Is parking too cheap?

F-Line to Dudley

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Exactly. Free on-street neighborhood parking is a totally broken economic system.
The fact that some surrounding towns can get this right(er) than Boston is the most baffling part. This "tradition" bullshit has got to be the dumbest manufactured crisis ever affecting overall quality of life in the city. I get that Walsh as a first-termer has hide-preserving reasons for not spurring on any controversial action, but how lazy do pols have to be coming off 4 decades of dynastic mayoral machines and Councils with infinitely recyclable hacks who--if endangered--can just keep coming back again and again?

The powers that be don't have anything substantial to fear on their own turf by tightening this ship, seeking new parking revenue sources, cleaning house at the rogue BTD, or simply lowering the BTD's operating costs with policy and enforcement that makes the roads more passable from fewer blockages. That's the most infuriating part. You expect them to act against the public interest when "I got mine" or threats to their own hides come into play. Any such threat has evaporated--at least with the multi-termers--with all the recent population turnover in the neighborhoods. This is all an anachronistic figment of City Hall's imagination.
 

curcuas

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They should count the number of available resident only street spaces in each zone and auction off the permits. Let zipcar etc bid as well. Land should be market priced. We run into problems when it is not.

Maybe add 10% or so for people who won't always have their car around.
 

George_Apley

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^ I don't think I would roll out full market priced parking for a while... start slow...

Another issue in Boston is guest parking. Whole streets are reserved for free guest parking. If the policy is going to continue to be that streets are reserved for guests the parking spaces should be metered.
 

Matthew

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I pay taxes to the city of Boston. Does that mean I can dump a bunch of furniture in Boston Common? I mean, I pay taxes to the city!
Speaking of Commons, here in Cambridge they take their old Commons laws very seriously. There's all kinds of cows, horses and sheep roaming around in them. You can even buy the meat (cow, at least) on the market...

I guess tragedy of the commons never made it over the pond...

Or probably it all belongs to the University in the end, and nobody fucks with them. They do seem to save a lot of money on grass-mowing costs.
 

CSTH

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The 'snow rules' phenomenon is less 'tragedy of the commons' and more 'primitive accumulation'



Step 1. De-facto privatization of public goods, backed up by vigilante violence and threats thereof
Step 2. Get the government to ratify the private claims and assume the burden of enforcement
Step 3. Profit (aka launch an app)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_accumulation_of_capital
 

sm89

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How successful was the South End this past winter with their "no space saver" policy? I didn't hear much controversy about it, so I assume it went well?
 

cden4

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Overall, I think it went pretty well, but there were still people who insisted on using space savers anyway, either because they didn't know better or didn't care.
 

TallIsGood

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Should people have to pay to park their bike on the sidewalks? Does Hubway pay for the space their locations take up?
 

metasyntactic

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Should people have to pay to park their bike on the sidewalks?
If bicycle infrastructure becomes so popular that the bicycle parking resource becomes scarce despite reasonable investment and it needs to be priced, then yes. As it is, we're nowhere near that in Boston.

Also since bicycles take up about 10 times less space than a car, I'd expect to pay something like 1/10 the price. That's maybe $15-20/month which is totally reasonable. (though if you consider the other externalities that cars have and bicycles don't have, maybe it should be even less) In fact, underground Japanese bicycle parking systems are priced at $19/month: http://gizmodo.com/5046854/tokyos-robotic-bike-parking-garage-is-awesome
 

bigeman312

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If bicycle infrastructure becomes so popular that the bicycle parking resource becomes scarce despite reasonable investment and it needs to be priced, then yes. As it is, we're nowhere near that in Boston.

Also since bicycles take up about 10 times less space than a car, I'd expect to pay something like 1/10 the price. That's maybe $15-20/month which is totally reasonable. (though if you consider the other externalities that cars have and bicycles don't have, maybe it should be even less) In fact, underground Japanese bicycle parking systems are priced at $19/month: http://gizmodo.com/5046854/tokyos-robotic-bike-parking-garage-is-awesome
+1. Bikes are currently not overusing land. I would be totally in favor with bike parking being 1/10 the cost of car parking, based on size, if bike parking becomes scarce the way car parking is. Heck, even if it were just an "equity" move to appease drivers, I'd bite the bullet as it would be a net positive.
 

Arlington

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^ Agreed, Currently, bike infrastucture is "funded" out of the externality reductions (reduced congestion and pollution /improved air quality) and reduced municipal costs (bikes don't beat potholes into the pavement ). At some point bikes would start imposing net costs and over consuming street space.

I would support bike licensing at same as dog licensing for about the same reasons: safety, rule compliance and lost bike recovery
 

Scipio

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Boston is making on-street parking available to car-sharing companies for $3,500 per year downtown and $2,700 in neighborhoods. That sets the value of an on-street space at $225-$292, which is pretty close to garage prices.

The idea is that if you make car sharing more convenient then you make ditching a private car entirely more enticing, especially for people who use the T, walk, or bike to work and only use their own car on the weekends. Predictably, it's been getting some blowback.

The city has only leased 31 spaces for a year and a half pilot program so I doubt that anyone is really going to change their lifestyle from this. At least it's a start for making neighborhood streets more useful to people living without a car. Personally I would love to have an on-street zipcar on my block, especially since it acts as a dedicated loading zone so I don't have to double park to unload groceries.
 

fattony

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Boston is making on-street parking available to car-sharing companies for $3,500 per year downtown and $2,700 in neighborhoods. That sets the value of an on-street space at $225-$292, which is pretty close to garage prices.

The idea is that if you make car sharing more convenient then you make ditching a private car entirely more enticing, especially for people who use the T, walk, or bike to work and only use their own car on the weekends. Predictably, it's been getting some blowback.

The city has only leased 31 spaces for a year and a half pilot program so I doubt that anyone is really going to change their lifestyle from this. At least it's a start for making neighborhood streets more useful to people living without a car. Personally I would love to have an on-street zipcar on my block, especially since it acts as a dedicated loading zone so I don't have to double park to unload groceries.
There is no better advertisement for car sharing than parking the cars on the street.
 

underground

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I hope this can survive the shit storm. It manages to combine so many facets of the Boston NIMBY zeitgeist into one program. CARS! PARKING! YUPPIES! PRIVATIZATION (ironically or un-ironocally, depending on your view point on curbside parking)!
 

bigeman312

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This is great! Where can I go to voice my support? The city I live in is giving me access to street parking. A city in which I own property and pay taxes. Until now, I needed to purchase a costly, and incredibly destructive giant steel box to have access to street parking. Now, I just need to sign up for a car-share program.
 

Scipio

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Big article from Garret Quinn on parking in South Boston:
http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2015/11/02/south-boston-insane-parking/

Old Harbor Street residents were terrified at the prospect that the new project would exacerbate the area’s parking woes, even though the nine-unit development included 11 on-site parking spaces, more than the city’s already ridiculous parking requirements.

The Old Harbor Street residents ultimately prevailed in their fight with developers, but instead of demanding even more parking (as is normally the custom in these asinine fights) they killed it outright by countering the Cronin Group and buying the garden from the nuns.

What do they want they plan to do with the old garden?

Turn it into a surface parking lot with 18 deeded parking spaces worth $70,000 a piece.
 

Matthew

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The local NIMBY residents don't actually care about congestion, which is why turning the property into a parking lot doesn't trigger any concern from them.

For the NIMBYs, it's all about the exclusion of people -- 'the wrong kind of people' according to these residents. The parking thing is a distraction, a convenient line, that allows the NIMBYs to raise objection without actually having to say their true feelings. Because those true feelings would be obviously psychopathic when expressed aloud.
 

bigeman312

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Where are these meetings posted? When a development is proposed and then has a public meeting, is there a reliable place to view if/when these meetings are taking place?
 

Jahvon09

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I think that parking in Boston is way too expensive!
 

Arlington

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I think that parking in Boston is way too expensive!
You are free to think that, but from a public-policy standpoint, we need to make personal car use in the "core" more expensive because it bogs down other, more-valuable modes.

Other modes are more valuable for urban mobility. Buses, bikes and plain-old walking on the sidewalk, in particular, do a better job of moving people per lane-mile of city street (and demand far less sq ft of parking space per user too). Transit is more valuable too, and we need to identify ways of funding its expansion.

Higher parking rates are a double win: reducing congestion and paying for increased usefulness of other modes.

Ideally, the revenue from higher parking rates (both from meters and from taxes on private parking) should work the same as a congestion charge: the money should pay for better shared modes (transit) and the reduction in traffic lets all traffic that remains move more freely.
 

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