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.


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…


Destination NYC – Creative Curbside Parking

Posted by John on November 15, 2008
General / 2,094 Comments
Creatively Parked Cars in NYCCreatively Parked Cars in NYC

This photo pretty much sums up the New York attitude towards streets with “No standing” signs posted.  Like Boston, there appears to be the same quasi-truce between parking enforcement and car owners on certain streets where the one group looks the other way so long as the second keeps the streets passable.  I seem to recall someone telling me a while back that in some cities like Providence, RI, if your tire is touching the curb at all, they will ticket the vehicle, but I can’t seem to find confirmation of this on the Providence city website.

On a side note, now that we’re back from NYC, the issues we’ve been having posting to the site have been resolved.  Normal posting schedules will resume tomorrow.  Thanks for bearing with us!

Tags: ,

Destination NYC – The First 36 Hours

Posted by John on November 10, 2008
General / 1,270 Comments

Traffic in Times Square

Update from NYC: Reinforcing the notion that this city is by far the best example of organized chaos in traffic engineering and parking control in the country, New York has their traffic enforcement down to a science.  Street signs are stacked six tall with curbside parking instructions that local drivers cruising for spaces digest in seconds as they pass while dodging pedicabs, cyclists, scooters, film crews, tourists, and taxicabs.  It is no wonder that handheld cell phones were outlawed in this state for drivers; one more distraction and these cars (along with any nearby tourists, hot dog stands, and local hipsters) would be piled on top of each other at every intersection.  While our fair city could learn a lot in terms of efficiency, consistency, and overall traffic management from the big apple, it isn’t all good news from the city that never sleeps.

Some initial impressions from the first two days:   Continue reading…

Tags: ,

‘T’-Minus 5 Days to Parking Hikes

Posted by John on November 10, 2008
Commuting / 1,307 Comments
Alewife Parking Garage (photo from

Alewife Parking Garage (photo from

Today marks the last work week before parking prices at all MBTA stations increase by $2 per day.  That’s cash of course, and good luck getting a receipt.  Naturally, the transit authority doesn’t seem to think the change warrants any rider complaints, arguing to the Globe that compared to downtown parking, it’s still a bargain.

Now, far be it for management to consider that this difference in price might be the key reason that riders use the lots in the first place, but frankly that $2 hike has effectively swallowed the cost of a T-ride into the city.  Also, if the Alewife lot was $30/day, I certainly wouldn’t have friends visiting from out of town parking on the outskirts.  Needless to say, it’s not Continue reading…

Tags: , ,

Destination: New York City – Prologue

Posted by John on November 08, 2008
General / 1,510 Comments

This weekend and through Veteran’s day, Park and Pray goes on assignment to the Big Apple.  Powershot in hand, we hope to learn more about our parking neighbors to the south and compare the habits, regulations, and local auto-acrobatics to those we experience daily here in Boston.

The full report will go up early next week, but we’ll do our best to get some teasers and highlights up over the weekend while on-location.  

Other upcoming features to watch out for this coming week as we ramp up the site:

  • Park and Pray’s Parking Hall of Fame
  • The Tech of City Parking
  • Double-Parker’s Anonymous
  • …and MORE!
Stay tuned

Tags: ,

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…

Tags: ,

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…


The Five City Parkers You Meet in Hell

Posted by John on November 06, 2008
General / 1,913 Comments

Cars parked along a Beacon Hill street

Cars parked along a Beacon Hill street

Nobody likes searching for a place to put their car. In Boston, where a 24/7 off-street space can run upwards of $300/month (or more for a covered garage), street parking remains the only option for many residents already stripped of the better part of their month’s income by increasing apartment costs and the always-rising general cost of living in the city. Although having one’s own vehicle may seem less crucial with the growing push for alternative transportation options, car ownership continues to increase in the city and it has been projected that in some Boston neighborhoods today, actual parking spaces account for only a fifth of the number of stickers issued.

To those of us who live the great urban parking experience each day, finding a nighttime home for our beloved car in these asphalt jungles can be a nightmare waiting to happen.

To be clear, it’s a chess game- the techniques of which for effective spot-pouncing are as varied as the vehicles that probe the blacktops in search of their little slice of curb each evening. Such a game has brought to view a number of common approaches to reaching one’s goal. I call this cross section of the parking public…

The Five City Parkers You Meet in Hell

Continue reading…

Tags: ,

Site is Live

Posted by John on October 28, 2008
General / 2,126 Comments

Site went live tonight. Hooray!