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What Can Be Done About Centre Street Parking Issues?

Double parking, speeding, people parking illegally in places that are not spots - what can be done about it?

 

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 .)

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.

, co-chair of the 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"? 

Stephen Smith August 09, 2012 at 12:36 PM
I do agree that there is plenty of parking but people want to try to find that spot right in front of the store they are going to instead of a short walk which leads to the double or illegal parking like the one pictured (on a curb & blocking a crosswalk). Some pedestrians are sometimes just as bad as we have lights & crosswalks on Centre Street but routinely people cross the streets without using the crosswalk or waiting for the light..
Elizabeth A. Doris-Gustin August 09, 2012 at 01:26 PM
One of the best adventures in life is driving Centre St! Double parked cars, pedestrians leaping into traffic, stop signs only as suggestions, passing on the right- as a right! Others have to travel to amusement parks and pay to go on rides that we encounter every day for free on Centre St. Is there a way to stop this wild behavior? No, not at all, others have tried and we-the drivers of Centre St - refuse to be changed.
Gary Chase August 09, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Here's the answer to whether there is enough parking: Have you ever planned to go to a particular store or restaurant and had to abandon that plan because you could not find a parking spot? Sure I've sometimes had to drive around the block or walk 4 minutes, but there has never been a time where I couldn't park and had to go somewhere else. As Steve noted above, people think there is a parking problem if they can't park right in front of the place they are going to.
David Ertischek (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Gary - I think you hit the nail on the head. I have never had a problem finding a spot. It depends upon how far I'm willing to walk from where I parked. And it's never too far. Only major events like the Corrib Road Race is when I have to park far away.
Robert Orthman August 09, 2012 at 03:09 PM
There is more than enough parking - some people just do not want to walk even a block. I can understand of course if you have a disability or difficulty walking, but otherwise you do not have much of an excuse. Kudos to the police on enforcing this and keep it up. And thank you to TD and Matt for focusing on it.
Rickie Harvey August 09, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I agree that there is ample parking. But for anyone who disagrees, the solution is easy: walk, walk, and walk some more. You will feel better for it. And don't forget to take your reusable bag(s) with you!
Michael A. McKinnon August 09, 2012 at 05:13 PM
You expect that when you park downtown and don't feed the meter you will get a ticket. I believe that people on Centre Street don't fear the man. I wonder if any cruisers drove by the illegally parked car in the phtograh without issuing a citation - an illgal parking job within sight of the police station? Has a jaywalking citation ever been written for someone crossing in the middle of the block, through live traffic? It's not just rude and lazy, its dangerous to double park. I'm sure we have all seen circumstances where a vehicle travelling on Centre Street suddenly swerved into the other lane to avoid a half double parked car. (I feel like I am embracing my new status of grumpy old man.) But I'm sure more signange will remedy the problem. Mike McKinnon
Brad Kinne August 16, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I live off Centre street and own a Store on Centre street. During rush hour traffic, specifically 4-7 the street appears to be one lane each way due to the overwhelming amount of people double parking to pick up take out food mainly, but probably other supposed "quick" errands. This is a hazard on a good day and in the winter it's terrible especially with buses having to navigate the street. Some store owners have no problem parking their business or personal vehicles on the street and in front of other people's businesses, as most of them don't have assigned spots. This keeps customers of all businesses from finding a spot. Many people are resistant to walking a block or so. On one section of Centre there is a public parking lot and perhaps more needs to be done about getting another designated area for that. Other businesses that have parking lots should be more accommodating off hours rather than have tow trucks practically standing by to remove vehicles, who at least are not double parked to pick up their dinner. The Community might be able to work together if people thought of someone other than their selves.
Victor DiModica August 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Washington St from the Dedham line to the West Roxbury Parkway every morning from 6am on is a drag strip. the posted speed limit is 40 and they are doing 50-60mph. the lights at Desoto rd.Rockingham Ave and West Boundary Rd. are constantly being run.tractor trailers, construction trucks and delivery trucks are using the West Roxbury Parkway every morning. I have seen the Boston Police on the same road at the same time and they do nothing. Is it because it is supposed to be patrolled by the State Police ?. Try driving down Edgemere rd any morning. The street from Washington St to the Apartments at the end is jammed back starting at 6am with the contractors working on the two projects the neighbor's did not want. They are parked from 6am to 3pm every day. Some much for resident parking.
James DeGraaf September 25, 2012 at 01:59 AM
There never seems to be enough handicap parking on Centre St also. I only know of 3 spots, and they are in front of E-5, the West Roxbury library and in front of the medical offices,right across from the new bank going in. So what does the handicapped individual supposed to do; drive around in circles until a a spot opens up. You tell me.

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