Thursday, November 19, 2009

PARKING: New meters on Beacon Street

Question/Comment: A resident is concerned that permit parking on the west side of Beacon St. between Park St. and Kent St. has been replaced by metered parking.  She believes that these meters are unnecessary because there are no businesses nearby and that the primary users of these spots are Somervilians working in Harvard Square. She would like permit parking to be restored in this area. She would also like to know if there is a way the City could track revenue from specific meters to determine if they are necessary.

Multiple residents of this area have reiterated that that meters on this stretch of Beacon St. appear to be unused the vast majority of the time. One resident further emphasizes that the only business on this block is P&K Deli.  She believes their customers do not park in the metered parking spaces. She also believes that meters between Park and Washington St. go unused, noting that the stores and restaurants along this stretch have customer parking lots.

City Update: 2/25/10: Much thought and discussion went into the decision to install meters in this particular area.  Many users of these spots are not Somerville residents who work in Harvard Square.  The biggest abuser to the parking along this stretch was the National Academy of Science, which is in Cambridge.  Many others would also park there and go into Cambridge.  Before the meters were put in there was discussion with the Ward Alderman, the Mayor's Office, the Traffic & Parking Commission and the Traffic & Parking Traffic Engineer.  All agreed that meters were necessary to control the parking in the area.  The National Academy now has to buy metered spaces when they have events.

City Update 11/19/2009: The meters recently installed on Beacon Street are a part of the City's larger changes to parking regulation, including new meters near several squares and citywide resident permit parking.  A parking study by an independent group determined that business districts had less than optimal parking availability, and new meters, hours, and pricing are designed to encourage business turnover.

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