Cambridge – 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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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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Cambridge Accepting 2009 Parking Renewal Applications

Posted by John on November 15, 2008
Cambridge / 1,508 Comments
Israel Ferraz's Winning Permit PhotoIsrael Ferraz’s Winning Permit Photo

Cambridge residents– don’t forget that your applications for new resident and visitor parking permits are due in the mail by January 14th for renewal before the January 31st expiration of 2008 permits, but can be mailed in as early as the beginning of this month.

Each year, Cambridge has a photo contest for the image to appear on the parking sticker.  Israel Ferraz’s photo of Cambridge City Hall (pictured) was selected this year from the 125 submitted.

The city encourages locals to renew their permits as early as possible, noting that it can take up to three weeks to receive a new permit during the high-volume renewal period.  

As of November 1st, the city is accepting renewal applications that may be filled out online for residents who fit the following requirements: Continue reading…


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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