New Apartments In Allston Just For Cyclists? (And Pedestrians Who Take The T)

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 28

Bostinno reports:

Apartment buildings are designed for cars. More specifically, these buildings are designed for parking cars: 40 available parking spots means 40 correlating apartments, and so on. But what if parking was removed from the equation entirely? How would that change the landscape and functionality of a building, or a neighborhood, or a city?

Architect Sebastian Mariscal has been working on plans for an 18,000-square-foot apartment building in Allston that doesn’t have on-site parking, either in a lot or underground, flying in the face of city codes requiring a specific ratio of parking spots to tenants. In fact, the building plans to ban cars entirely.

And the real kicker? Mariscal plans to require tenants to sign a special addendum to the lease promising that they don’t own a car, or at least won’t be bringing one to the neighborhood.

Amazing. Requirement to have cars holding back your ability to design the kinds of houses people want to live in? Fuck em! Build an apartment complex for people who want to live car free. Study after study shows that today’s modern city dwellers are increasingly turning away from the car, this looks like a great place for those people to live. It is also a much more efficient use of space, why waste all that money/space building parking spaces for cars people rarely use? Instead pack in some more living space for the actual human residents. I hope this gets built.

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Posted in infrastructure, news | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “New Apartments In Allston Just For Cyclists? (And Pedestrians Who Take The T)”

  1. By KillMoto on Feb 28, 2013 | Reply


  2. By david on Feb 28, 2013 | Reply

    was anyone at the BAIA meeting where this was discussed?–Thurs–Feb–7—7pm.html?soid=1102652087663&aid=DuSRpLQ1nb0

    I know reducing parking at 58 North Beacon/8 Gordon was extremely opposed, those same members of the neighborhood may be opposed to this

  3. By Peter on Mar 1, 2013 | Reply

    How will the lease addendum possibly be enforced? I imagine you could give a rent discount to submit to some sort annual “car registration” search.

    I think it’s a great idea but I just see people parking in the neighborhood.

  4. By ChrisS on Mar 1, 2013 | Reply

    So, does the building have any sort of bike parking? Or does each unit have a space for bikes inside? Most apartments don’t, unless you rent one with an extra bedroom.

    The concept here is great – but if they build it, I predict a bunch of new Zipcar customers.

  5. By brad4d on Mar 1, 2013 | Reply

    The best 1/2 year of my life was living on Mansfield st in Alston and commuting to mccormack federal building downtown. Every minute of the 18-20 minutes at 5:30 – 5:50 am along the Charles River was enjoyable. My roomate who worked at City Hall had 90 minutes of bus rides that he detested every minute of.

    I wonder if the financial model at JP Co-Housing could be used to help make this architects idea a reality?

  6. By Kate on Mar 4, 2013 | Reply

    Cool concept but better if they put a few zipcars on that street!

  7. By Sam on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    I think it’s fine to build new housing in the city like this. However, most of the existing apartment buildings in Boston don’t provide off-street parking because they’re just plain *old*. I get that it’s new construction and breaking convention, but living in an apartment building in Boston that doesn’t have parking and is occupied by tons of people who don’t own cars isn’t exactly a unique or special experience. Because it’s new construction in a heavily populated student neighborhood the units are likely to rent for an exorbitant amount anyway. When they start trying to build stuff like this in the burbs next to commuter rail is when I’ll get excited.

  8. By KillMoto on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    Meh. The locals will get scared. They’ll fear “their” free parking is being threatened. The builder will be forced to pave a baseball field size lot and stripe it for rain runoff to fill the sewers. And perhaps he’ll still appeal to a carfree clientele, where all will be taxed for the wasted space. Maybe the parking lot can be built with hoops, knowing it’ll end up being used for b-ball not car storage.

    Meanwhile, if all street parking is charged at market rates, this would not be an issue.

    I wish in lived in Romney’s America, where people pay as they go for scarce resources, and laissez faire economics – not socialized subsidies – ruled the roads.

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