Some 35 Charlestown residents showed up on Monday night, May 6, for a community meeting to explore changing the resident parking program in the neighborhood.
Erin Woods and Shannon Fabiano-McLaughlin have been leading the beginnings of an effort to make a major change to the Resident Only 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday parking areas. Both have said the winter months brought many to a tipping point who could not find parking anywhere near their homes and suffered long walks, endless circling of the block and may tickets. All that just to get a place to park near their home.
Specifically, they would like to change many of the ‘Resident Only’ 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday parking areas – changing them over instead to ‘Resident Only’ between the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. seven days a week. They would seek to exclude from the change main arteries like Bunker Hill Street, Main Street and Medford Street.
“We had a lot of positive feedback,” said Woods this week. “It was a diverse group, with varying ideas for the different sections of the neighborhood. Some people want 24 hour resident only parking, while others prefer overnight resident only, while still others preferred two-hour parking except residents.”
Another concern was visitor parking and how any new plan would accommodate folks looking to visit Charlestown residents. There was additionally concerns about resources for overnight violations.
A new concern brought up in support of the change was the public safety factor, with some women saying they didn’t feel safe having to park so far away from home during the nighttime hours.
Woods said they will now meet with the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), and then try to put together a formal petition that includes a majority of the neighborhood concerns. That effort will come in another public meeting as yet to be set.
Once a petition has been finalized, they will hit the streets to begin gathering signatures. The petition will need to represent the signatures of at least 51 percent of the residents of the neighborhood.
Woods added that at least 30 people e-mailed or signed on to the Facebook page in support of the change, noting that they could not attend the meeting, but were interested in the issue.
“I really want to thank the residents who attended the meeting for coming and sharing their views and being so cordial,” she said.