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I’m Not The Only One Who Thinks The Boston Parking System Is Broken

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 11

Patrick Doyle from the Boston Magazine lays out in wonderful detail exactly what is wrong with the Boston parking system…its too cheap.

Driving in Boston is about as much fun as an emergency appendectomy with a jigsaw. Those of us who live here are well equipped to deliver detailed lectures on the reasons why: one-way streets derived from 17th-century cow paths; the lack, for the most part, of a grid; poor to nonexistent signage; and the general willingness of citizens on foot, on bike, and behind the wheel to dart out recklessly into traffic. But as bad as driving is in Boston, it’s a dream compared with the parking.

You see, the average car is driven only about 5 percent of each day. The rest of the time—when the owner is at work, at home, or in a store—that car is parked. In a small city with limited space like ours, this creates a major problem. Too many cars are competing for too few parking spots. Finding an empty space on the street is such a rarity that when my friend in the North End does manage to grab one, she’ll often choose to keep her car parked in it and shell out for a Zipcar when she needs to run an errand. Whenever you’re thinking of driving into the city—be it for a Red Sox game or a quick stop on Newbury Street—there’s always one overwhelming concern: If I can’t find a spot on the street, how much is the garage going to cost me?

It doesn’t have to be like this. Unlike a lot of the problems we have with cars around here, this one we can actually fix.

Read the rest of this great story for an in depth look at how we got into this problem, and some very good suggestions for how to get out of it, here.

While the Hubway rental system is briefly mentioned in the article what isn’t is how we can re-purpose a lot of that wasted parking space for bike infrastructure.

No one wants to talk about removing parking spaces, its one of the many third rail’s of government in this city. But if we are creative, we can accommodate more bike infrastructure and slightly less car parking.

If we do we will be able to provide a convenient alternative to all those poor souls trapped in their cars in traffic. This allows for less congestion, less traffic, and basically makes everyone’s life better (car drivers and bike riders).


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