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Boston limiting new parking as number of residences soars

At Maxwell’s Green, a newly completed development in Somerville that is near the Red Line, developers asked city officials to reduce the number of required parking spaces.
At Maxwell’s Green, a newly completed development in Somerville that is near the Red Line, developers asked city officials to reduce the number of required parking spaces.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

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Spurred by changing transportation preferences, Boston officials are significantly reducing the amount of new parking required with major building projects, especially those located near MBTA stations. The goal is to encourage the use of public transportation and devote more land to construction of public parks, affordable housing, and other amenities. Officials in Cambridge and Somerville — along with many other cities nationwide — are also cutting back on parking construction.

But the policy shift is roiling residents in some of Boston’s densely populated neighborhoods, with critics arguing that officials are allowing high-minded planning principles to obscure the reality that most newcomers still own cars and are creating more competition for precious street spots.

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