Parking fines in Boston could go up to fund transportation projects
The city of Boston is looking to increase parking fines for the first time in 10 years — for one offense, going up by $50.
Double parking or leaving your car during overnight street cleaning may soon become even more costly as the city of Boston looks to raise the price of parking tickets.
Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Tuesday a slew of transportation changes in the works to upgrade infrastructure and make commuting around the city both safer and more affordable.
To help fund those projects, city officials proposed restructuring 11 parking fines for the first time in 10 years — in one case, increasing a fine by $50.
Raising fines would help fund improvement efforts, officials said, as well as reduce congestion, increase cleanliness in the city and improve the overall parking experience as, hopefully, more people will be deterred from breaking the rules.
Under the proposed changes, the fine for wrongfully parking in a resident permit spot would go from $40 to $60. Double parking would go up to $55 from $30 for one zone, and to $75 from $45 in another zone.
Parking in a loading zone could soon get you a $90 fine, up from $55, and being over a parking meter time limit would cost you $40, up from $25.
The biggest fine increase would come from parking during overnight street cleaning hours: Once a $40 offense, the new changes would raise that error to a $90 fine.
"Increasing various parking fines that have not been adjusted since 2008 and allocating those funds to improve the city's ability to better manage its transportation services is a smart public policy that will lead to more reliable commutes," said Sam Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, in a statement.
Similar to when the city raised some parking meter prices for the first time since 2011, officials noted that this upgrade would bring Boston in line with the practices of other major cities. Double parking costs drivers $100 in Chicago, $110 in San Francisco and $115 in New York City.
Officials hope raising fines will help cover the $5 million investments outlined in the city’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Those investments, which will add to the ongoing efforts of Go Boston 2030, include strengthening bus transit through the city’s first-ever “Transit Team,” which will work with the MBTA to design and manage dedicated bus lanes; repairing more than 1,600 miles of sidewalks, 800 miles of roadways and more than 800 traffic signals; and adding funds to build out the city’s pedestrian network, bike network and Vision Zero efforts.
Local transportation leaders, like TransitMatters, the Boston Cyclists Union and Transportation for Massachusetts, have come out in support of Walsh's announcement and the expected changes. Residents seem to support the move as well, even though it may mean a higher parking ticket.
In fact, responding to the news, some residents said the fines should be raised even higher to curb the behavior. "Sounds like [the city] caught up with the fact that an expired meter ticket can be cheaper than a garage," one person wrote on Twitter. Another on Reddit said that the double parking fines should be "much higher."
"$150 at least," they wrote. "You won't stop the behavior unless you make it hurt."