By Dan Murphy
In an effort to curb frequent problems with commercial vehicles double-parking and blocking vehicle and bicycle traffic, the Boston Transportation Department is s engaging in a two-week pilot for commercial parking on Cambridge Street between Charles Circle and Sudbury Street.
The program, which runs from Aug. 1 to 14, standardizes the time limits within seven commercial vehicle loading zones with a total 20 parking spots from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To achieve this goal, the Transportation Department has increased the commercial loading zone hours in three zones covering 10 parking spots and decreased the hours in one zone covering two parking spots. For the duration of the program, Transportation Department parking-enforcement officers are increasing enforcement of commercial vehicles double-parking, non-commercial vehicles parked in commercial loading zones and commercial vehicles staying in zones longer than 30 minutes.
To evaluate the program, the Transportation Department is tracking the number of commercial vehicles double parked on Cambridge Street and number of tickets given to commercial and non-commercial vehicles for double parking on Cambridge Street, as well as the community response through the [email protected] e-mail address and 311 calls.
“The Boston Transportation Department is happy to be working with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics on this pilot program designed to curb double parking on Cambridge Street,” said BTD Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca. “Reducing double parking will improve safety for all users of the roadway and allow for progressive movement along this busy street. At the same time, local businesses will continue to receive deliveries, and access to parking will remain for residents and visitors. We will be reviewing the effect of these changes over the next two weeks and will make adjustments as necessary.”
Ben Starr, chair of the Beacon Hill Civic Association Zoning and Licensing Committee, applauds the city for launching the program.
“The Beacon Hill community is happy to participate in any type of forward-looking policy test on behalf of the city,” Starr said. “This program matches a lot of what we were trying to do with systematizing Charles Street parking. We’re trying to avoid spaces that sit empty for long periods of time, and what we’d like to see come out of this is getting the most use out of this valuable public property.”