New Parking Zones on Hanover St., Eliot School Lot and Commercial St. to Increase North End Resident Parking

Hanover Street in Boston’s North End (Photo by Matt Conti)

After losing many resident parking spaces to construction, cycle track and sewer work, the North End is gaining back some core spots around the neighborhood as the Boston Transportation Department rolls out new parking zones in early 2017.

Hanover Street

On Hanover Street, from Prince to Cross Street, approximately 20 new resident permit parking spaces will be created by replacing 1 and 2 hour parking as well as combining multiple valet and commercial loading parking zones.

  • Instead of each restaurant/cafe having their own valet parking, the new zones will be marked for shared uses. From 8am to 12pm, the zones will be marked for commercial loading and valet thereafter. On the east side of street (Mikes Pastry side), a new valet / loading zone will be created between Wesley Place to Parmenter Street, centered in front of Saraceno’s and the former Caffe Pompei (now Il Panino). A similar valet/loading zone will be created in the center of the first block of Hanover Street, between Parmenter and Cross Streets.
  • Outside of the valet zones, approximately 20 new nighttime resident permit parking spaces will be created and marked as such for 6pm to 8am. These new nighttime resident spaces will replace those marked for general 1 and 2 hour parking.
  • A side result of this change will be to discourage the motorcycle groups from extended standing / parking on Hanover Street.
  • BTD is also looking to simplify signage as part of these changes.
  • These changes are expected to go into effect in early January 2017.

Commercial Street

On Commercial Street, tour bus parking will be converted to 24-hour resident permit parking. This will be primarily in front of the Steriti skating rink. Tour buses will no longer be allowed to park on Commercial Street. Drop-offs will be permitted, but no idling/waiting. Busses will have to move to dedicated lots in Charlestown.

Eliot School, 585 Commercial Street, Parking Lot

BTD, Boston Public Schools and State’s DCR (Skating Rink) are also planning to make the Eliot School parking lot at 585 Commercial Street available for resident permit parking from 6pm to 8am. As many as 30 parking spaces could be dedicated to nighttime resident parking. No specific date has been set for this change.

BTD intends to aggressively enforce the new parking zones through ticketing (and towing as necessary). Sunday will still be on the honor system because the City of Boston does not enforce parking rules on Sundays.

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29 Replies to “New Parking Zones on Hanover St., Eliot School Lot and Commercial St. to Increase North End Resident Parking

  1. I understand residents need parking, but what about our family who come to see us and have no way to park. The garages cost so much, especially when there is an event at the Garden..

    1. Seriously? We drive around sometimes for over 30 minutes looking for parking for ourselves, and you want to give spots to your family member who come to see you? Take the train.

      1. I agree Joe. I’ve driven round 2+ hours on many nights looking for a space and couldn’t even pay to park because the lots were filled!

  2. Forget about the day job, Matt, you’re a photographer. This is a fabulous picture of Hanover Street. Everything is perfect, the framing, composition, lighting and activity are all there. Bravo.
    Like all great pictures it tells a story. Who would ever want to live in a sterile, leafy suburb when they could live in the North End?

    1. Thanks Nick! Right after a little snow/rain dusting gives a nice “gloss” to the streets. I agree with you about the appeal of the urban landscape.

  3. Residents should get priority over visitors, residents have to pay to park when no spaces are available it’s nice to see priority being placed on the people who actually live here

  4. Great progress! My thanks to those who led the efforts on behalf of the residents. One more thought, residents could also pick up spaces if the MBTA allowed us to park in #4 bus stops during off hours. That may be another 15 spaces.

  5. This is great news for residents who are constantly struggling to find spots after returning back to the neighborhood from work, day care pick-up, grocery shopping, etc. I’m also glad to see that tour busses will no longer be allowed to park on the now narrowed Commercial Street.

    1. I agree Ryan – Commercial St is awful. Cars continue to double park in the single lane forcing cars to go into oncoming traffic. Won’t be long before there is an accident. There is zero enforcement by the city and this is only going to get worse during the winter months.

  6. I’ve seen accidents happen when residents have tried to beat each other to a space. Thanks to all who pushed this. I’ve complained to the city for years and finally gave up. Again, thanks for the extra effort, know that it is appreciated!

    1. I always thought the City should double (or triple) the citation amount when there are Garden events. Too often, folks take chance on getting a ticket versus paying for parking (not much of a diffrential).

      1. I just said that. You are 100% right but jt should be a 365 day raise not just when there are events at the garden

  7. How about raising the fine for non resident spots from $40 to $100+?
    I hear way too many people say it’s cheaper to get a ticket (maybe) than a lot.

  8. Here’s a thought. You live in the city… Don’t have a car ! Work out deals with Zipcar and Uber or Lyft.

    Stop crying about parking and move out to the burbs if you want to drive everyday. They should ban all permanent parking and make it all visitor parking.

    1. So families should all move to the burbs to cater to people like yourself? How very elitist of you.

      Oh wait, you must be a bike person. Wait till you have a child someday, God forbid, then you’ll know.

      1. @Joe, while I get the point you are making, we’ve actually raised 3 generations in the ‘hood without owning a car. Having a child doesn’t mean you NEED to have a car in the city, but in some instances, it sure does make things easier.

  9. Good to know that the City will make an effort at simplifying the parking signs.. There are 4 signs on the pole outside. By the time one has worked through them, they’ve got a ticket. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration!

  10. It’s interesting how people on this forum make these black or white proclamations and extend their personal situations to everyone in the neighborhood…..The world is grey. Some people need a car for their daily work/home needs. I think that we should be encouraging people to understand and analyze whether or not they really *need* a car. Understand the economics of owning one in the city against the cost of the above mentioned options like zipcar, enterprisecarshare, uber, lyft. Let’s encourage and help people make the smart choice. I personally did this a few years ago and have never looked back, but I completely understand that some people simply need a car for daily use and the economics of that works for them, for now anyway.

    1. I’ll bet you didn’t factor in insurance into your equasion. These car share companies are going by the wayside as they will rent a car to anyone without requiring proof of insurace. If you buy insurance from them per diem, it bloats the cost, sometimes beyond the price of the rental itself. Credit card insurance policies are minimal and do not provide liability coverage. The issue is, too many times there is no insurance if there is an accident. You are accountable for the car and, at least around here, you can count on a liability claim from the other driver. If no insurance, figure in court costs too.

      Have you tried to get non-owner’s insurance in Massachusetts? I was only able to find one insurer in the State of Massachusetts. I think the gray part is that you have not figured in everything. If you figure in everything, its a wash if you use the car very infrequently. If you need a car at least once a week, you loose.

      1. T’MOBILE: Zipcar rate includes insurance with a $500 deductible($75 a year gets you no deductible) and it also includes gas. I had no trouble getting private non-owner insurance. I agree if you need a car daily it is not for you, but once a week it is definitly a cost saver. Also when you hear that weird sound or one of those repair lights goes on all you have to do is report it. No worrying how long it will take the mechanic and how big the bill will be.

    2. Mark, great post! I have owned a car in the North End for years and was one of those guys that circled for hours looking for a spot (No zip car, lyft, uber in those days) However, I do need my car for work and family but my solution was to rent a (costly) space (I am fortunate enough to be able to afford this). Parking has always and will always be an issue in ANY part of the City. It is unavoidable if you own a car. But it is ridiculous to tell people to move to the Burbs if you don’t like the parking situation (not your post but from another person). There are pros/cons to both!

  11. I will withhold the positive/negative effects of this change until we see how the added valet spaces impact Hanover St. traffic during its busiest times.

  12. How about equal and targeted enforcement of commercial vehicles during the day as for residents?

    A truck can sit double parked (and ideling (a 5k fine that I have never seen enforced)) for an hour and enforcement walks right by and next thing you know it’s grid lock and a fire truck is blaring on it’s horn because it is 3 blocks away from cross st and can’t get there.

    8:02 or 12:02, tickets are already on RESIDENTS cars for street cleaning.

    Which is really a bigger issue and why does it take a trgidy for things like this to be addressed.

    1. As a Boston tour guide for many years I have endured more and more bus parking areas taken away from us. I understand that a residential neighborhood does not want tour buses continually driving through their streets during the nice weather and that finding resident parking is difficult. But the North End has historic sites on the Freedom Trail and visitors will always be coming there.

      Sending buses over to Charlestown parking lots is preposterous while a tour group visits these sites. The buses will never get back, stuck in traffic before they even reach the bridge back to Commercial St. In effect we will need to tell the drivers to circle the city and then come back after we call them to pick us up. This will impact the traffic congestion on Congress St., Atlantic Ave., Surface Rd., etc. When the Greenway was created they forgot to include a good looking enclosure for bus parking.

      1. This post shows EXACTLY what is wrong with the attitude of private business owners/ employees that live in the burbs, city drpartments i, etc … “Eff north end residents and their quality of life as long as we get to make our buck and it doesn’t inconvenience us who aren’t north end residents”

        And tour guides… The individuals who can’t be bothered/ work to control the tour that they are in charge to remind people that it is mostly a residential neighborhood and to be considerate of residents and not COMPLELTY BLOCK THE SIDEWALKS. THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF HAVING NORTH END TESIDENTS TAKE THEIR CARS AND COMPLETELY BLOCK YOUR SUBURBAN STREER WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO GET SOME PLACE.

        Honestly, the city should make large tour groups register and charge $1 a head and when a large tour is traveling together, make the tour guide responsible for their group.

        Once you fix the problems that these groups cause (including treating the sidewalks like trash cans), then we can talk about YOUR problems.

        As residents we have to endure the same traffic that you complain about which is again caused by NONRESIDENTS, so no sympathy there.

  13. I’m not sure I understand the logic of why Valet spaces exist at all at the expense of ANY resident spaces….I’m not being sarcastic. I’d really like to understand. Why not make these highly-profitable restaurants rent/buy space at local lots/garages like many residents are forced to?

  14. I’m not shy about my disgust for the way parking is handled in the north end, but the valet spots are SUPPOSED to be for out of towners to pull up to and then the valet’s run the cars to local paid lots.

    For the most part this is what I’ve seen and the changes SHOULD make parking for residents easier, HOWEVER there are valet companies (typically not city valet and one in particular who uses resident spots in north square) that use resident spots illegally.

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