The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) voted 25-7 to sign on to the list of neighborhood groups supporting a ban on parking space savers in downtown Boston. The resolution extends the ban currently effective in the South End that prohibits putting out chairs, cones and other objects to reserve spaces after shoveling snow out of residential parking spots.
The renewed effort comes from “uncivil behavior” fostered by City Hall’s support of space savers after this year’s series of snow storms, according to Steve Wintermeier who presented the resolution to the group. Wintermeier is part of the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay (NABB) and a representative of the Alliance of Downtown Civic Organizations (ADCO).
The resolution includes the neighborhoods of the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, South End, Bay Village, Chinatown, Leather District, Fenway, North End, West End and downtown Boston. It specifically prohibits treating public residential parking spaces as private property through the use of parking space savers.
Although the North End has not historically had many space savers, this year brought out a significant amount of street furniture in response to the unprecedented amount of snow. Neighborhood residents noted significant vandalism and threats as a result of these space saving efforts.
In addition, there are other concerns exacerbated by a congested downtown area such as the blocking of handicap and delivery spaces. According to Wintermeier, the proposal is part of a larger program to have Public Works more efficiently clean and maintain our city streets.
On a related note, the resolution takes aim at City
Hall’s relaxation of street cleaning enforcement. The ADCO petition reinforces the need to tow vehicles to allow for street cleaning
Attendees at the meeting spoke largely in support of the ban, highlighting that space savers have left many residential parking spots vacant for extended periods during the day.
City Hall representative, Nicole Leo, said that Mayor Walsh is looking at revised procedures after snow storms. City Councilor Sal LaMattina also announced that the City Council will be having a hearing to present ideas regarding snow removal and parking procedures.