Mayor Martin J. Walsh has approved an 18-month pilot program throughout the city leasing parking spaces to private businesses without holding any public hearing or community meetings, setting off sparks in the North End where there is simply not enough parking for residents.
It is estimated that there are 1,500 residential parking spaces in the North End and that over 3,000 parking stickers have been issued, leaving many residents scampering for a spot every day.
Many residents are parking in school yards and public playgrounds due to the shortage of parking in the neighborhood.
Enterprise and ZipCar have secured four spaces, two spaces on Cross Street and two on Commercial Street.
Residents were so upset about the Mayor’s bold move without any real communications with the neighborhood, they were still talking about it during the Madonna Della Cava Halloween Parade this past Saturday.
Many residents told the Review, “What happened to the public process and how did Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca and the Mayor get away with this?”
Others noted, “Don’t they know parking in the North End is totally ridiculous for residents, so how can they take four of them for commercial use?”
Walsh’s office apparently admitted there were no public hearings but indicated it, “Announced the program in August and posted a map online of the spaces.”
North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) President Philip Frattaroli and Vice President Ryan Kenny confirmed there were no meetings held in the North End.
Frattaroli noted, “It was kind of a surprise to see that they did this in the middle of the night,” according to the Herald.
“The City is profiting from city-owned land and is taking spots from neighbors who already are getting home and driving for an hour looking for a place to park,” Kennedy told the Herald.
Numerous residents told the Review they plan to fight this move. “We’ll take it directly to the Mayor and our local elected officials and we won’t stop until we get our spaces back.”