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Boston parking tickets boom follows increased enforcement

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City using revenue to improve bike and bus infrastructure; you were warned

Boston Globe via Getty Images

Toward the start of the summer, the City of Boston warned drivers that it would be increasing the fines for 11 common parking violations. The city also said it would be stepping up enforcement related to said violations.

It wasn’t kidding apparently.

The higher fines and increased enforcement started July 2. From July 1 to 11, the city issued 35,270 parking tickets, a 5.6 percent increase from the same period in 2017. (This latest period included two Sundays and the July 4 holiday.)

The most common citation? Unpaid meter fees with 6,575 write-ups. The second most prevalent citation was parking in resident zones without a permit. Fines for the former were up $15 to $40 as of July 2, and, for the latter, they were up $20 to $60 per violation.

The city intends to use the apparent haul to improve bike and bus infrastructure. Those improvements will include new dedicated bus lanes as well as dedicated spots for ride-hailing services such as Uber to drop off and pick up. The city also plans to spend millions on signal improvements and repaving roads.

Whether any of this crackdown and resultant $5 million (or thereabouts) in funding for improvements actually curbs Boston’s world-famous congestion, and makes life smoother on bus riders and bikers, remains to be seen.

If anything, the dedicated pickup/dropoff spots for Uber et al will encourage more cars to hit the streets. And the greater difficulty that might arise in parking in much of Boston could hurt businesses that rely on those in from out of town.