City Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) says a rapidly growing Boston can no longer simply dole out unlimited free resident parking permits to residents and wants the city to start charging $25 per annual sticker - with exemptions for senior citizens, low-income residents and home-health and BPS staff who make regular home visits.
Wu's proposal, which the City Council will consider tomorrow, would also create, for the first time, a visitor pass, good for 72 hours - at a cost of $10 per visit.
"The current system is ineffective at managing curbside space in a manner that is fair and accessible to all who need to park on-street overnight," she writes in her proposal.
Boston has long doled out the permits for free - and has limited visitors to small numbers of spaces that are often taken by residents.
In her proposed ordinance - which they council will likely send to a committee for a hearing and study - Wu says that's no longer feasible when the Boston's population has increased by 100,000 since 1980 and number of permits in the city has increased 25% over the past ten years in a city that now has at least 300 households with five or more cars registered to them.
Her proposal also includes a way for the city to designate new areas for permitted parking, without waiting for residents to file petitions for them.
In her request for a hearing, she says the current system particularly benefits well off residents:
The current system to establish resident parking zones requires residents to self-organize and collect signatures from at least 51% of adult residents who live on the affected streets. Through this system, neighborhoods with resources and time have an advantage, which only perpetuates systemic inequities. ... More than half of households without vehicles have annual incomes less than
$25,000. Only 7% of zero-vehicle households make over $100,000