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Report: town could benefit by charging Red Sox fans more to park

Posted by Brock Parker  May 12, 2010 11:27 AM

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The Brookline Parking Committee is making a pitch for the town to hike meter rates and extend parking meter hours along Beacon Street where many Red Sox fans park to get to Fenway Park.

The committee presented a report to selectmen Tuesday that said the changes could potentially “extract revenue from people going to Fenway and parking on the streets Brookline maintains.”

Committee Co-Chair Bill Schwartz said he is “100 percent behind” charging more for the spaces on Beacon Street, which he said on game nights are frequently filled from the St. Mary’s T stop to St. Paul Street.

“You’ve got a demand there, and I’d like to see us take advantage of that,” Schwartz said.

Some Brookline businesses have complained that Red Sox fans take all of the parking spot in the area of Beacon Street near the St. Mary’s T stop during home games making it impossible for their regular customers to find a spot.

The parking committee did not recommend how much the town should increase parking rates in the area.

But Selectman Richard Benka suggested he would like the town to consider charging $2 for the first two hours at metered spot on game nights, and then sharply ratcheting up the rates to $10 to $15 for the next two hours at the metered spots.

“We don’t want Red Sox parkers hogging those commercial spaces,” Benka said.

The town’s Transportation Board would have to approve any changes to the meter rates in the area, as well as many of the other recommendations the Parking Committee has made for other business districts around town.

The parking committee’s report also suggested that the town could increase turnover of the parking spots around the St. Mary’s T stop, which is about a half-mile from Fenway Park, by requiring motorists to pay to park until 8 p.m.

Parking meters along Beacon Street in Brookline now charge 75 cents per hour until 6 p.m., when the meters cut off. As a result anyone attending a Red Sox game can park at 4 p.m., pay $1.50 and leave their car in the spot until the end of the game. Parking in a garage around Fenway Park on game nights can cost up to $35.

The committee’s report came after 18 months of studying parking conditions throughout the town. The committee also recommended that meter hours should also be extended to 8 p.m. in other areas where there is a high demand for parking in Brookline.

Among other recommendations, the committee said the town should consider decreasing the amount of parking spaces required for new residential developments.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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