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City Councilor Michael Flaherty blames bus stops for city’s parking problem

City Councilor Michael Flaherty at the Nate Smith House, on Nov. 1, 2015.
City Councilor Michael Flaherty at the Nate Smith House, on Nov. 1, 2015.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Boston residents circling the block to find a parking spot can thank, among other things, “football field”-sized bus stops, according to Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty.

During a discussion at Wednesday’s City Council meeting on imposing annual fees for residential parking permits — called for by Councilor Michelle Wu — Flaherty claimed large MBTA bus stops were the cause of some of the city’s parking woes.

“It’s 2019, we do not need a bus stop on every single street corner and they don’t need to be a football field in length. They don’t. We can talk about bump-outs. We can talk about every other street or every third street. That right there would free up hundreds, hundreds of parking spaces in every single neighborhood. So instead of us getting in a big fight and circling the block over parking spaces, let’s bring the MBTA in,” Flaherty said.


Wu said the city should charge residents a $25 annual fee for the first permit issued to a household and a subsequent $25 fee for each additional vehicle.

Flaherty also claimed that a permit fee would lead to an increase in handicapped-parking fraud. He stated this type of fraud previously occurred when parking garages in downtown raised their fees or were redeveloped into residential or commercial buildings. He claimed people from suburban communities would “just go to the doctor, fill out the form, get the note, get the application, and then they get the placard.”

He claimed Boston residents would do the same when faced with residential parking permit fees.

Flaherty added that he himself would pay $375 annually for his five cars.

Following the councilor’s statements, someone edited Flaherty’s Wikipedia page to include the information about how many cars he owns and his belief that MBTA bus stops cause parking problems in Boston.


Abbi Matheson can be reached at abbi.matheson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AbbiMatheson