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Results of Performance Parking pilot announced

February 21, 2018

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

The pilot was shown to improve parking availability, congestion, and road safety in the Back Bay and Seaport.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the results of the City of Boston's year-long performance parking pilot in the Back Bay and Seaport neighborhoods. The parking pilot, which adjusted parking meter rates in order to reduce congestion, increase roadway safety and make finding an on-street parking spot easier for drivers, was proven to open up more parking spaces for residents and business customers, and reduce congestion caused by illegal parking.

In the Back Bay, there was an 11 percent increase in available metered spaces, and a 14 percent decrease in double parking. In the Seaport, there was a one percent increase in parking availability, and a substantial decrease in illegal parking. The performance parking pilot also increased parking availability for neighborhood residents, as illegal parking in a resident spot declined by 12 percent in the Back Bay and by 35 percent in the Seaport.

"Our goal in Boston is to create streets that work for everyone -- whether you walk, bike, take public transportation or drive in our city," said Mayor Walsh. "Creating equitable, accessible streets is a key goal of our long-term transportation plan, Go Boston 2030. The 2017 performance parking pilot has shown it's possible to adjust meter prices and change our roads for the better, leading to less congestion, and more parking spaces for our residents and businesses, helping neighborhoods thrive."

"The performance parking pilot program has proven to be an effective tool to reduce congestion, improve safety, and open up more parking in our busiest neighborhoods," said Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca. "This program makes better use of our limited curb-space and helps our businesses districts and neighborhoods thrive by making sure drivers can easily find a spot and that pedestrians and cyclists are not adversely impacted by double parking."

The Performance Parking pilot tested two approaches to parking management through the 2017 calendar year. In the Back Bay, the City priced the entire neighborhood at $3.75 per hour for the whole year. In the Seaport, the City priced each block independently and changed the price every two months based on the number of available spaces. If on average no spaces were available, the price would increase slightly, or decrease if too many spaces were open.

This pilot marked the first time meter prices have been adjusted in Boston since 2011, when they were raised to $1.25 per hour.

Over the course of the pilot, the data collected revealed that the approach taken in the Back Bay was more successful at opening parking spaces and reducing congestion. All additional revenue as a result of the program will be reinvested into street, sidewalk, and transportation infrastructure projects in those neighborhoods and around the City.

"We greatly appreciate that the city has given performance based parking serious study and testing. As the Co-chair of Go Boston 2030 and a collaborator in preparing a recent Boston Parking Study, the recent pilots building off of these reports have shown that performance based parking is an effective tool in managing a scarce amount of spaces," said Rick Dimino, A Better City CEO. "This innovative approach can increase parking availability, improve customer access in business districts and decrease cars circling looking for a space. We look forward to the city deciding how these successful results can be used going forward."

With results of the pilot now available, the Boston Transportation Department will analyze the results and determine whether the program should be expanded to other parking meters throughout Boston. Parking meters are currently located in the Back Bay, South Boston, Downtown, South End, North End, Fenway, Allston, Cleveland Circle, Charlestown, and Longwood neighborhoods. As the results are analyzed, the pilot will continue in Back Bay and the Seaport.

The performance parking pilot ties directly into major planning initiatives of the Walsh Administration, including Go Boston 2030 and Imagine Boston 2030. In 2017, Mayor Walsh released Boston's Go Boston 2030 Vision and Action Planthat directs the City of Boston's transportation agenda for the next decade and beyond. The plan is comprised of 58 transportation projects and policies that are designed to expand access to a variety of connected transportation options, improve traffic-related safety on Boston's streets, and ensure reliability of service for the City's residents, commuters and visitors.

Within Go Boston 2030 is Vision Zero, Boston's commitment to focus the city's resources on proven strategies to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes in the city by 2030. Thirty percent of street traffic is made up of drivers searching for street parking, which the parking pilot was proven to reduce. Additional Go Boston 2030 projects include Boston's Neighborhood Slow Streets program; an expanded bike share program; and installation of protected bike lanes.

The Performance Parking pilot was a collaboration between the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM),  and the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) to study the relationship between parking price and demand for parking. More details are available on

About Go Boston 2030

Go Boston 2030 is the City of Boston's long term mobility plan. It envisions a city in a region where all residents have better and more equitable travel choices, where efficient transportation networks foster economic opportunity, and where steps have been taken to prepare for climate change. Whether raveling by transit, on foot, on a bike or by car, people will be able to access all parts of Boston safely and reliably. A list of projects and policies have been developed that are being implemented as early action projects in the near term, and a set of long term projects and policies are intended to be implemented over the next 15 years.

About Imagine Boston 2030

Go Boston 2030 complements Imagine Boston 2030, Boston's first citywide plan in 50 years. Imagine Boston 2030 will guide growth to support our dynamic economy and expand opportunity for all residents. The plan prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the City. Shaped by the input of 15,000 residents who contributed their thoughts to the plan, Imagine Boston 2030 identifies five action areas to guide Boston's growth, enhancement and preservation, and is paired with a set of metrics that will evaluate progress and successes. To learn more visit,