North End resident, Mary O., was caught in the parade parking restrictions on Patriot’s Day and has some suggestions for the signage and car towing process during special events.

With the parade, Hanover Street had “No parking Monday” posted.  Typically, when there have been special events during the day, and signs don’t list a time, a car would be safe provided it was moved early. Well, apparently, no more.

After arriving home Easter Sunday to a neighborhood packed with runners, folks left over from the Bruins game and valets boxing out spots, I managed to squeeze in to a spot on Hanover.  Well, Monday morning at. 6am when we went to move the car, it was already towed and Hanover cleared. I am sure many more residents were also towed.

Yeah yeah yeah- the signs say all day. I won’t make that mistake again, but going forward, residents should demand shorter restriction hours.

Consider, the time of the actual special events scheduled (10am on Monday), and their frequency in the neighborhood. It is unreasonable for the city to restrict parking as of 12:01 am for events that are many many hours later.  The street sweepers didn’t arrive until well after 7, so no, it wasn’t necessary to clear the streets so early. And when the parade is done, some signs are left littering lampposts. Can we still not park then?

Consider also, that for feasts, signs generally don’t have times on them, so when the sign says no parking Thursday to Sunday, for residents, that really also means Wednesday overnight, despite prep not beginning til mid to late morning Thursdays.

The city didn’t tow right at midnight.  Parking officials/ police were considerate of diners and waited til the restaurants closed and valets gave customers their cars back.  I think residents should have been given the same consideration instead of a $94 tow and $75 ticket.

I was very annoyed, at the city and myself (and that my car seat was in the towed car). I think my main issue is this – with a shortened time restrictions for these events, and better info, everyone would be better off.  The police don’t really want to ticket, and residents don’t want to get towed. If the rule were 5am, fine.  We just need to know, and the signs should post that.

NorthEndWaterfront.com welcomes commentaries on community issues via email to info@northendwaterfront.com. Opinions are those solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NorthEndWaterfront.com or other writers on this site. Responses to this commentary can be posted below in the comment section.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Mary you do realize that unfortunately in today’s society you can’t just close the street at 11:59 for a 12:00 event right. The police have to ensure that the route is safe well before the event starts. This hole article is just sour grapes because you got towed.

  2. In a neighborhood which is so besieged with visitors the residents should receive some accommodation. Unfortunately the opposite is usually true. It is typical that the towing began after the valet spaces were cleared but before the residents had a chance to move their cars. As the article pointed out, we have more than our fair share of special events and less than our fair share of parking spaces. When a special event is scheduled, why not let us park overnight and give us a specific time when we have to move our cars? It would not be so hard for the City and it would make things a little easier for the residents.

  3. I have to agree with Mary on this. Why can they not list times? They can tow one minute after the no parking time. I agree that the festive signs should provide times as well but to leave it so open is ridiculous. Put them on the signs I black marker if they can’t have them printed.

  4. I was towed as well. I set my alarm to get up and move my car at 6:30AM as in previous years on Patriots Day, they did not start towing until 8AM or so When I spoke to the gentleman who collected my $ at BTD on Frontage Rd when I went to get my car (Mary got off easy, I had to pay for a cab as well) regarding how early people were towed, I was told that “everything changed 3 months ago”. I’m assuming he meant it changed w/ the new administration. I will not make the same mistake again.

  5. why can’t we park overnight at the new eliot school on commercial street like we can at the old eliot school on charter street? also, maybe it is time to make the lot along cross street accessible to all north end residents. between valet spaces, feast taking up spaces the entire summer, and fraudulent handicap spaces and the orange cones that protect them, average north end residents do not get a fair deal.

  6. Sometimes I drive around and see half a dozen cars with out of state license plates on them.

    Also, I regularly collect and dispose of orange cones in the street.

  7. Mary,

    I share in your frustrations. I encourage you, along with any other residents who were towed on Monday, to contact the Boston Transportation Department at 617-635-4680 and complain about the unclear signage.

    I will reach out to the new Commissioner of the BTD to see if more clear signage (which include hours) can be posted on the days of special events.

    Ryan Kenny
    NEWNC Resident Parking/Traffic Committee Chair

  8. The City of Boston website has a no tow list that when you you sign up they will send an e mail to you the night before street cleaning or special event towing.

  9. My biggest frustration is seeing non-resident cars parked in front of my building and I get a $40 ticket for double parking in front of my home for a couple of minutes to bring in groceries etc. Not to mention the delivery trucks or cabs that are double parked right next to me and no tickets!!! This is my home and I should be able to drop something off in my “front yard” for a reasonable few minutes.

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