City seeks strategies for Dudley parking woes

Sandra Larson | 5/16/2012, 7:22 a.m.

Strategies the city could employ include installing parking meters, implementing resident parking zones and strictly enforcing all types of parking limits.

Garry wondered if there is also a way to “incentivize taxis,” which are notoriously scarce in the area and often don’t come even with phone calls. There was some discussion of locating taxi stands in convenient places, especially near Dudley station.

Some people asked if the nearby Blair lot, currently on a list of vacant parcels considered for development under the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan, could be “pulled back” and used for parking instead. Dana Whiteside of the BRA said that “the short answer to that is no—but we would take under serious advisement to pull that parcel out of development and consider it for parking.”

Stanley listed several possible solutions. They include shuttle services from remote lots such as the Hampton Inn; arranging for private lot owners in Dudley to offer paid parking for local employees; and implementing six-hour meters, which would be convenient enough for Dudley workers but not long enough to serve the downtown workers who now leave their cars in Dudley all day.

Some attendees were clearly frustrated by the implications of the study, and felt the neighborhood was being asked to give up too much.

“I don’t even know where the school department thought they were going to get parking spaces, when they couldn’t get them downtown,” said local resident Valerie Shelley. “I think someone had better come up with a better plan. Dudley Station is right here. Let them take the T. I’m sorry, but why are we accommodating them with 200 new spaces, when we don’t even have 20 for our own residents? I understand we need something done with this [Ferdinand] building — but at whose cost?”

Maureen Anderson of the city’s Project and Construction Management department said after the meeting that they plan to present a draft parking plan at the June 28 task force meeting, after incorporating the task force and community input.

Other upcoming meetings on the Ferdinand project include an update on coordination among Ferdinand planners and other city agencies May 31; a discussion of the retail component June 14; and a design update July 12. All meetings are at 6 p.m. at 2315 Washington St. in Dudley Square.