Boston – Parking Alerts for Boston and Cambridge

Posted by John on April 10, 2009
Boston, Cambridge, General / 1,816 Comments

We would like to announce Caffeinated Mind’s new web product: StreetParker ( a parking meter and street sweeper alert management system that lets you track where you’re parked, when the street sweeper is coming, and most importantly, allows you to set up custom alerts for when it’s time to move your car.

I have personally put a lot of effort into getting Street Parker off the ground and up to date so that it can be an accurate, useful, and effective tool for Boston and Cambridge residents alike, and hope that the inclusion of my efforts here doesn’t feel too much like a shameless plug.

The Beta version is online as of today, and it supports Boston and Cambridge exclusively for pre-stored street sweeping information (although it can be used anywhere for meter-minding and timed parking alerts) so please go check it out at and let us know what you think in the comments section! We’re still cleaning up some of our data, so if your street isn’t supported when it should be, or your street’s sweeping times look off, let us know about that too!

It’s rough out there from April through November, we hope this will help.

Let us know what you think!

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How NOT to get a Parking Ticket

Posted by John on February 16, 2009
Boston, Cambridge, General / 1,994 Comments
When your car has been converted into a toll booth...

When your car has been converted into a toll booth...

So it happened: you got a parking ticket. There are stages for this… first comes confusion. “Is that something on my windshield? Did someone spill neon-orange paint…” Next, realization “oh god wait it’s a, no… not a ticket!!!” Then, anger, “What the _ is wrong with this spot?? No one else has a ticket! I’m going to–” and eventually we all take the ticket off our windows, throw it in the seat next to us in a fit of anger and despair, and drive away while the paper mocks us from the passenger seat until finally, at a stoplight, we open it again to take a closer look and read the full citation, only to enter the final stage, disbelief “expired registration? Come ON!  By ONE DAY!!!”

So how can you get out of it? We’ve come up with a few solutions that seem effective in Boston for avoiding or escaping the scarlet letter of the automotive world that is the parking ticket: Continue reading…

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Free Meter Parking on Saturdays

Posted by John on November 30, 2008
Boston / 537 Comments

 The city of Boston has announced the continuation of its annual practice of removing parking meter fees during Saturdays between November 29th and December 27th.  Although all meters will be free, a two hour limit will be enforced, so don’t try for anything long-term.  There is also no indication of whether or not the city will be providing any visual indication of the new policy at the meters, but I’d guess this will be a relatively unadvertised adjustment in enforcement only.

Regardless, kudos to the city for giving us a break from digging quarters out of our pockets while we’re trying to max-out our credit cards on shiny stuff for the holidays.

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Winter Wonderland – 10 Tips for Surviving the Months to Come

Posted by John on November 18, 2008
Boston, Cambridge / 2,064 Comments


OK, so maybe not quite this bad

OK, so maybe not quite this bad

They say Spring comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. Well winter in Boston comes in like a sheet of ice scraped from God’s windshield and doesn’t leave until the black and brown remains of the last storm are scraped from the streets and melted on the sidewalks. We’re approaching, at dangerous speeds, that time of the year when those of us who keep our vehicles exposed on the streets and at the mercy of a vengeful mother nature dig feverishly through their toolchests to find something that might break 3 inches of ice accumulated over the windshield wipers, clear the foot of snow burying the exterior, and give traction to the rear wheels so they can pull out from the tire-shaped ice-sculpture trapping them in place.

Yes, it’s an exciting time to be a car-owning Bostonian. We wait in quiet expectation for Jack Frost to come for our cruisers with all the elements of a west-coast governer’s portrayal of Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin.

Luckily for us all, Park and Pray has some suggestions on surviving the weather to come: Continue reading…

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Turnpike Toll Increases Approved – Cabs may reach near-$14 sit-down fee at Logan

Posted by John on November 16, 2008
Boston, Commuting / 2,294 Comments
A taxi ride into the city will now have a $13.85 sit-down fee

A taxi ride into the city may soon have a $13.85 sit-down fee

As if the bad news with the increase in parking costs at T stations wasn’t enough, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority has approved ludicrous toll increases across the board at booths surrounding Boston.

Let’s be ruthlessly mathematical about all this: Tolls are doubling at the Ted Williams Tunnel from $3.50 to $7.00, and to $9.00 for taxis.  Along with the $2.60 sit-down fee, and $2.25 airport fee, we’re looking at $13.85 just to get out of the airport.  At about 3 miles to downtown Boston, that comes to around $22.25.  With gas prices dropping, it’s quickly becoming economical to drive through east boston (the long way) just to dodge the toll.  Also, did we mention $22.25 to go 3 miles?

That’s just Logan.  I-90 tolls are also increasing Continue reading…

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Menino Unveils Holiday Parking Deals

Posted by John on November 16, 2008
Boston / 269 Comments


Menino Announces his Holiday Specials

Menino Announces his Holiday Specials

On Friday, Mayor Menino announced the 2008 “Mayor’s Holiday Special”, which claims to include a number of holiday parking discounts in the Boston area.  Among these are discounts at the Prudential Center Garage, the Faneuil Hall Market Place Garage at 75 State St, and at Copley Place.  The site also references street parking as being “FREE on many weekends”, but then goes on to only cite Sundays as exempted street parking days (as they always have been).  Most of these offers appear to be limited to 3 hours or less, but if you’re coming into the city to shop, they could be useful savings.

The mayor’s office has set up an official site for the Holiday Special including discounts on holiday shows, shopping, dining and hotels.

Really, removing the tolls on the turnpike for the holidays probably would do more to bring people into Boston than discounting garage stays, which only benefit businesses in the immediate vicinity of the garage rather than the whole city.  But then, with the recently approved toll increases, I guess we’ll just have to keep that dream for another day.


Multi-Space Parking Meter Skynet Drafts New Troops

Posted by John on November 07, 2008
Boston, Cambridge / 1,895 Comments
Multi-space Meters  

Multi-space Meters in Cambridge and Boston

The trend in both Boston and Cambridge is obvious – rip up the iron maiden-esque parking meters of old and replace them with multi-space, computerized, robo-meters – the network of which we can only assume will expand until they’ve succeeded in erecting some kind of street-side hive mind that will one day sell our parking habits to advertisers on google and decrease our credit rating a point per minute when our cars overstay their paid welcome. To this end, the city of Boston just recently announced the purchase of 63 new multi-space meters to assimilate the Back Bay.

These devices, even at their navy-purchasing-toilet-seats price of $10,000 per unit, have the bean counters at city hall in a frenzy since they’ve discovered that these robo-meters can produce upwards of 35% more income per space than their steel counterparts by accepting credit card payments (minimum $2 in Boston), preventing parkers from ‘time-sharing’ spaces, eliminating space-splitting by motorcycles, and minimizing the work necessary for meter funds collection. For the consumer, Continue reading…

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Parking Wars Warns Against Stopping in Boston

Posted by John on November 06, 2008
Boston / 1,186 Comments

Parking Wars Parking Glossary

A&E has runs a show on the lives of parking enforcers in Philadelphia. The show’s website, however, includes parking tips for various other cities including Boston. The site is also home to their parking glossary.

Flipping through this attempt at a Webster’s of city-parking reveals two contributions from our hub of the universe. First, Parking Markers as the famed winter ritual of old radiators, furniture, and trash bins in self-reserved snowy-street spaces. Second:

Parking Violation: In most cities, the act of parking illegally; in Boston, the act of stopping one’s car

Continue reading…