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Downtown Parking Freeze

The downtown parking freeze is one of three parking freezes in the City of Boston. The Air Pollution Control Commission manages these freeze areas.

The City created the downtown Boston parking freeze in 1976 under rules set by:

  • the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and
  • the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR 52.1135).

The freeze limits the availability of commercial parking spaces in downtown Boston.

Have questions? Contact us:

1 City Hall Square, Room 709
Boston, MA 02201

About the Downtown freeze area


The City approved the regulations for the downtown parking freeze in 1978. They were amended in March 2006. The regulations include a map of the freeze area.

The downtown freeze applies only to commercial spaces open to the general public. Spaces reserved for the use of a building's employees, customers, and guests are exempt from the cap on commercial spaces, but need to be permitted by the Commission. Residential spaces are excluded.

Number of spaces

In the downtown freeze area, the City allows a maximum of 35,556 public parking spaces in commercial parking facilities. As of December 31, 2013, there are no spaces in the parking freeze bank. The actual number of facilities and spaces changes as old parking facilities close and new ones open. We welcome and encourages informal inquiries from owners and developers.