Boston residents are not be able to afford anything in the new buildings. But Walsh is more concerned with the building unions than with the actual residents of Boston so it will continue to approve any building within the City. He should concentrate more on making this City livable to for those who actually live here - improving ALL the schools, working with the T so that there is actually reliable transportation so we can get around the City, hiring more police, etc.

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Cuz we arne't building affordable housing.. we are just building AirBnB or investment "luxury" properties.

Wake m up when we build huge swaths of affordable housing and then we can see if rents went down.

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While a bunch of new housing has been built, there's even greater demand to live in the city. The only way prices ultimately go down is if enough people are unwilling to pay the market price for housing in Boston and landlords/sellers are then forced to reduce prices in order to fill the units. If you don't want demand for housing in the city, lower the quality of life and/or chase the jobs out.

Boston doesn't produce enough housing to meet growing demand and neither do the suburbs. While policies like setting aside affordable units in large developments do help a few people who win lotteries for those units, they're also a back-door tax on everyone else in those developments as the other units ultimately subsidize the affordable ones.

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I loved driving down that spiral. I remember one time when I was a kid in a car full of kids driving down that thing....
nevermind.

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at the Pi Alley Garage on Washington Street across from The Devonshire.

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n/t

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