Editor's Note: The following is a guest post from Shuja Uddin, marketing coordinator for Parkaze.
While it may seem hard to believe, there are far more parking spaces in U.S. cities than actually needed among residents and commuters. But if you were to visit Boston today, you would be hard pressed to find a decent parking spot in the downtown area or even in the several neighborhoods of the Greater Boston area.
There's a reason for this: Boston has long been known as one of the least parking friendly cities in America. Bostonians spend an average of 53 hours a year searching for parking, according to an analysis from INRIX.
This is unfortunate because Boston is a city that boasts a rich history of independence, yet the rebellious nature of the city has since died down when it comes to the burning issue of parking. Open up any Boston Parking Reddit page and you will find confused visitors being heavily discouraged by Bostonians for even thinking about bringing their car to the city, let alone finding parking.
For a city that's heavily reliant on public transportation, COVID-19 is not doing any favors in Boston. In June, MBTA subway ridership was only 13% of that of February, showing the dire need for a revamp across the MBTA in response to the pandemic.
The local government finally relaxed a bit in March, after years of choking hapless Bostonians with draconian parking rules — but in the end it was a classic case of too little, too late. And now in response to the current health concerns, more and more Bostonians are opting to drive to work.
The question is, where will these people park their cars when they can't even find a spot? Bostonians have been raising their voices against the worsening parking situation for a while now and the local government's response has been lukewarm at best.
As for parking owners with empty parking spaces such as restaurants, universities and churches, many of them don't realize that their empty parking spaces can be monetized. Not only will it increase revenue for these establishments, but it will break the monopoly of private parking garages which will ultimately bring a considerable relief to Beantown residents.
For what the Bostonians have contributed to the history of this great country, the City on a Hill deserves a far better treatment.
More than 200 years ago, Paul Revere sounded the alarm in Boston to alert the American patriots about the British onslaught. Now in 2020, can there be another savior who can rise up from the ashes and alert the Bostonians about Boston's worsening parking situation before it's too late? Only time will tell.