Streetsblog Commenter Published in Boston Globe

Streetsblog commenter and Newton Streets and Sidewalks blogmaster Sean Roche has a commentary on cheap municipal parking in today’s Boston Globe:

158306800_5699db2035_m.jpgWhat’s wrong with this picture? Four friends drive to Kenmore Square for a Red Sox game. They take a couple of laps around the neighborhood unsuccessfully looking for a $1-an-hour meter. They give up and park in a $20 lot.

Thanks to the work of UCLA urban planning professor Donald Shoup, we now know that the low meter rates lead to congestion, unnecessary fuel consumption, and additional pollution. It also allows parking entrepreneurs to make 20 bucks (or more) for the same 120 square feet of asphalt that the city is practically giving away.

Boston sells itself short in another way: through resident-only parking along streets such as Commonwealth Avenue. For $30 a year, you can occupy some of the most valuable real estate in the country, if you are lucky enough to find a space. And, you can stay about as long as you’d like. These spaces, too, should be subject to market rates.

Here’s the piece in its entirety.

Photo: Daquella manera/Flickr

  • mike

    Great op-ed Sean!

  • momos

    Excellent piece, Sean! Very cogently argued. Congratulations on getting this issue into the Boston Globe! It’s fantastic to see. I like your specific example of Newbury Street. That area cries out for market priced parking. And the T really is such an excellent alternative to driving.

  • Guilty driver

    I can personally confess that the REMOTE POSSIBILITY of snagging a meter (or free parking) often lures me into driving. In my head I calculate the cost of parking in terms of averages — knowing that if I get free parking 1/4 of the time, even if I have to cough up the market rate, the averaged cost is 25% less. In this way, below-market municipal parking acts as a subsidy to the private garages/lots.

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