South End Forum Approves Parking Task Force Recommendations with Fee for Permits

By Seth Daniel

After many months of discussion and one revamp, the South End Forum approved recommendations drafted by its Parking Task Force at its meeting on Jan. 3 – recommendations that include banning space savers, charging a fee for parking permits and year-round street sweeping.

Moderator Steve Fox took the temperature of the group at the Jan. 3 meeting to see how the various neighborhood associations had reacted to a survey of its members about the proposed recommendations – which wouldn’t be enacted but would be forwarded to the City to guide it in making policy decisions for the South End in the future.

“This is just one step,” he said. “We’re not working on implementing a new parking program for the South End. These are just policy recommendations.”

Most of those who spoke said their associations had been lukewarm to the recommendations, and said they found it hard to get full approval of all the measures.

Carol Blair, president of the Chester Square Area Neighborhood Association (CSANA), said her group had quite a few reservations about some of the stipulations.

Meanwhile, Eric Huang, president of Blackstone Franklin Square Neighborhood Association, said his group supported the recommendations, but not all of them – including year-round street sweeping and the permit fee.

George Stergios, president of the Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association (WSANA), said his group was a little lukewarm to the recommendations, saying they had felt the City shouldn’t charge for the first resident parking permit, but maybe a second or third.

The Task Force worked many months to come up with the recommendations, which became public in the spring of 2016. A public meeting in May brought out quite a few residents, many who were adamantly opposed to the fee for a residential parking permit.

Despite that overwhelming opposition, Fox reported members of the Task Force had a strong believe that a permit fee was a good policy recommendation and continued to include it.

The full recommendations appear on the Facebook page of the South End Forum, and include about three-pages worth of suggestions. One of the more well-supported recommendation was to have a public hearing for a street change that included the entire neighborhood or neighborhood association, rather than going by the street-by-street petition process.

The recommendations now have been forwarded to the City under cover of the South End Forum and represent strong suggestions for potential policy changes in the South End as it relates to parking.


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