Yesterday, I posted a photo on West Roxbury Patch's Facebook page showing a car illegally parked on Centre Street at the intersection of Manthorne Road.
I parked at the Holy Name Rotary, where there were other open spots. It was about 6 p.m., a busy time on Centre Street. My goal - to find double parkers and illegally parked cars. It took me less than 3 minutes to find this car illegally parked. (The other location I was planning on going to was in front of The Real Deal Deli.)
I snapped a couple of photos of the vehicle driven up on the sidewalk - a clear violation of parking laws. (See attached photos.)
A woman asked me why I was taking photos of the car. I told her I was writing a story about cars being illegally parked on Centre Street. She said it was her mother's car.
Driving safety, whether it be from double parkers, speeders, illegal parkers, has long been an issue in West Roxbury.
Tom Dougherty, co-chair of the District E-5 Police Advisory Board, said the more than a dozen delineators (see attached photo) placed in Centre Street crosswalks 1.5 years ago have helped calm traffic.
"It's helped bring some awareness to Centre Street that cars need to stop. I'm not seeing as many incidents as pedestrians being injured. People are aware of the delineators, and drivers are recognizing crosswalk laws."
The City has replaced destroyed delineators, which happens more during winter, said Dougherty.
Like the Facebook commenters, Dougherty has seen the problem of double parking, "Double parking is an issue. I think Captain (James) Hasson and our traffic people (have done a good job)... I know the Captain addresses it by walking up and down the street."
Hasson has also instructed police personnel to stop double parkers by getting them to move on, or issuing tickets.
West Roxbury's District Councilor Matt O'Malley said better signage is coming to the neighborhood soon. "This fall, in September, we are unveiling a series of ideas for better signage and ways to communicate parking issues... It has a profound impact on businesses and safety."
Some wonder whether more parking is needed on Centre Street.
Said O'Malley, "You can get a spot on Centre street, it may be several blocks away, but you can find a spot. There are areas that are more dense with a crush of vehicles, and we all know where they are."
"It’s striking the balance. We want to have several good businesses next to each other (that draws traffic). We've seen that in Roslindale Village, and sections on Centre Street. There are lots of good businesses, but not space. How do we strike that balance of parking and parking availability, and have businesses in close proximity?" said O'Malley.
He suggested parking and walking a bit, maybe even picking up a bite at one of the many restaurants on Centre Street.
Dougherty echoed O'Malley's opinion, "I think there is ample parking, people need to be able to walk a little bit more. Look at the lot on Railroad Avenue or the Hastings Street lot always has empty spots. People just don’t want to walk... I don’t think you’re seeing a lot of parking issues as a big need for spaces. I think there’s ample parking."
"This isn’t the biggest issues facing the city, but it is a quality of life issue that we should address," said O'Malley.
What do you think? Is there ample parking? Are some people just being lazy? Maybe West Roxbury Patch will start a "Submit an Illegal Parker of the Week Photo"?