Boston drivers chafe at city’s pricier parking meter rates

Boston, MA   3/6/11   BTD maintenance operations manager Tim Hallahan (cq) conducts a card demo on Devonshire Street.  In a pilot program, the Boston Transportation Department installs 144 single-space parking meters in downtown, on Sunday, March 6, 2011.  Designed by IPS Group, of San Diego, CA, the retrofitted meter tops have the options for credit cards and coins.       (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff);   Reporter:  Travis Andersen;   Section:  Metro;  Slug:  07meters
Parking just got more expensive in certain Boston neighborhoods. –Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

Boston drivers aren’t thrilled with a pilot parking program that increased prices at more than 2,000 meters in the Back Bay and the Seaport District this week.

The city upped the rates Tuesday at 1,650 Back Bay meters and 591 Seaport District meters in an effort to better control city parking. The program will continue through the end of the year. Here’s a look at exactly where the rates are going up.

“I think it’s absolutely insane,” driver Lauren Geshel, who parks in the Seaport District, told the Boston Herald. “I’m someone who relies on it for work, and the fact that they’re pulling in extra money with parking meters instead of looking somewhere else, shows me that someone, somewhere made a mistake.”

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Boston officials, who announced the program last month, said they hope to increase meter turnover and decrease the number of drivers circling an area to find a spot.

“Our goal is to make the travel experience for the people of Boston easier,” Kris Carter, who works for the mayor’s office, told The Boston Globe.

The price of the Back Bay meters has jumped from $1.25 to $3.75. The city is testing flexible metered pricing in the Seaport, which means the cost fluctuates between $1 and $4, depending on the time of day.

“Hopefully it’ll make it easier to get a meter when I need it,” driver Paul Mahoney, of Boston, told the Globe. “It’s really hard to spend 45 minutes looking to stop at a place for 45 minutes.”

Other cities including Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. have already raised meter rates for similar reasons.

 

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