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Citizen complaint of the day: Outrage over out-of-towners parking on Beacon Hill to go to church

A disgusted citizen filed a 311 complaint about BTD's callous disregard for Beacon Hill residents by refusing to send in a squadron of ticket writers to ding people parking illegally on Brimmer Street to attend Sunday services at an unspecified church on Mt. Vernon Street (Church of the Advent?):

Called in illegal parking violations to be told by parking enforcement officers, that because the church is open on Mount Vernon street, they will not ticket. Why do I get a ticket for parking illegally but if you want to go to church you don’t. This nonsense is taking parking away from beacon hill residents in favor of those coming from outside of beacon hill to park at church. If they need to park, they can pay at a garage or park at a meter.

Ed. note: Boston meters are free on Sunday.

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Comments

Put this person next to "asshole" in the dictionary. People in Beacon Hill. Provincialism at its worst. Which in Boston is saying something

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You could argue either in favor of or against resident parking, but without taking a position on that, why does asking the city to enforce its own laws fairly and equitably make one an asshole?

Beacon Hill has, if I recall correctly, about 1,600 parking spaces on public streets. Mass General Hospital, at one end of the neighborhood, has around 8,000-10,000 employees. The state house, at the other end of the neighborhood, has a few thousand more employees. There are over 5,000 valid parking stickers issued to Beacon Hill residents. The resident parking permit system by no means gives anyone a reserved space; it gives the people who live in the neighborhood a fighting chance of finding a space occasionally.

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Assumes everyone in Beacon Hill is rich and W.C. is not. Haters always gonna hate.

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For those who mock the folks on Beacon Hill for being “rich”, you really don’t know how diverse that neighborhood is. As some have mentioned, the hill is full of apartments and condos and subsidized housing. It is way more than the “pearl clutchers” that some of you like to mention when you react to some post about the area. The rich do not need to park on the street. They have garages and they use Acorn. Really, folks, it’s full of schmoes and working stiffs. Give us a break. I don’t know who dialed in the complaint. Who are these inner city church goers that need to drive to a downtown church? Commons Parking garage is pretty affordable.

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… architectural beauty of an historic neighborhood like Beacon Hill than hundreds of garish ugly cars jammed up all over the sides of the roads.
The sidewalks should be widened and all on street parking should be banned on Beacon Hill.

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There are conflicting policy objectives in play. I’d love us to turn away from automobile culture, automobile-centric civic planning, and automobile-centric urban streetscapes. I also like that Boston is trying to preserve its downtown neighborhoods as places that a variety of kinds of people actually live, as opposed to it being all airBnB and rich empty-nesters’ pieds-a-terre.

Much as I wish it were otherwise, the broader society has not yet migrated away from automobile dependency enough that most families can easily live car-free. If you want to make downtown attractive to people who are living broadly within the mainstream, there needs to be some concession to cars.

I think the resident parking programs are a reasonable set of compromises.

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If you can afford to live there AND own a car then afford a parking space. No residential parking would not take away anyone's car. The people that actually need a parking space in beacon hill are the service workers. The idea that this system prevents workers from parking in Boston during the day is stupid. It really should not apply to neighborhoods above a median income. But no politician has the courage to change it.

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If you can afford to live there AND own a car then afford a parking space

You understand that parking spaces in the neighborhood sell for over $500K, right? Not everyone who lives there is that kind of rich And that the waiting list for rental spaces is many years, in part due to Mass General’s insatiable appetite for parking; they have outcompeted us for the available rental spaces and has gobbled them all up.

It really should not apply to neighborhoods above a median income.

That sounds a lot like “if you live in a high income neighborhood but don’t yourself happen to be rich, screw you.”

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If you live in Beacon Hill, you have many options. There is plenty of transportation available. Shops and services are within walking distance and there is a subway.

No residential parking doesn't take your car away. Residential parking also hurts small businesses. It seems like you are saying I am entitled to this privilege because of my zip code, but screw all the people that work to make my neighborhood walkable.

How about this. Only cars worth less than 20K get stickers?

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How about this. Only cars worth less than 20K get stickers?

This is right up there with "the roads weren't built for cars".

So, you want to allocate city resources (parking spots) in one section of Boston (Beacon Hill) based on a supposed ability to provide themselves with other means of transportation. Wow.

What other resources do you want to deny them, just because they have more money than you?

FWIW, if your $20k idea were implemented, I would just buy some car worth <$20k. There, that was easy.

Pathetic.

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Cars are a terrible investment. The city allocates many resources by income. Stop making it weird.

It is pretty obvious that beacon hill wasn't made for cars.

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Of course, they have 2+ other cars worth >$100k parked in garages elsewhere for trips to Chatham and Stowe. The junker is for local trips to Costco, Whole Foods and Home Depot.

Except for the rare collector, nobody ever buys a car as a financial investment. They are very well aware of that, but thanks for stating the obvious.

That's too funny. You're the one proposing ridiculous rules and I'm the weird one. Got it.

What is ridiculous is your entitlement.

What is this “reserved parking” of which you speak? The ratio of stickers issued to available street spaces is over 5:1. A sticker isn’t a reserved space, it’s merely a lottery ticket: on any given day you might or might not get a space.

Please show your source on that.

It was over 4:1 in 2000. I don’t have a more recent report at hand, but I have heard city officials say 5:1 pretty often

https://www.cityofboston.gov/transportation/accessboston/pdfs/parking_re...

If you can afford to live there AND own a car then afford a parking space.

Are you still pushing that crap? You forgot the part where the residents can afford car services to drive them. Totally delusional.

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what is so wrong with asking you to be responsible for your belongings?

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.

You are making the city of boston responsible for storage for your car by reserving public property.

That's just a whacko statement of yours.

I don't even live in Boston.

For those that do, providing parking is a service the city decides it wants to provide. People taking advantage of that service are not irresponsible, they are merely using that resource provided by the city. If you don't like the city providing that service, write a letter saying so stating your alternatives.

That's 3 letters you need to write now. Need some paper?

free reserved parking is not helpful to small business. Does the city want to provide free reserved parking or is the administration afraid to change it?

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There you go again making bullshit claims.

No city councilor would touch that policy change. None. If they did, they'd lose their next election.

But really, write your letter to your rep. That's the only way they'll know.

So you agree they are afraid to do what is best for city.

… is a public shuttle van service to help people with mobility issues or just lugging groceries up the hill. Lack of that is a reasonable excuse for some residents to drive a car up Beacon Hill.
Same with Mission Hill and other hilly neighborhoods of Boston not yet served by adequate public transportation.

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That’s news to me.
What a great idea!

What about the poor babies with rental cars and the millions of mythical traveling nurses!?! You are so pathetic. You should be banned.

I’ve lived on the hill for many years. Parking on Sunday mornings is as easy as it gets. Anyone complaining about churchgoers taking parking spaces is a douche.

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We have an elected city council. If you and other like-minded neighbors believe that street parking shouldn't be limited to cars with resident stickers on Sundays, by all means lobby to get the rules changed. In the meantime, asking the city to enforce its own laws does not an asshole make. Arguably it was slightly dickish to bring the church into it; for my taste the complainer should have left the church out of it altogether, and simply, without editorializing, asked BTD to step up enforcement.

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Rules are rules and all this classist judgement is BS. Yes complaining about churchgoers was a poor decision.

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The same thing happens on Blue HIll Avenue every Sunday starting near Simco's.

I'd like to believe it is because of services at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church but I'm pretty sure it may be spill over from Jubilee Christian Church International which, even though it is surrounded by parking, is largest Protestant church in Eastern Massachusetts with a congregation of over 6800 people.

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That the city doesn't have their attendants out on Sundays is a weird anachronism that costs the city $$$ (fines) and hurts businesses because spaces don't turn.

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I spotted a BTD employee walking my residential street in Roslindale checking for inspection stickers/registration. (I happen to live in a neighborhood that does not have Resident stickers and plenty of on-street parking - so not much else they could be checking for.)

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residential parking hurts businesses.

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residential parking hurts businesses.

And free-for-all parking, in a neighborhood whose major employers have many more commuting employees than there are residents living there, hurts residents.

It's a finite resource. Allocating it between businesses and residents is a zero-sum game.

Sound policymaking examines the interests of multiple constituencies and reflects the particulars of the local situation. It seldom pleases everyone.

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Charge a low price for parking during business hours.

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non-residents can fuck right off

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… that do not own cars because they are too conscientious and/or too low income to own one. But who occasionally need to rent or borrow one and have just as valid as reason to want to park near their home.
These residents are disadvantaged by resident permit parking only.

Residents who require visiting nurses are also disadvantaged by this restriction as many nurses need to come to them by car because of their schedule or the equipment they carry with them.

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I rent cars from time to time. Getting a temporary resident parking permit for a rental car has never taken me longer than about 10 minutes at City Hall.

Not that easy for anyone who doesn’t live next door on Beacon Hill.

And if you can’t use a rental permit for a borrowed car or a visiting nurse’s car.
Boston doesn’t give out visitor parking permits.

inevitably becomes a haven for commuters and car dumpers that don't live there. RPP has 2 hour visitor spaces that make your fake pleas moot.

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Just because you live in a neighborhood does not mean you have rights to public property.
Get over yourself.

Cry harder baby

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Streets with RPP are havens for car storage. The cars on beacon hill sit all week until they have to rush off to their ferry reservation to Nantucket.

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...if YOU don't own a car, why do you care? Because it means that the city is not totally car-free? Is your goal to create as many disincentives as possible to remove all motor vehicles from Boston?

…. you still have an incentive to care. For many reasons. You may want to park a borrowed car or a rental car or have home health care aides coming to your home. You may have visitors coming that cannot park on the street. Even a resident with a residential parking permit for their own vehicle might have need of parking for any of the above.

...with all of the above. So how do you reconcile that with the following statement?

Streets with RPP are havens for car storage.

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...that was the statement that my comment was responding to. So shouldn't you have taken that into account in your response?

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Your soap box just broke from under you while everyone was watching.

You're SUCH a dummy. All that flew right over your head.

No one really needs a car to live in beacon hill. But because of the free reserved parking ownership is cheaper. All the while it hurts the small businesses working on beacon hill.

No one really needs a car to live in beacon hill.

Who are you to tell someone what they do and don't need? Talk about entitlement. And what is this fixation on Beacon Hill?

Once again, a totally ridiculous statement.

and someone being mad about resident parking not being enforced during a church service. It's like you have no concept of irony.

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The real world is holding safety and local economy hostage because voters would murder anyone that tried to remove their reserved parking on city streets?

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Please show your data. You think the people living in Beacon House, in 45 Myrtle, in the Faneuil School, in 250 Cambridge, in the SROs on Bowdoin and Hancock, on the upper floors on Charles St, in the old tenements on Irving, Garden, Phillips, and Joy streets are heading off to Nantucket on the weekend?

Just count the island stickers.

You don’t seem to understand that wealth follows a power law distribution rather than a Gaussian distribution. A group of 1000 people, 1 of whom is a billionaire and the remaining 999 are impoverished with zero wealth… the average wealth of that group is $1 million, but any policy that treats that group as a bunch of millionaires is ridiculous.

There are of course rich people in on Beacon Hill who live in big single family houses on the south slope, and who have Nantucket or vineyard stickers on their cars. In the overall demographics, they are a small minority. Walk around, look at the housing density. Comparatively, hardly anyone lives on Chestnut Street. The large majority of Beacon Hill residents live in small apartments. They aren't masters of the universe. They are things like nurses, medical residents, graduate students, college faculty, midlevel professionals. You seem to have a lot of hostility toward them, perhaps arising out of a misunderstanding of the demographics.

You don’t seem to understand ...

That pretty much sums up c'girl.

It definitely sums up the dishonesty of saying that beacon hill is a poor neighborhood.

Nobody said that Beacon Hill is a poor neighborhood.

Beacon Hill has some very rich people in it. It also has some poor people in it. And it has a lot of people who are neither rich nor poor. Arguing that the person who owns an $8 million single family house and a second home on Nantucket is somehow representative of the neighborhood is no more reasonable than arguing that the guy living in SRO housing for the formerly homeless is representative of the neighborhood.

Median household income is $121K, compared with $94K for Massachusetts as a whole. So the neighborhood is well off, but not grossly so. 10% of people 18-64 years old are in poverty. 22% of people over 65 are in poverty.

https://data.census.gov/profile/02114?g=860XX00US02114

So you understand that is rich neighborhood that is located in the center of the all of the services. You are in walking distance of everything. You also feel entitled to reserved parking to the exclusion of all others.

People in Hyde Park walk a mile or 2 to public transportation. Why should the city reserve you a parking space to the detriment of the local economy?

So, Bob gives you the data and you ignore it. Classic c'girl.

Detriment of the local economy? Total bullshit claim. Typical.

I can't ignore data that isn't provided.

You must be a Trumper.
You make up your own facts
Use totally irrelevant facts
Refuse to acknowledge facts when presented to you.
Congrats!

What facts were provided? not Bob's pronouncements, and not this 10 year link to something that doesn't really connect.

Congrats, I can tell you've been studying hard. Send Steven Cheung your resume and your portfolio of alternative facts, you're just what they're looking for.

And 10 years old? The data is current, 2020-2022.

Pathetic.

the link to the census data proves that Beacon Hill is a rich neighborhood. He provided nothing that supports his entitlement.

Yet, as Bob has pointed out (and you thoroughly ignore) is that it is a mix of all types of people. You are grossly generalizing the people on BH. Bob's data shows otherwise as you would see if you looked at it.

The median income is 121K. Not the average, the median. Overall it is a rich neighborhood that does not need reserved parking. we should have less entitlements for rich people

By people pushing for bike lanes that parking isn't completely necessary for businesses to survive?

I mean, pick your poison, I'm all for both parking and bike lanes. But don't be disingenuous about this.

Honestly, I didn't realize that the Residential Parking Only was on Sundays as well. Then again, I'm on a street that doesn't have sticker parking.

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I do think that parking for businesses is needed. In boston people crowd cars in unsafe ways that make pedestrians and cyclists unsafe. I think that bike lanes should be shared bus lanes whenever possible because it serves more people.

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If the city didn't then why did I see a BTD van and a BTD car at the same intersection on Sunday morning?

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I mean, if he can't help in this scenario with what is seemingly low lying fruit, what the actual heck?

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You can't require churchgoers to pay for parking. 1st Amendment issue.

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You're joking, right?

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Wouldn't bet on it: people really are that entitled, and everyone thinks they understand the First Amendment even when they clearly don't.

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… you will not be admitted to heaven and will be forever dammed if you deny a parking space to a churchgoer on their way to worship the Lord.

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Driving is a privilege.

No rights are involved.

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Lmao

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n/t

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They don't in Cambridge or Somerville.

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Certain signs will say M-F with hours (sometimes day time, sometimes over night). If days are not specified, then technically restrictions apply 7 days a week.

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but it’s seldom enforced

it makes it very difficult in the Fenway neighborhood

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Only to Cabots,
And the Cabots speak only to God.
And God apparently talks to BTD

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My dad was no Brahmin but a famous Lowell poet used to regularly bum cigarettes off him when we lived on Beacon Hill.

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I’ll stack up the percentage of housing units in Beacon Hill that are section 8 or otherwise subsidized, against pretty much any other neighborhood in the city. The neighborhood has a long history of forcefully supporting low income housing, and asking that said housing be meaningfully integrated into the neighborhood rather than be sequestered off as “poor people’s housing.” The people living in those properties are my neighbors and my friends.

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Do you really think you have more low income housing than Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury or Hyde Park?

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When looking at Beacon Hill you really need to look at the census tract data. Sure there’s little subsidized housing on the south slope; but the north slope has pushed hard and successfully for subsidized housing, putting its money where its mouth is, and the results compare decently with the citywide 17% average.

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Threaten my moral high ground as a self regarded underdog.

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moving the goalposts without providing any data.

Would love to go to Cabot's for some ice cream!

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We used to go there all the time back in the seventies when I was in college, but people I used to go there with tell me the quality has declined since then and they don't go there any more. These days I go to Lizzy's in Waltham.

Yet again we learn charity doesn’t begin on Beacon Hill.

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Where’s John Forbes Kerry when you need a Beacon Hill parking compromise?

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And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand right here before the Lord of song
With nothing, nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Oh, boo fucking hoo

I'm waiting for the city hall press release once they are back from vacation.

is why the Almighty, after having created the Universe out of nothing, after creating this World and all its creatures (including, for some mysterious reason of His own, 3600 species of mosquito), after creating Humans in His own image, and then condemning them to perpetual labor in this world and eternal torment in the next for the crime of moral curiosity, after providing an escape from this sentence (based on a technicality of His own devising) to those who worship Him appropriately, cannot provide said worshippers with parking on Beacon Hill on Sunday. Maybe it’s because it’s his day off.

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Walk, bike, or take public transportation. The Lord will thank you for it.

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If you could actually count on the T, your suggestion would have merit. I’m hoping that Phil Eng is the savior that we need.

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Unless you are disabled, the excuse that it sometimes doesn’t or might take longer than a ride in a private car or require a bit extra walking is just entitled whining.

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When a broken T adds an hour (an optimistic minimum) onto your commute every day, that's an hour out of your life. Does that not matter?

… more whining.

“The T works most of the time”, on the day before the T announced that the red line between Alewife and Kendall would be closed until the end of July.

80% is “most of the time”. It also means “you can’t count on it; because one time out of five, you’ll miss your appointment.”

.. replacing the Red Line during the closure so public transportation will still be available.

It helps to factor in possible delays when deciding a departure time.

That’s what the many responsible civic minded T riders who chose public transportation over private cars do.

… resident parking permits for free. There should be a fee. No one should have free parking on public streets.

When you put zero in the denominator, weird things happen to the arithmetic. In this case, giving a public resource away for free causes it to be overused. Charging real money for parking stickers would cause fewer people to get stickers, which would make it easier to get a space, which would be welcome news to the rich people for whom $2500 or $3000 per year for a sticker would hardly be noticeable. But other policy objectives conflict with that.

… to make them affordable to the low income as well.