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Centre Street on the Diet

Cars parked in the bike lane, parking lane clear.

This week the Boston Transportation Department completed the Centre Street "Road Diet" by repainting the freshly-paved West Roxbury thoroughfare. In an effort to make Centre Street less dangerous for pedestrians (example, example, example, example, most recent example) and drivers (example, example), two travel lanes, one turn lane, two parking lanes and two bike lanes replaced four travel lanes and two parking lanes.

The bike lanes are a key (and controversial) feature of the reconfiguration. The bike lanes run along the curb on either side of the street, with parking lanes set out from the curb to accommodate the bike lanes.

Some drivers have no problem with this, parking their vehicles in the correct parking spots in front of Thai Spice and West on Centre. Cones and signs were added along the street to remind them.

Others didn't get the memo, parking in the bike lane instead of the parking lane. This included drivers of vehicles parked on the block between Porter Cafe and Super Flash T-Shirts (the former is one of the better restaurants in West Roxbury, the latter features an orange and yellow "West Roxbury Safety Association" signs in the window).

On the other side of Holy Name Rotary parishioners parked their vehicles diagonally in the bike lane and bus stop in front of the "No Parking Any Time" sign. This is unrelated to the road diet, it's just what they do every Sunday morning.

Fortunately for illegally-parked drivers up and down Centre Street this Sunday, it's highly unlikely that any tickets will be issued today. As reported by the Globe a year ago, parking rules are simply not enforced on Sundays in Boston:

Most city parking enforcement officers don't even work on Sundays, when fewer of the city's parking rules apply, according to a Boston Transportation Department official.

A Globe public records review of all parking tickets issued in 2021 found that the city issued more than 192,000 citations on Fridays, compared to just under 4,300 on Sundays.

While it's difficult to decipher which were related to houses of worship, more than 35,000 vehicles ticketed on Fridays citywide were issued between noon and 4 p.m., the usual time frame for jumu'ah prayers. The city wrote just 783 parking tickets between 8 a.m. and noon on Sundays, the most common time for Christian worship.

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