Because there will never be a return to yesterday in the North End, there is only the future to pay close attention to while maintaining some of the better aspects of the past. Seeking endless compromise over the set hours of the very few parking spaces on Hanover Street is a hopeless task doomed ultimately to failure.
Hanover Street should be absent of automobiles at this point, but literally no one in government here understands this. Even worse, residents don’t get it at all even after living without reasonable access to a few parking spaces for more than 40 years.
Now city hall is apparently changing the amount of time residents can park their automobiles on Hanover Street. The time limit is being raised.
Some restaurateurs have complained that such a move compromises the restaurateurs ability to conduct their business and for their customers to find a parking place – which is already a near impossibility.
The residents say they should come first. This is their home. They deserve a break.
This, too, is an argument that has credence. After all, residents deserve a place to park on their own street.
But their own street is not large enough to accommodate automobiles owned by all the residents any more than it is able to accommodate the automobiles owned by those coming to eat at one of Hanover Street’s many eateries.
This is the stuff of a Mexican standoff. More importantly, where does this all end?
It ends someday but not right now with Hanover Street absent of automobiles, absent of double parking, absent of hungry meter maids giving out expensive tickets and it will be absent of the plethora of ugly signage – most of which frankly cannot be understood which relates to parking.
The signs are a conundrum of confusion; resident parking, no parking, commercial parking, parking only at certain times, parking at certain times but no parking at certain times and on and on and on. It is utterly confusing and ridiculous at the same time.
Bottom line – there is not enough parking on Hanover Street to make it something shared or even available. Hanover Street is drowning in its own automobile traffic. Getting a space on Hanover Street is a matter of luck akin to what one needs to win at the Roulette table at Foxwoods.
However, no one in a position of responsibility in this neighborhood or at city hall wants to deal with the harsh reality of the parking situation.
This situation is only going to worsen as crowds coming to the North End grow – and they are growing all the time.
This is a situation that is already out of control and in need of a permanent, thoughtful fix.
All the fuss over so few spaces should tell us that the spaces should be eliminated and return Hanover Street to a much lazier time – when pedestrians, residents and even café and restaurant customers could find a space.
Finding a space here now is all about futility – and the futility is getting worse everyday.
Let’s return Hanover Street to the people.
Get rid of the cars. Open up the street – summer, winter, spring and fall.