Could the second time be the charm? This week's Board of Aldermen agenda sees another request, this time by Ward 6 Alderwoman Rebekah Gewirtz, to increase the visitor parking pass from 48 hours. For those of you playing at home, you may remember legislative number 192503 from the beginning of 2012 that, originally, began as a similar request (192109) from Ward 7 Alderman Bob Trane. The submission would evolve into a request for a cost analysis of increasing the time from 48 hours to 72 hours.
According to the notes attached to 192503, "Mr. Dias discussed ways that parking in Somerville is more convenient, as opposed to Cambridge and Boston. The Administration likes the idea of increasing the time limit for visitor parking but does not want to hurt the city financially. The city is able to accommodate any visitor for a period of 30 days and will be providing an online permit store to assist in that effort. Alderman Trane requested that a list of the available parking permits be provided to the committee. Mr. Dias stated that he foresees a significant impact to the city if the visitor parking is extended to 72 hours." The item was eventually designated as Work Completed.
Gewirtz is now giving it a shot at tonight's meeting with this submission that will, likely, be added to a future agenda of the Traffic Commission.
Interesting rumor about the 48 hour pass is that it's not timed by the hour, but by the day. According to a source, should a car park at noon on Monday, it will be ticketed by 8am on Wednesday, making the pass two-days and not a literal 48 hours. Should this not be the case, please feel free to comment below.
The Traffic and Parking Department has made considerable improvements since being overseen by Acting Director (and Ward 5 resident) Matt Dias. A better organized office and numbering system, as well as, a significantly improved website that allows the online purchase of some permits has made navigating the Traffic and Parking system easier. Dias has developed a reputation of, creatively, solving parking issues around the City (including Magoun Square) by working closely with business owners, City/Elected Officials and loony advocates like me. His appreciation for technology has led to the implementation of advanced parking meters and kiosks in popular locations like Davis, Union and Magoun Square. These meters have been welcomed by most business owners as they make paying to park simpler for customers.
The Board of Aldermen meets tonight at 7pm in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall. The Traffic Commission meets on the third Thursday of the month and, ironically, has Bob Trane as the Board of Aldermen representative. Former Ward 1 Alderman Bill Roche sat on the Commission at the time Trane made his submission.