South Boston parking freeze
The City created the South Boston parking freeze area in 1993 under rules set by the state Department of Environmental Protection (310 CMR 7.33). The freeze area was one of the air quality mitigation measures taken during the Central Artery/Tunnel project.
The parking freeze limits the availability of parking spaces in South Boston. The Air Pollution Control Commission adopted regulations for the freeze in 1994. The City amended the regulations in March 2006.
The regulations include a definition of the freeze area. The regulations divide South Boston into three zones:
- the Piers Zone
- the Industrial/Commercial Zone, and
- the Residential Zone.
After the City took an inventory of existing parking spaces, we began issuing permits in 2004.
The freeze allows a maximum of 30,389 off-street parking spaces in South Boston. Residential parking spaces are largely — though not completely — excluded from the freeze. As of January 4, 2019, there are 1,481 spaces in the parking freeze bank. The City can allocate these to new parking facilities. The actual number of facilities and spaces changes as old parking lots close and new ones open. We welcome and encourage informal inquiries from owners and developers.
The provision of the South Boston parking freeze that most recently came into effect is the 20-percent set-aside. Section III (3) of the regulations has more specific information.
At first, parking lot operators in the Piers Zone had to reserve 10 percent of their spaces for drivers after 9:30 a.m. This rose to 20 percent after the opening of the MBTA’s Silver Line in December 2004. The set-aside provision does not affect the Industrial/Commercial Zone or the Residential Zone.
The Air Pollution Control Commission sends information to existing permit holders each year about renewals. You can check online to see if your permit is about to expire. If you have any questions, contact us at 617-635-3850 or APCC@boston.gov.