Perhaps the biggest hurdle in getting smart, talented young people to stay in Boston is the price of housing. One of the drivers of the high cost of housing, as detailed by Casey Ross in “City wants a cutback on new parking” (Page A1, July 5), is the added expense of providing parking.
The Fenway neighborhood is heartened to hear public acknowledgment by the city, through the mayor’s office, Boston Transportation Department, and Boston Redevelopment Authority, that parking requirements for new housing will be relaxed. While it is counterintuitive to so many who feel that they have no choice but to drive, and thus need parking on each end of a trip, it is a fool’s game to continue to expand parking capacity when the roads are not getting any bigger.
Streets are so choked with traffic now that it makes it unsafe and inhospitable to those who would like to travel without cars. This is not to mention the economic, health, and social costs associated with traffic delays, car exhaust, and overly long commutes.
One only needs to look at our multibillion-dollar Big Dig tunnel, which more and more is as stalled as the old Central Artery. At the same time, someone looking to travel by train from Portland, Maine, to New York has to stop in Boston and either take a subway ride or a two-mile walk with luggage between North Station and South Station.
Mayor Menino, Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin, and BRA chief Peter Meade will take heat, but this is what leaders should do. They deserve tremendous credit for setting a new course to a vibrant, healthy city of the future.