Parking

13 stories
Play Ball!
Parking apps help Fenway fans get a leg up on Opening Day
Globe Staff/Lane Turner
Jason Heard got to Fenway Park at noon for Monday’s Red Sox home opener, but he wasn’t there to watch the game. Instead, Heard was working for a parking lot tucked behind the ballpark, waving cars into an alley with a bright orange flag. Fifty dollars per carload for the prime spots. If that seems steep, the market didn’t think so — an hour and a half before the first pitch, Heard was using his flag to tell people there were no more spots to be had. Read More
Bye-bye, $1.25: Smart meters could spawn 'surge' pricing for street parking
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
When Boston last increased parking meter rates in 2011, bumping the hourly charge to $1.25, some drivers were shocked. It was, after all, the first price hike since the mid-1980s. Now, technology is about to bring even more significant changes to parking prices, at a faster pace. In the next few years, street parking prices could rise and fall in response to surges in traffic, part of a high-tech overhaul of the city’s parking infrastructure that includes new meters and the ability to pay with smartphone apps. Read More
Intelligent Parking
Boston to install "smart" parking meters across city, spreading pay-by-phone options
(DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF/FILE)
Boston’s parking meters are going to get a lot smarter over the next few years, eventually letting drivers find open spots and feed the meter with their smartphones. The citywide upgrade could also let the city get a better handle on how much street parking it actually controls, and even raise more money for the government by charging higher prices at times of extreme demand. Read More
They've got your spot
Predictive parking startup Smarking heads west for Y Combinator program
Diego Torres-Palma and Wen Sang of Smarking. (Photo by Scott Kirsner / BetaBoston)
Wen Sang says he was astonished to learn how much fuel is burned — and traffic caused — by drivers in search of the perfect parking spot. At the same time, most parking garages have spaces sitting empty. What if you could share that information with drivers, perhaps even adjusting the price of vacant spaces so that they were more appealing? Sang says he came to the United States from China to earn a PhD, not start a company. But the possibility of solving that problem led him to launch Smarking last year, after earning his doctorate in mechanical engineering from MIT. Read More
Finding a spot, made simpler
New wave of parking apps heading for Boston, with Veer first to launch
Aaron Kolenda and Jonathan Corbin, co-founders of the parking app Veer.
Has your mobile phone not quite eliminated the headache of parking in Harvard Square or the North End? A trio of new startups hope they can help — and none of them is  attempting to "monetize" city-controlled street spots, as the Baltimore startup Haystack tried to do this past summer. The first to launch is Veer, which shows up in Apple's iTunes Store today. Read More
Parking Wars
Boston City Council submits ordinance to put an end to parking apps, like Haystack
(DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF/FILE)
Earlier today, in a Boston City Council meeting that also tackled possible regulations for Uber, an ordinance was submitted by Boston City Councilor Frank Baker prohibiting, without permission from the City of Boston, the ability to "sell, lease, reserve, or facilitate the reserving of any street, way, highway, road or parkway, or portion thereof under the City of Boston's control." Read More
Circling the block
Can mobile apps help make parking in Boston less miserable?
parking1
I’m an optimist, and so despite almost 15 years of searching for parking, getting ticketed, and being towed in Boston, I still believe that something will eventually mitigate the misery. Several new mobile apps promise to do that. So I loaded them on my iPhone this month and set out in search of parking. Read More