The City of Boston announced this week that a new street cleaning program will be piloted in Charlestown. Starting the week of July 1, tickets issued for parking in violation of the street cleaning regulation in Charlestown will increase from $40 to $90. Throughout the time period that the pilot program is in effect, towing for street cleaning will be discontinued in Charlestown only. The pilot program is being implemented to determine if a change in the city’s parking enforcement strategy will lead to increased compliance of the street cleaning regulations by motor vehicle owners and ease motorist concerns about the inconvenience of towing to distant tow lots.
In partnership with local residents and businesses citywide, the City of Boston is committed to ensuring that local streets are thoroughly cleaned each week. Twenty additional “hokeys” are being hired this summer increasing the citywide total to 40. Boston’s Public Works Department employs hokeys to assist with street cleaning efforts and to reinforce the work accomplished by the larger street sweeping equipment. Unfortunately, the efficiency of all street cleaning techniques is impeded when vehicles block access to the curb. As a result, although voluntary compliance is preferred, parking enforcement strategies must be available to employ as necessary in order to get the job done.
Currently, due to the high volume of vehicles that are regularly parked in violation of Boston’s street cleaning regulations, only one in four vehicles that are eligible to be towed are towed. Since ticketing a vehicle is quicker and less labor intensive than towing, however, these illegally parked vehicles are receiving parking tickets for violating the street cleaning regulations It is expected that increasing the fine from $40 to $90 will deter a larger number of drivers from parking in violation of the street cleaning regulations than the threat of towing has done, simply because the likelihood of a vehicle being ticketed is much higher than the threat of it being towed. The fine increase will also allow the City to raise additional revenue. Currently, when a vehicle is towed, only the money from the ticket goes to the City. All other fees go directly to the tow company.
Charlestown drivers are urged to carefully read the posted street cleaning regulations when parking their vehicles. The pilot program will run from July 1 – November 30, 2015. Residents of Charlestown are strongly encouraged to call the Mayor’s 24 Hotline at 617-635-4500 or use the Citizen’s Connect smartphone app to report any streets that remain dirty after street cleaning. This citizen engagement will allow the City to assess the effectiveness of the program. Residents can also log onto www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/sweeping/ to learn more about Charlestown’s street cleaning schedule and to sign up for “No Tow” alerts to inform you when the street cleaning regulations are in effect on your neighborhood streets.