South Boston parking freeze
Established in 1993 under rules of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (310 CMR 7.33) as one of the air quality mitigation measures associated with the Central Artery/Tunnel project, the South Boston parking freeze limits the availability parking spaces in South Boston. The Air Pollution Control Commission adopted regulations for the South Boston freeze in 1994, and most recently amended them 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.
Following completion of an inventory of existing parking spaces, we began issuing permits under the freeze in 2004.
The South Boston parking freeze allows a maximum of 30,389 off-street parking spaces in South Boston (not including exempt residential spaces). As of December 31, 2016 there are 1,304 spaces in the parking freeze bank, which can be allocated to new parking facilities. The actual number of facilities and spaces fluctuates as old parking lots close and new ones open. We welcome and encourage informal inquiries from owners and developers. Residential parking spaces are largely — though not completely — excluded from the freeze.
The provision of the South Boston parking freeze that most recently came into effect is the 20-percent set-aside (see section III (3) of the regulations). The initial freeze permits required parking lot operators in the Piers Zone to reserve 10 percent of their parking spaces for drivers after 9:30 a.m. With the opening of the South Boston Transitway (the Silver Line) in December 2004 and the resulting increase in public transit access to the seaport area, the requirement rose to 20 percent. The set-aside provision does not affect the Industrial/Commercial Zone or the Residential Zone.
Existing permit holders receive information regarding the annual renewal of permits directly from the Air Pollution Control Commission.