A recent report that Boston officials say they will use to plot the city’s plan for combatting climate change and making Boston carbon-neutral by 2050 includes recommendations designed to curb car use.
Some form of congestion pricing—charging motorists for driving into downtown Boston during busier times of the day—and seriously upgrading mass transit access are among these recommendations.
The city’s commissioning of the report shows that officials are committed at least on paper to its overarching goals: a much more environmentally friendly city better equipped to deal with rising sea levels and extreme weather.
Yet, despite this, the city continues to sign off on—or at least not stand much in the way of—larger new parking facilities in Boston’s core areas, usually as part of a new development. Some of this is practicality. People are going to drive; not everyone can train or bus it in. Another part of it is making new developments that much more appealing to potential buyers, tenants, shoppers, etc., with cars.
At some point, though, the trend is going to have to stop. Right? A fare-free T and congestion pricing might both seem like long shots now, but encouraging people to travel into downtown areas—and to live there, too—without cars seems much more immediately doable.
Or at least that is our latest open thread. Is it time for Boston to stop approving larger parking facilities as part of new developments downtown? After all, conventional standalone parking garages in Boston are already starting to go extinct. Sound off in the comments section below.