So I was reading this article in Boston Magazine last night: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articl..._parking_spot/
While I've read a lot on planning, transportation planning is where my knowledge is lacking, and I'd like some opinions on this article because it was starting to bug me a little bit.
The author basically says that: since meter prices are below "market" value for a particular neighborhood, it encourages people to keep filling the meter once they found a spot, or to continue circling and cause traffic while looking for that coveted spot. Ok, I'll agree with that.
Here's my problem:I see the idea of constant spots being available curbside causing garages to lower prices, but I just don't really believe that $5 an hour curbside parking will still make people automatically go to the garages, which charge something like $15 an hour.Garages get away with absurdly high prices in part because they snag short-term customers who are in a rush and can't find anything curbside. But if, say, there were always spots available on Newbury—even at something like $5 an hour—nearby garages would have to lower prices to compete. If that happened, drivers would have even less reason to circle for a spot, ensuring yet more on-street parking and less traffic.
How about taking meters away all together? Having posted two hour parking with vigilant meter-people forces people to stay for a short term, especially since the price of a parking ticket is super high, much higher than if there were meters. This way people can't fill the meters every two hours. Then again, that might just force more people into garages, then raise garage prices, but still keeps the curbside parking as short term parking.
But like Transportation commissioner Tom Tinlin said in the article: "You don't want high parking rates to be an incentive for people not to go into the city." I agree with him. I'm not sure what the answer is here, besides public transportation. But for me, who has to drive to a commuter rail station, it costs $6 each way (times two people), plus $3.50 to park. So, we're already at $27.50. Hmmm....