On Saturday, November 15, the Boston Transportation Department announced that major parking changes will soon be made in the city’s Innovation District. Effective Monday, November 17, the amount of time people park their cars at metered spaces will be changed in order to make parking more efficient in the heavily trafficked neighborhood.
The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, which is currently tinkering with the idea of a pay-by-voice parking meter payment platform, collected parking data specific to the Innovation District to determine best practices for alleviating the pain that often accompanies parking.
Sensors embedded in the pavement on Seaport Boulevard, Congress Street, Summer Street and Boston Wharf Road indicated that adjusting the maximum allotted time one can park at blocks #350 through #425 of Summer Street to four hours per meter payment, and block #250 of Summer Street as well as #300 of Congress Street to two hours, will help drivers achieve parking nirvana.
“This is just one example where we are using technology as a tool to help the city manage a public resource more efficiently,” said Mayor Marty Walsh in a statement. “One of the benefits of the smart parking system in the Innovation District is, not only can the city make planning decisions with the data, but we can provide real-time on-street parking availability information to drivers through an app.”
The adjustment is meant to spur a higher turnover rate of parking. After all, not every street parking space is utilized equally. Some areas have a higher volume of cars and parking, while others not so much. Tweaking the hours will not only help promote parking availability, but alleviate the traffic that comes with circling the block scouring for a spot.
“The Innovation District parking modifications will have the added benefit of reducing the number of drivers circling the block looking for parking spaces,” added BTD Commissioner James Gillooly. “thereby decreasing traffic congestion and lessening motor vehicle impacts on air quality.”
Drivers can see parking space availability in real-time using the Parker app, free to download on both iOS and Android devices, but engage it safely. Using a mobile device while driving can be dangerous.