Members of the Chester Square Area Neighborhood Association (CSANA) are taking on the large issue of parking in their neighborhood with the goal to find solutions small and then bring it to the wider South End neighborhood and then to Boston.
After issuing a parking survey amongst residents, CSANA asked residents what their experience was both commuting in the South End and trying to find curb space, whether it is for a private vehicle, shared car or bicycle.
“We wanted to see if we agree on whether or not there is a problem, and if there is, what are we going to do about,” said Carol Blair, president of CSANA.
The online survey received 37 responses. It showed that 100 percent of the respondents walk around the neighborhood and then use up to four or five other modes of transportation to supplement it including biking, subway/bus, and cars.
The survey shows that the majority of people need to find parking on the street and sometimes can find it challenging.
All of the respondents said it was almost impossible to find parking if a guest, without a resident parking sticker, was coming to visit them in the neighborhood.
“How do we share curb space in the neighborhood?” asked Blair.
Overall topics included non-efficient curbside use, equity, snow removal difficulties, and drop off/ pick up zones for shared cars or delivery trucks.
Sarah Mitchell, treasurer of CSANA, responded, “How do we utilize the space there is more efficiently?” And also, another member asked, “How do we make it more equitable so that everyone in the neighborhood can share it?”
Ideas included having designated drop off spaces for shared cars such as ZipCar, Lyft and Uber that don’t have the resident parking stickers. This would also help stem the problem of double-parking, which causes traffic jams and other related safety problems.
Residents said even with a parking sticker it got really hard to find a spot after 8p.m. at night, saying they might have to go up to 10 blocks away to find a spot.
The designated drop spots they thought would be good to have from 8 a.m. to 8p.m. but then return to it resident parking at night.
Another idea was to have painted lines to show where one can and cannot park along the curb.
Another floating idea that Councilor Michelle Wu has brought up with the Boston City Council was to start putting a small price on resident parking stickers and/or limit the amount a household can receive. The additional money would go towards road improvements in the city.
If you missed out on responding to this survey, CSANA will be conducting another online survey to get more responses to make sure their findings are accurate or inadequate.