The monumental snow of the last few weeks has put a freeze on city revenue, as unused parking meters sat cold and coinless next to vacant snow-piled slots.
Boston only raked in $443,900 between January 15 and February 12 – which is about half the meter revenue it typically gets from its 7,601 metered spots during that time period – according to Bonnie McGilpin , a spokeswoman for Mayor Marty Walsh.
The same four weeks in 2014 wracked up $811,848, McGilpin said, $743,080 in 2013 and $891,300 in 2012.
The drop in parking meter revenue is a result of the snow emergency parking bans necessary to remove the historic amount of snow from the streets of Boston, McGilpin said. It is also due to the fact that some parking meters have remained buried with snow.
It’s not yet known what the financial repercussions will be for the city.
“Snow removal operations for the City of Boston are still ongoing and therefore, it's too early to accurately estimate the impacts on the city's budget,” McGilpin said. “Mayor Walsh has said that the priority is public safety and ensuring that residents can safely get to school and work.”
McGilpin didn’t directly address reports that Walsh was planning to go easy on towing illegally parked vehicles, but said city officials have encouraged residents to sign up for text, email, and voice alerts to receive notifications about street cleaning and upcoming snow emergencies to avoid unnecessary towing and ticketing.
“The priority is keeping the streets clean and ensuring public safety during snow emergencies,” McGilpin said.