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Time for Boston to start charging for parking permits, councilor says

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

Neighborhoods: 
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Comments

Make this more expensive. BUT - then use it to offset residential property taxes. I think you should charge for this - but it shouldn't be an incremental revenue stream to the city. The budget is out of control as it is and they've already added tens of millions in new taxes in recent years.

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Voting closed 35

The money should be plowed into anything that supports better mass-transportation.

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As someone who parks in the city but doesn't need a permit, remember that all cars in Boston already have to pay excise tax ($50-500/year). Adding another fee for drivers in the city is overkill. I totally agree that fewer cars is better, but no one will sell their car to avoid a $35 fee. Additionally, drivers in the city already pay expensive tolls just to get around (tunnels, Mass Pike & Tobin bridge).

If the goal is fewer cars in the city and to build-up mass transit, the first step should be tolls at the NH border and possibly tolls to enter Boston between 6-9am M-F. Don't further punish those who live in the city and have a car. We already pay more to (occasionally) drive than anywhere else in MA.

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Voting closed 35

But you don't pay enough to cover the true cost of driving and it has to be made up by other taxpayers. So no, its not overkill, its trying to correct a hand out.

While congressional bailouts of the Highway Trust Fund have made this subsidy more apparent, it has actually never been the case that road users paid their own way. Not only that, but the amount of their subsidy has steadily increased in recent years. The share of the costs paid from road-user fees has dropped from about 70 percent in the 1960s to less than half today, according to the study.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/...

The state highway system needs $6.5 billion more than its budgeted revenue over the next 10 years to maintain roads, bridges, and tunnels, according to the report. The MBTA is set for the next five years, but after that it will face a $1.9 billion shortfall, brought on largely by diminishing federal funding and less state borrowing capacity, the report says.

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/transportation/report-transportation-fu...

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Voting closed 49

Correct a handout? Please. Do those who cycle pay an assessment for bike trails and lanes?

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yes we do pay our taxes. The point is that registration fees and gas taxes do not pay for roads. All people have to pay taxes for roads, despite the fact that everyone does not drive.

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So true. Lots of us don’t have kids and taxes pay for public ed, that’s how it goes. People who don’t own cars still benefit from taxes that go towards roads.

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The pollution doesn't benefit non drivers. Roads and bridges would last longer without cars.

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We pay taxes and the discussion is about how the taxes motorists pay don't currently cover the true cost of maintaining and expanding our roads in Massachusetts, to the tune of $6.4 billion. Oh also the National Highway Trust is insolvent too.

If you want to pull up the data showing that our taxes don't pay enough for the bike paths we use, be my guest.

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That isn’t what THE discussion is about. That’s what your discussion is about. “It’s a move she says will update the city’s outdated parking permit system and possibly clear up curb space.” That’s her objective, to keep people from circling the block. This move doesn’t help keep cars out of the city and off the road. Before anything happens, the city should start enforcing the current permit system and see if that makes a difference. Charge people from other cities and towns to come here. Remember the speed limit was decreased to 25 mph? There has been no enforcement, except in Southie for a few days. Now city hall would like to lower the speed limit even more. Still won’t work unless there is enforcement.

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There’s roughly $1200 worth of tolls that get charged onto my EZPass annually. You’re saying that’s not enough?

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It's not nearly enough. You get a big hand out from non drivers like me. You create potholes, require police, construction, create traffic, spew lethal toxins in the air, take up valuable space, endanger lives of pedestrians, worsen climate change. Need I go on?

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A BIG handout? Who are you giving this money to?

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I'm giving this money to the federal government, state and city of Boston through various taxes. They then spend some of that on spoiled drivers who receive welfare like free parking.

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“Welfare like free parking” do you know what welfare is? Do you call T riders welfare like, people on section 8, students? I know you are rude, but really?

It’s not car owners fault that the city has NEVER implemented a system for parking. The city councilors should come up with an effective plan, this will do nothing to help parking in Boston or keep cars off the road.

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Supplementing the MBTA is an investment and getting people out of personal cars in reducing emissions.

More than half the people section 8 and other welfare benefits are children. Again this is an investment in the future which will propel our economy.

Spending tax money on Roadsis also on investment in our economy . However the benefit has been short term looking ahead and space better. Right now we have proven that in our expanding roads and highways doesn’t reduce traffic so we have to look at other directions.

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What makes you think I have a problem with subsidies? I’m commenting on Kinopio’s extremely poor word choice.
Where did Wu say the intent of this program is to reduce traffic?

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Part of the reason that you already own a car while living in the city even though you admittedly drive only occasionally is because it has been free for you - and many others like you - to park it.

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Not true, I own a parking space (and pay taxes on it too). Not that you asked, but my company is outside the city where there is no MBTA option available.

Explain to me how someone living in a suburb who drives 35 miles of highway each way to/from Boston from NH (without tolls) & doesn't have to pay tax for their parking space or excise tax for their vehicle, isn't part of the problem but people who live in Boston (also paying property taxes or high rental fees to cover the taxes) and have cars are the problem. Keep in mind most of us in the city have 5-15 mile commutes (less highway use) and also pay Mass Pike tolls every day.

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$35 is still way too cheap. That's the cost to park one day in downtown at a private garage. If drivers want to take up a big chunk of valuable real estate then they should pay up big time. No more hand outs. No more welfare for greedy drivers. Start it at $200 for the outer neighborhoods. Charge $1000 for Back Bay, Beacon Hill etc. That is still way below market value so drivers should be thankful at those rates.

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Aren’t real estate taxes already as low as you’ll find anywhere once you apply the residential exemption? The exemption cut a deal with people fleeing to the suburbs decades ago. Now folks pay like crazy to live here yet we give a pass on accepting the revenue from taxes they’d pay to live almost anywhere else. Thus, chronically under funded schools.

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Where (looks around)?

The mil rate is low for mathematical reasons. The city also implements certain policies to keep taxes on single family homes mostly in the western part of the city artificially low (those people tend to vote). The exemption actually does very little for most Boston residents (as your valuation approaches about $1 million, the impact of the exemption goes to zero (i.e. - without it, the rate would be lower and you'd be better off). Note, the people that "pay like crazy" to live here would probably pay about the same or less to live in the burbs.

As for underfunded schools, are you aware that Boston ranks roughly in the top 10 in the state in expenditures per student and teacher salaries? Or that we've added hundreds of employees to the schools while the student population has shrunk by thousands?

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I almost includdd your response in my post. Enjoy your cloud.

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Go right ahead - it doesn't exist.

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And then start much higher for the second and each subsequent permit -- i.e. more like $250, $500, etc. Maybe ONE additional exemption for low-income or senior households with multiple adults.

The proposal for a mechanism to introduce new residential-permit-only parking areas adds a perverse incentive for the City to make substantially all areas permit-only as a revenue-raising measure if the City also charges for each parking permit -- it's basically a back-door increase of $25 (or more) in the excise tax.

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If you have to have your car registered here to get a permit, then that'll also increase city revenues, right? And it should of course.

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If the first one is free, the zeroth one should be a refund off my rent. Why do the carless have to subsidize the storage of car in our city? Cars add very little of value but have many downsides.

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Lets say I live in a two family on a permit parking street. I have a car, my neighbor doesn't. Your plan is that I should get free parking because I have a car and my neighbor should have the same net pay to the city? That's not very equitable. After all, your neighbor isn't 'requiring' that the city plow and salt the street in the winter.

A small fee for permit parking is reasonable.

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I agree with the overall sentiment - that the parking permit fee shouldn't be deductible, I would point out that just because your neighbor doesn't have a car it doesn't mean they don't require the city plow or salting the streets. They still potentially need all of this for police, fire, ambulances, and other emergency services (utility repair, etc). They also need it for mail and package delivery, and shipping deliveries to stores where they shop.

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Then we have to factor in the health impacts that come with motor vehicles, we don't get to weight that solely against the benefits of cars.

But more to the point, I would almost want to extend plowing/salting to sidewalks and saying that while yes, I don't own a car but I would gladly pay more if it meant the sidewalks get as cleared as roads do, again for the general benefit to citizens.

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I would agree sidewalk plowing would be awesome (and save my back every winter). However - I wouldn't agree with your point on weighing against the benefits of cars. Trucks are the main cause of road damage/wear (and snow plows), and generally pollute much more than cars. These, again, are 100% needed whether or not one drives, same with emergency vehicles. The trade off in pollution/health causes is something we have traded for modern life/amnesties. Passenger cars continue to get more efficient/pollute less, going so far as basically zero impact (at time of usage) with electric vehicles.

Again, I agree resident stickers should have a fee and should be limited to number per household. I also agree that we need to emphasize public transit. I don't agree, though, that just because someone doesn't have a personal car that they don't benefit from the roads or snow/salting during the winter of them, just like people who don't take public transport still benefit from it.

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Yes he is. How does he take the bus if the streets don't get plowed? How does the fire truck or the ambulance get to his house? How does food get to the corner market?

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Say the city collects 1 billion a year in residential taxes. We all split 1 billion a year based on the value of our homes etc. Now they collect 10 million in residential parking fees. The.city already has gobs of money. So deduct the net revenue and instead of 1 billion we split 990 million in taxes. The city gets the same amount of revenue and we all get a whopping 1% break on our taxes.

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For places like Beacon Hill, where there's a huge amount of demand and plenty of money (Off-street spaces rent for $700 a month; there are about 4 permits issued for every on-street space)... why not start auctioning the permits?

If there are about 4,000 issued a year, auction off 333 per month in a Dutch auction (start at a high price, lower it until you find a price that clears the market, everyone pays the market-clearing price-- like IPO pricing, or ticket auctions). The next year, reduce the total number issued to, say, 300 per month. And so on, until there are roughly equal numbers of spaces and cars permitted to park in them. Phasing it in over a few years would allow people to adjust their car ownership to meet their preferences.

And then use the money to fund schools & transit and street cleaning and affordable housing.

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Parking permits are fees. In Massachusetts, fees can cost between $0 and the total cost to provide the service (including enforcement, staff time, staff overhead, buildings necessary to house staff, etc).

You can't auction, and you can't "overcharge" in that context.

Sure, state law could be changed, but that's not up to Councillor Wu or her colleagues.

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A common misconception but this is not true. The statue you refer to limited the maximum that could be charged for parking meters and has been repealed for several years now

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In order to facilitate conversation, please link to the law that you are speaking of here.

Thanks.

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Sorry, didn't have it with me at the time. That would be chapter 40, section 22a, revised under the 2017 Municipal Modernization Act,
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleVII/Chapter40/Sect...

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Thanks. That helps.

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That is identical regardless of neighborhood, what kind of society have we become? Auctioning? WTF..

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If you rent in Boston and want a parking permit then yes you should pay a steep fee. If you own a condo Boston and pay property taxe$ then you should pay less of a parking permit fee.

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In fact, renters pay *higher* property taxes, because their landlord can't claim a homeowner exemption. It's not like renters are somehow living tax-free: owner-occupied properties pay less tax than renters.

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I’ve been asking progressive city councilors why they’re ok with a badly regressive tax policy. Because I can afford a house I pay next to nothing in real estate taxes. Someone without a down payment saved up pays three times as much as me.
People coming in dropping $500K to millions on condos in Boston aren’t doing it for our residential exemption. They’re paying to live near high salaries and Boston’s amenities. And we let them take full advantage without sharing the cost of city services like educating the children, the way they would anywhere else!
Get rid of the exemption. Do it in a graduated manner so lower income homeowners pay less, seniors can defer it to sale, etc.

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no, in this case owners and renter's should be treated equally.

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no, in this case owners and renter's should be treated equally.

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nah dude

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The visitor pass is long overdue... I might add that the pricing should vary by neighborhood. It should be rather pricey in the North End, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, and considerably cheaper in Brighton, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, etc.

Also, every current Resident Only zone should have a pay-to-park option. The rate would be higher than whatever the going rate is for nearby meters. If a meter on the main street is $2 per hour, than doing pay-to-park on a residential street should be $5 per hour. Residents can cry foul, but the ones who actually use their cars will be able to more easily find spaces, rather than encountering the same cars that only move twice a month for street sweeping.

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Downtown is already an ATM for the rest of the city. why not jack up their rates too.

Again - this needs to be much more expensive - at least $100k for residents annually and at least $25 per day for a visitor pass along with other restrictions (or you can bet thousands of people are going to start arbitraging that opportunity).

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100k?!?

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No k.

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city that now has at least 300 households with five or more cars registered to them.

This is nuts in any of the downtown neighborhoods, but not outrageous is parts of Dorchester.

5*300 is 1500+ cars. What is the total permit count now? What portion of the 1500+ cars have permits?

c. Fees. The first resident parking permit issued to a household shall be at a cost of 25 dollars peryear. Each additional resident parking permit shall cost an additional 25 dollars more per vehiclethan the previous vehicle registered to that household

Would a non-linear fee increase structure might do more to discourage people from registering their car collection for permits.

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Car 1: 5^2 = 25
Car 2: 5^3 = 125
Car 3: 5^4 = 625
Car 4: 5^5 = 3125
Car 5: 5^6 = 15625

I would assume that a number of these households are five unrelated people living together, though (i.e. roommates), so that seems a bit steep. Maybe make it an escalating fee for people who have cars under the same ownership at the same household, i.e. the car collectors.

Or:

Car 1: 25*2^0 = 25
Car 2: 25*2^1 = 50
Car 3: 25*2^2 = 100
Car 4: 25*2^3 = 200
Car 5: 25*2^4 = 400

This scale probably makes more sense. In a household with five vehicles registered, the average cost of a permit would be $155. That's still less than most vehicles pay for registration, inspection and excise tax each year.

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What do you mean it's not outrageous in Dorchester? For a single household to have 5 cars taking up public streets seems extreme anywhere.

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Except in Dorchester, often it's multigenerational living with 3-4 households living under one roof.

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Two households, perhaps ... 3-4? nope.

2017 ACS shows that occupancy is high in the Dorchester tracts, but not that extreme.

In any case, they can share cars. I have what qualifies as an inter-generational household now and we have 1 car.

Boston as a whole averages just less than a vehicle per household - 0.94 to be exact. This means that multi-car households are being subsidized by no-car households.

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Come by my street in Dorchester. There is one individual who has six to seven cars all parked on the street and they never move. They are registered and inspected so, there’s nothing wrong with what he’s doing. Surely an annoyance tho when one has to park around the block.

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What if the household is a bunch of roommates in a 7-bedroom house? 5 cars is perfectly fine.

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more than 2 cars need to find off street parking. households like this are the problem.

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Why is it a worse problem than the same house divided into 7 condos?

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You would never get to create 7 units without off street parking.

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$25 isn't "charging for parking", that's a nominal fee that barely covers the cost of doling out the stickers and maintaining the database. And of course they have to add exemptions- as if someone could afford to buy a car and pay insurance, maintenance, repairs, gas, tolls, parking, excise and sales tax, registration, etc., but $25 is going to break the bank.

Want to solve the parking problem? Charge a market rate for stickers. Make it revenue neutral - you can get one free sticker per so many bedrooms or household residents, and after that you have to pay at least $1,000 a year per sticker. In return households with no cars get a large rebate on their property taxes.

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THANK YOU. People flipping out about OMG MY TAXES ALREADY PAID FOR THE ROADS --- ok but there are literal costs to administrating the permit program itself, which, y'know, non-drivers were fronting the costs for. It seems very basic that city services should be allowed to offset their costs by charging a nominal (and 25$/year is VERY nominal) fee to the program's specific users.

I'd support an increase in the price for every additional car registered to an address/household. 5 cars is absurd for any one apartment.

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It is odd that in my new neighborhood of South Boston (moved from the South End), the resident parking is only in effect from Monday night at 6pm through Friday morning at 8am - but resident parking places are open to all from 8am Friday through 6pm on Monday. Just this past weekend, 4 cars on my street, all with out of state plates, parked from Friday night to Monday morning without fear of repercussion.

Called City Hall to inquire as to why things were set up this way, they had no valid explanation other than "that's the way it is" and suggested that I organize 51% of the residents in a 5 block radius, obtain signatures from those in favor of amending the resident hours and then submit the request to Transportation Department

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So if you have out of state friends drive to visit you for the weekend what are you going to do with their car?

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As there are 10+ visitor spaces within a three block radius of my house, I would have them park there.

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Southie visitor spaces require moving the car every 2 hours overnight. Some hospitality.

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are almost always occupied by vehicles with resident stickers, since there is no restriction.

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I would love to see the hours changed so they're generally overnight. I live in Charlestown and during the day on a weekday there's a huge surplus of open spots when virtually every street is reserved for residents. In the evenings, when there are no restrictions, spots are much harder to come by. Also, during the day people are far more likely to have repair trucks, contractors, etc. trying to park nearby than during overnight hours. At the very least I feel like most neighborhoods could use more 1 or 2 hour parking spots (with exemptions for resident permits).

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I think part of the day time restriction is to prevent people from parking there and then walking over to take the Orange Line.

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But why is that bad, if there's plenty of spaces during the day?

And why have an overnight restriction on nonresidents? The only demand then is residents or people visiting residents. So the residents are the ones causing the shortage.

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Before Southie became the next hot place to live, the impetus for resident parking restrictions was likely deterring commuters from parking in the neighborhood and taking the Red Line or bus to their places of work. If parking was readily available on weekends, there would be less need to restrict it at those times, and there are pluses to not restricting parking in low-demand times if visitor permits aren't something the City offers.

20 years ago, much of the SoWa area was wide-open for parking. No street cleaning, no resident parking restrictions (apart from a couple of streets), not even any parking meters. Every single space was taken on weekdays (mostly commuters to downtown and BMC) but at nights or on weekends you could park pretty much wherever.

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In my neighborhood (Savin Hill area), the hours are 10A-6P M-F, because we have a huge problem of people using the neighborhood as a free commuter parking lot for the JFK and Savin Hill T stops. It becomes difficult to park in general but on street cleaning days it's downright impossible. Unfortunately only some of the streets/blocks have successfully petitioned the city for permit-only parking so half the neighborhood is still an insane free-for-all.

In Southie, I believe the hours were set up as overnight because the bigger parking concern there is that there's not enough room anymore for residents to park overnight at their homes.

Every neighborhood has its own concerns and the restricted times are a reflection of that.

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I've been in Southie since 2005 and it's out of control now. Have a visitor over the weekend? Have them park at the Black Falcon garage and uber in. They shouldn't get resident spots when there aren't enough spots for residents.

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Why shouldn't residents have to Uber from Black Falcon?

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So I am already paying property tax and excise tax, now I will have to spend 75 bucks to park my cars in front of my house? Classic Democrat move. "

She states that our parking system is not working - and her (typical Democrat) solution is to tax people and make their lives more difficult.

If someone has to "circle the block" then tough shit. Taxing people is not going to reduce cars.

I live in Boston and travel for work (so I need a car). My house is within the resident sticker zone from the mbta stop. So I should be penalized for that?

If the city council wants to be "fair", require it for every car parked on a city street overnight. There is your "equity".

Also, this plan on it's face will ensure less parking for residents in high congestion areas. If someone can buy a guest pass for $10 (good for 72 hours), good luck finding spaces now. Under the guest pass, every area of Back Bay, South End, Fenway, Brighton, Charlestown, Southie, etc. will have non residents parking in resident spots for 72 hours at a clip.

We can't expect our leaders to tackle real problems like a shitty mbta, instead they just tax hard working Bostonians.

Oh and guess what, as the residential wave continues out to all areas of the city (especially along train lines), resident parking will be coming there too. So her comment about Mattapan is a lie.

Want a solution?, create a guest pass, but make it $25 per day, that way RESIDENTS aren't penalized for parking in front of their own houses, and their own neighborhoods.

Just rediculous. Enough.

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You currently don't pay the true cost of driving and it forces taxpayers that don't drive to make up the difference, sorry Charlie.

While congressional bailouts of the Highway Trust Fund have made this subsidy more apparent, it has actually never been the case that road users paid their own way. Not only that, but the amount of their subsidy has steadily increased in recent years. The share of the costs paid from road-user fees has dropped from about 70 percent in the 1960s to less than half today, according to the study.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/...

The state highway system needs $6.5 billion more than its budgeted revenue over the next 10 years to maintain roads, bridges, and tunnels, according to the report. The MBTA is set for the next five years, but after that it will face a $1.9 billion shortfall, brought on largely by diminishing federal funding and less state borrowing capacity, the report says.

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/transportation/report-transportation-fu...

Socialism is for me, not for thee, amirite? But I thought there was no such thing as a free lunch?

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Voting closed 34

how rude, wanting to keep more of the money I earn, right?

The true cost of driving? SO is this about driving? or about parking? How is additional taxing of Boston residents of going to fix Mass State Roads, and bridges, and the MBTA? BTW - the MBTA should look at their failing "20 and out" pension system, and their broken down trains (and stations) before they support the taxation of residents with cars.

Newsflash - the majority of people drive in this state, and just because my street requires resident stickers (while the next block over doesn't), I should not be taxed again to park in front of my own house. I LIVE here and already pay taxes in the process.

This is another example of out-of-touch progressive pols trying another money grab - and sticking it to working people.

If Michelle Wu wants to take the bus and the train to work at city hall that is fine, and I am sure she has a car as well. But not everyone who lives in Boston also works in Boston. And I should not be penalized because I want to park in from of my own home.

And why is she proposing only the taxation of areas of the city with resident stickers? Shouldn't all residents of Boston need resident stickers then? and shouldn't all of them be taxed? Also, cyclists are using the roads as well, via dedicated lanes. Time to start a registration process and taxation of them as well, right? they are using the same roads, and bridges after all.

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You can't go about complaining about increasing costs to store your private vehicle on public roads, when you currently don't pay enough for the usage of those public roads. Driving and parking are connected bud.

I don't see you really offering up any solutions to addressing how we are going to fund the maintenance of our states roads, thats not even mentioning expansion and upgrades to the current system. As has been said before, you don't pay enough to cover your usage of the roads to a point where our funding for highways is insolvent. So why should those of us that can't use those highways pay for your ride? We also subsidize your gas so thats nice but keep telling me you pay enough.

I agree though, expand the parking permit to all city neighborhoods and streets. Why should we be allowing valuable public property to be used at well below market rate? Again, doesn't sound very fiscally conservative to me.

Also you keep jumping between the state residents and Boston residents, which is it? The demographics of urban car ownership obviously will greatly differ with the suburbs but why should valuable public property be set aside, for free? Again, why are you asking car-free households to subsidize those that drive? Doesn't sound very conservative to me.

But the bike point is interesting to make. Cyclists are often licensed drivers, so there goes that point. Also when the costs of providing the sliver of bike infrastructure come anywhere near what we spend for all the highways/roads/bridges that only cars can use, maybe we can talk about that. You want me to pay excise tax? Cool, where should I send my $3 check? Oh and registering and taxing them is just creating even more bureaucracy for something that children can ride, I thought you people were all about limited government?

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Voting closed 25

"store your private vehicle on public road" just wow

reality - parking on a neighborhood side street in front of (or near) my home.
your "reality" - storing my private vehicle on a public road

your logic is frightening, but also amusing.

This is a clear money grab - plain and simple.

The city can barely plow my street - but let's increase taxes! that will fix it.

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Voting closed 10

This is nothing but a money grab. Show me a real plan before bringing it to the city council. If she truly wanted this plan to work, it would be city wide. Permit all neighborhoods. Count all parking spots in each neighborhood and only assign enough permits for the amount of actual spots. Make Boston city wide permits.
The city would never follow through with any of this. The city councilors always find a way of taking a little bit more of our money and wasting it. They haven’t had a raise yet this year, must be coming up.

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Do you own the road in front of your house? Do you live off a private right-of-way?
No? -> public road

Is your car immobile when it’s parked in front of your house, thereby preventing others from using the space it occupies?
Yes -> storage

Does your car belong to you or your bank?
Yes -> private property

Welcome to reality.

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Voting closed 12

You sound like one of those people who moves into a townhome area with an HOA - which owns everything from the studs in your walls out - and then starts complaining that HOA rules forbid you from putting up flags, Christmas decorations, or doing car repairs on their property.

Your private space ends at the surveyed line of your lot. Your 'neighborhood street' IS public property, you ARE storing your car there, and you are NOT entitled to do so indefinitely.

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Voting closed 7

what about shoveling? hmmmm

like if I don't shovel the "public walkway" in front of my house, I get fined by the city.

weird right?

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Voting closed 3

it’s rather rude to ask the taxpayers to continue to subsidize your driving to the tune of somewhere around $.30 driven.

Seems to me the proper fiscally conservative thing to do would be to call for an increase in vehicle excise duty and gas tax to the point where all costs caused by motor vehicle traffic are covered.

Here’s a good read: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/...

P.S. you can’t reduce driving without reducing parking. So yes, this is about parking, so it’s also about driving.

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Voting closed 21

Circling the block looking for parking creates traffic slowdowns and poor air quality, leading to increased medical costs & deaths in the neighborhood. Why not use a free-market mechanism: Set a number of permits equal to the number of available spaces, and hold an auction?

Isn't that the free-market conservative approach?

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Voting closed 15

Hold an auction so I can park on my own street?

Anything else you want to place the government in charge of?

Mother of gawd.

Newsflash, there are MANY areas of Boston that require resident sticker because of their proximity to MBTA stations - which is done to deter people from coming in from the burbs and taking resident spots all day long (not to mention sidestepping MBTA parking lot fees). It is not always about congestion. I don't have a hard time parking in front of my house, but now I need to pay to do so?

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Voting closed 11

The City owns the street. You're parking there by the generosity of the City.

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Voting closed 33

Yes, we’re only responsible for shoveling and keeping the sidewalk clean 365 days a year. Thanks so much for your generosity ol’city.

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Voting closed 8

exactly - UHUB commentators love the "its not your street" argument.

But gawd forbid someone doesn't shovel their sidewalk within a reasonable time, then they magically own it. People can't wait to whip out their iPhones and send a 311 complaint.

unreal

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Voting closed 12

I’m interested to know the parking practices of the cities/towns they are from or if they even had cars in those cities and towns?

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Voting closed 2

I'm in Somerville, where we charge a modest fee ($40) for an annual parking permit and an additional fee to get a visitor pass ($20-40).

The price per permit does not escalate with the number of permits issued, nor is the number of permits restricted by capacity. My household has one car which is parked on the street-- it's my wife's, which she is required to have for her job as a field sales rep.

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Voting closed 4

Im not talking about where people live now, I mean where they grew up.

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Voting closed 1

You wanna do this don't you?

https://thenib.com/mister-gotcha

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Voting closed 3

I’m genuinely curious. I know you get your rocks off from anything having to do with cars, but jeez.

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Voting closed 2

I get my rocks off from anything having to do with bikes, you missed a good chance to say I have temper tantrums about cars.

I don't believe you're genuinely curious, I think its to troll. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Voting closed 2

If you don't shovel the sidewalk that your neighbors use in reasonable amount of time, why are they the bad person for calling you out to 311? They just don't want their mobility impacted by your selfishness.

If you don't like how the law works, you're more than welcome as a property owner to organize a campaign to change this system. Hey maybe you'll find a way for the city to clear sidewalks for everyone so its not just road users getting reliable snow removal.

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Voting closed 4

so I don't own the street (public space), so I have no say about where I can park

and I don't own the sidewalk (public space), but I do own it when it snows - and it's my responsibility to shovel it

cool, cool.

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Voting closed 5

Our tax dollars pay to have the snow removed from the road. They don't pay to have it removed from sidewalks, in general.

So if its not property owners, whos doing it? The city? Cool, whos paying for it? Oh why not charge property owners!

Congratulations, we found a way to make sure you don't have to be responsible for it. You still should have to pay for your parking permit too.

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Voting closed 2

IMO we should fix that too while we're at it...

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Voting closed 5

If you own the street, the city can't make you pay to park there.

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Voting closed 4

In Japan, you don‘t roll off the dealer lot until you’ve registered your off-street parking space with the RMV and the police have stopped by and measured out the space you claim to have to verify that the car you want to buy actually fits there.

Your street belongs to the public, what in the actual hell makes you think you have some sort of enshrined right to store your private property on the public’s right-of-way?

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Voting closed 20

where he/she used "Democrat" as a pejorative? We got us a genuine Republican here: totally opposed to anyone getting anything without paying market price for it, riiiiiight up until you mention that "anyone" means "everyone" and the city isn't going to make a special exemption for his/her delicate snowflake self.

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Voting closed 13

And and uncontolled taxing of people is not going to solve anything in Boston.

"Republican? Snowflake" nnnnope. Wrong and wrong.

Just against "progressive" Democrat pols who think the way to fix things is to take more of my money - and in the process, make things worse.

Not looking for an exemption, I already pay property tax.

And guess what - there are a lot of people like me out there Erik. Socially liberal, hard-working, fiscally-conservative folks who don't want their money wasted on rediculous money grabs that will do nothing to solve issues in the city.

Don't hurt yourself trying to wrap your brain around that one snowflake.

Keep up your (any differing opinions is an evil Republican) narrative though, it's been going pretty well for yah.

Haha.

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Voting closed 7

wasted on ridiculous money grabs that do nothing to solve the issues in the city either. I’m thinking of property taxes that are higher than they need to be because the city basically gives away valuable real estate to special snowflakes that love to cry about muh parking.

I don‘t want billions and billions of tax dollars wasted on six-lane traffic sewers that dissect neighborhoods, cause drainage issues and pollution because special snowflakes like you are too snowflake-y to take the Ⓣ or ride a bike for their trips under 5 miles (which applies to more trips in the city than you’d think).

It’s great that MA kinda sort has something resembling universal health care but I hate that more and more of my health care premiums go towards treating and curing preventable obesity, and respiratory and coronary diseases because special snowflakes like you are too special to take the Ⓣ or ride a bike for their trips under 5 miles (which applies to more trips in the city than you’d think). This applies even more so to all those killed and injured in motor vehicle crashes.

You want to solve issues in the city? Reducing car use does exactly that for all the issues above (and quite a few more - housing costs could be lower if not for minimum parking requirements and a pearl-clutching fear of mixed-use high density zoning)

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Voting closed 4

reducing cars would also help open up bike use for people like me, who aren't opposed, but who's regular commutes would be extremely dangerous to bike on due to the rampant speeding, light running, and lawbreaking. I take the bus instead but on nice days it'd be awesome to have a more flexible option... just not awesome enough to potentially die for it

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Voting closed 4

Someone on city council may be either "Unrolled" or possibly a Republican. To place 5th in the at large race does not take a lot of votes.

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Anything else you want to place the government in charge of?

In this thread you've literally called for creating a whole new bureaucracy to license and register bicycles but go off

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Voting closed 20

yes, that was called sarcasm - but don't let that keep you from furthering you disdain for evil car owners.

for those in the back, we don't need more bureaucracy, and the city does not need to be charging for resident parking stickers.

is that clear enough?

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Voting closed 8

1. Register an account, anon; there might be lots of people out there saying equally dumb things in your name, and how are we to tell?
2. If you have to explain your sarcasm to the back row, it means you’re not clever enough to use sarcasm on the internet. We’ll let you have your privileges back right after you register that account, and after you answer literally a single question that’s been thrown your way in this thread

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Voting closed 6

So you want to continue the free parking for motorists because charging them is unfair. Gotcha.

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Voting closed 3

That's how they roll in Brookline - why not here?

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Voting closed 16

I for the life of me cannot understand why these people want MORE taxes on top of the taxes you already pay. I thought excise taxes were for road maintenance and upkeep? And we all benefit from useable roads, even if you don't drive yourself.

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Voting closed 9

they go into a "general fund" which means you will generally never see a benefit.

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Voting closed 4

We have a revenue shortfall of $6.4 billion over the next ten years to take care of. How is that being addressed without increasing usage fees?

So sure I benefit from roads even if I only occasional drive but those that drive daily are not being made to pay the true cost and as a result its subsidized by other, non-driving taxpayers.

People want better transit options and when one option is so overwhelmingly subsidized that it is presented as the most convenient and financially viable option, its not shocking to see it win out over public transportation. And lets not forget active measures from the fossil fuel and car industry that continue to fight against public transit.

And while public transit itself is subsidized and in a budget crisis of its own, we understand it as a benefit to society that riders are being asked year after year to pay more and more for. Why can't it be the same for motorists?

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Voting closed 9

You get charged for what you use from the public supply.

Ditto with being charged for parking.

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Voting closed 11

Water services are also subsidized, along with sewer.

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Voting closed 2

Something can still be subsidized and you can still pay for what you use.

At $25 a vehicle, parking is still subsidized.

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Voting closed 7

Something can still be subsidized and you can still pay for what you use.

Which drivers do thru gas taxes, excise taxes, tolls, etc.

FWIW, my taxes go towards subsidizing the MWRA, yet we have private water and sewer. You don't hear me whining.

And whatever people are paying for water is a steal, i.e. subsidized, far below market rate. Water is the next oil.

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Voting closed 1

Because the current system results in poor allocation of supply and everyone constantly complaining about parking shortages. Charging what the spaces are worth works for literally everything else, why can't we do it for parking?

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Voting closed 14

You are a welfare brat. You have gotten free storage for years yet you act like an ungrateful child. Why don't you provide storage for your personal property yourself instead of relying on a handout?

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Voting closed 5

A welfare brat? That’s a new one.

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Voting closed 5

If this passes they should deduct the fee from your excise tax. No need for the city to double dip.

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Voting closed 13

And the bike brigade hates all things car related. I can only imagine the joy this site experienced with this article.

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Voting closed 16

{whispers} Many people who regularly ride bikes also own cars....

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Voting closed 6

What would be the point of that? The city would collect the same amount of money, and it would be a lot more work.

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Voting closed 4

You pay 25 dollars less in excise tax if you get a resident parking sticker, they dont get an extra 25 dollars from your pocket.
You still pay for the sticker but you could use the savings from the excise tax to pay for it.

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Voting closed 5

Some of the citizens keep a little more money in their pocket. That's essentially double taxation.

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Voting closed 5

Otherwise, you are charging property tax on driveways and then charging people who have driveways more on their excise tax.

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Voting closed 4

I have a city car and would welcome paying for the permit if the city will staff ticketing personnel 7 days a week. Better yet...7 X 24.

I live near the Garden and using the car or returning to the city on Sundays is a nightmare when the Bruins or Celtics are in town.

Suburbanites know the city does not ticket on Sundays so they park on surrounding streets. Just about every parking spot is taken by a non-resident. We make it easy for them to head back to the suburbs as they do not have to wait in line to exit the parking garage.

Calls to 311 end with 'Sorry, we don't ticket on Sundays'.

Love the visitor parking pass- particularly if you can order it online.

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Voting closed 14

you would "welcome" paying to park where you live?

why? you already pay taxes right? why welcome additional taxes when you will never see a benefit?

if there is a spot, and you live in the neighborhood, you should park in the spot - pretty simple.

I am all for the visitor pass - create revenue from people wanting to visit Boston, instead of from people who actually live here / and pay taxes here.

if somebody from the burbs wants to come into my neighborhood, hit the bars, and stay the weekend, then they should pay to do so. no problem there.

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Voting closed 5

I do that - it is called "having a driveway".

If you want to play this "my car is sacred and I get to park on the street" game, be ready for your carfree neighbors to start demanding equal plots of space for patios and gardens and storage units just because they live there, too.

Cars are private property - they don't give you special rights to public property.

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Voting closed 11

"my car is sacred and I get to park on the street, game"?

What the actual hell are you talking about? Haha, it's funny to read

"get ready for equal plots of space for patios and gardens and storage units"?

In my 40 plus years of living in Boston, I have never seen anything close to this.

Sweet argument though.

BTW - Wu's petition got smashed in the Council.

Have a nice day.

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Voting closed 4

Cambridge, Somerville, and many other cities charge for parking permits. It's not even controversial.

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Voting closed 9

Parking in different neighborhoods since the 90s - don't mind paying for a permit at all. But the city then has to pony up and enforce it better and make those tickets high enough to discourage parking without one in all neighborhoods. They tend to look the other way in some of the more touristy areas (but will ticket residents who are an inch - literally - past a no parking past this point sign or more than 3 inches from the curb). So many cars in my neighborhood now (Allston) never move except when forced to by street sweeping.

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Voting closed 10

So getting a 51% petition is too much work for residents to grab exclusive use of a public resource at the expense of nonresidents, and the city needs to eliminate this one task which guarantees the rules will be approved?

How much work is it for nonresidents to fight a permit parking petition, or make a permit street unrestricted again?

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Voting closed 3

It's 51% of FIVE blocks last time I checked. Because of all the varying hours/availability within such a large area it would take days of time to hit 51%

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Voting closed 4

Yeah, but you do it once and then you automatically get the street forever. It has to be some number of households. Otherwise, each house could decide the rules in front of it, which would be ridiculous.

Meanwhile, nonresidents have no say in the process.

Has any such petition ever failed because 51% of residents explicitly said no?

Has any resident ever considered what the nonresidents are supposed to do once the street parking is restricted? Yes, they could walk, take the T, bike, take an Uber, or pay for off-street parking if it exists nearby. But so could the resident.

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Voting closed 2

Getting towed once for street cleaning is $180+. If cleaning a little trash from under a parked car is worth $180, then that parking spot is worth a lot more than $25 a year.

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Voting closed 20

says the woman who owns no car, but has kids and relies on public subsidies to get her and them around town. I hope she runs for Mayor so I can vote against her.

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Voting closed 12

" relies on public subsidies to get her and them around town"

It's been said numerous times already on this thread, but you realize that is exactly what car owners do, right?

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/...

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Voting closed 5

Good idea. About time. The city doesn't even recoup administrative costs on this, which is crazy. Fee should be higher but can be incrementally raised down the line.

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Voting closed 20

It really is crazy indeed that the city actually takes a financial loss on these stickers. People don’t expect ANYTHING to be free...except parking apparently. I’d suggest the bigger issue is needing to cap these permits per household, probably at 2. Beyond that, get a driveway or pay for a garage spot depending where you live.

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Voting closed 8

The attack on urban working and middle class families who are struggling to stay afloat in the cities continues. Soon only the wealthy will remain in Boston. What a shame.

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Voting closed 13

This proposed fee of (*takes out calculator*) SEVEN CENTS PER DAY to store your private vehicle on a public street is a true outrage and clearly a conspiracy to punish those who do not have $25 left over after paying for insurance, gas, maintenance, and, oh right, a car purchase.

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Voting closed 34

It amazes me how people are so blah about government dipping into their wallets again and again.

Wow, some people have been conditioned.

And the beat goes on.

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Voting closed 5

I don't think accusing people of basically being sheep is necessary just because you want free parking. There are good reasons to charge for these permits. They cost the city money, they take up public space, and they're a privilege as opposed to a right. They also should limit them, which would benefit all of us who use on-street parking. This seems pretty common sense to me.

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Voting closed 12

I pay property taxes and excise taxes. Where is the free part again? I must have missed that while I was busy already paying taxes,...in Boston...where I own a home...and live.

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Voting closed 1

You're right it's not free. It's actually highly-subsidized and unfairly so by a lot of people who do not own vehicles or don't park them on the public way but pay for you to be able to do so through their own taxes. We accept taxes for things like education or libraries because they benefit all of society whether we use them ourselves or not. The same cannot be said by any rational person about parking on the public way. In fact, it's almost certainly a negative effect on society but we tolerate it. So, a modest permit fee to park there is one way to start better accounting for that subsidization by the people who actually use it, which is the essence of a fee versus a tax. If you don't accept that, so be it, but that is the core of what this is about.

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Voting closed 3

I appreciate the interest in making the fee a bit more progressive, but get real.

1. It's $25/year, a small fraction of the total cost of auto ownership. It's not making or breaking the ownership of the car.
2. The cost of determining if a person qualifies is non-zero.
3. It opens the door up to fraud.
4. There are plenty of wealthy people who are 65+ (measured by wealth or income or whatevs). Why should they get a discount exactly?
5. Home health shouldn't be eligible for residential parking permits at all. Want to have a separate commercial permit? Have at it. For context, in Brookline the ability to park all day (not night) on the street is $20 for residents and $500 for commercial hang-tags.
6. BPS staff should have the same expectations of other people who work in Boston.

Handicap hang tag holders are already exempt. The rest should cough it up.

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Voting closed 17

Plain and simple.

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