City transportation officials have reinstated tour bus parking on Commercial Street in front of the Steriti Skating Rink through December 1st. The change was made to accommodate the seasonal crush of tours that arrive in Boston and New England for the Autumn leaf peeking season.

To avoid a ticket, residents should be aware of the change. The area in front of the skating rink has been resident parking since last year as part of a series of new parking zones to create more spaces. Since then, tour bus operators have been vocal about not having anywhere to park along the popular Freedom Trail attractions.

11 COMMENTS

  1. These spaces should be used as loading and unloading zones for all commecial vehicles to help reduce double parking that routinely takes place along Commercial and Atlantic Avenues. Why are tour busses being allowed to idle and park in our neighborhood at all? What happened to all of the bus parking spaces under the Tobin Bridge in Charestown reserved exclusively for tour busses so they wouldn’t be adding to the already congested traffic conditions in the North End? The City needs to stop trying to turn our neighborhood into a parking lot for tourists and hotel visitors.

    • The space under the Tobin has been occupied with construction vehicles working on the bridge. And with the bridge set to undergo more renovations, will be for the next handful of years. City parking is tight, and assuming North End businesses would like to continue to have much of their business driven by tourism (which helps makes the NE the vibrant community it is), then we residents need to accept that buses will be working that end of the NE as is typical of this time of year. If there’s a parking alternative nearby that would be great. But in the end we residents need to understand that there will be times when city living can be annoying……there has to be a balance. If posts here could offer up suggestions, rather than just complaining, then we could take those suggestions to our neighborhood reps. Myself, I can’t think of a viable alternative, and therefore have accepted that buses will be here this autumn.

  2. There are no businesses near those parking spots for a commercial vehicle to find use. Tour buses have been using those spots for at least four decades. Tourism is the third largest industry in Boston. The North End is popular with tourists. Take a walk down the street sometime and take a look at why your businesses are doing well; tourists. They arrive by the bus load. We could direct them to Eately instead if you wish.

    • My only retort to that is…Commercial St in general and its traffic (due to its permanent narrowing, bike lane construction and repaving) is not the same as it has been in the last 4 decades. Driving on Commercial St is a disaster and traffic often backs up from North Washington St. to Battery St during afternoon rush hour. I’ve seen it first hand. This was not case as recently as two years ago.

      Adding additional traffic, vehicles and complexity to an already congested throughway isn’t a great solution. There is ample parking for buses along the Surface Road. That’s where dozens of buses already park and unload their folks.

      • Well said Gary F. My concern is and always has been when driving down Hull Street and taking a left onto Commercial Street, you cannot see the oncoming traffic (coming from the right) because the tour buses that are parked on the side of the parking garage (which I pay $340 a month). There’s bound to be an accident there, if not already.

    • This highlights an interesting disparity between two groups of North End residents.

      Take a walk down the street sometime and take a look at why your businesses are doing well; tourists. […] We could direct them to Eately instead if you wish.

      This would negatively affect the livelihood of some residents, for others it would be a welcome change. I suspect it would have the biggest effect on just a couple rich people in places like Marblehead and Lynnfield. A relatively small percentage of actual North End residents rely on the tourism industry. That doesn’t mean that their voices shouldn’t be heard, but let’s not act like the money spent by tourists actually stays in this neighborhood.

    • You should go to Eately. Tourist are not putting money into North End Residents pockets. We just have the pleasure of the excessive crowds blocking the sidewalks. Also if you had a child in the Eliot School who has to dodge traffic because tour busses are blocking the crosswalk maybe you were think differently.

  3. I hope there’s a big sign telling drivers Mass. has a five-minute engine idling limit. And, more important, that police enforce it. Traffic enforcement officers, the meter and parking ticketing officers, should be given authority to write tickets for excess idling. (As far as I know, they do not ticket for excess idling.) Busses often park for long times on Commercial St., in front of Lincoln and Lewis Wharves, to load and unload passengers. Nice to have tourists in our neighborhood, but not tons of noxious diesel exhaust.

  4. The North End needs more bus parking to accommodate tourist trade. Seniors in particular are not able to walk a huge distance trying to visit local shops, tourist sites and restaurants. The Steriti rink parking was always the place buses could go to park during the day while travelers were out spending money. Lets keep those spots and keep them coming back to our neighborhood.

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