I wasn’t entirely surprised that Councilor O’Brien is against the idea of a Parking Garage. As a true classic Dark Sider, the idea of city planning or of the Master Plan is hostile to the old ‘Yankee City’ mentality. I am shamelessly quoting Councilor Cameron’s sound reasoning:
"Opinion: The most compelling justification, to me, for a parking garage is to replace the 300 or so spots that would be lost if the NRA lots are converted to a bigger Waterfront Park, which would reduce the parking on the waterfront from 400+ spaces to 100+ spaces. If one favors more park (and I do, realizing there’s still more need for argument as to what goes into the park, how do we maintain it, how do we pay for it), then I think you are heading towards supporting a parking garage. I favor more park and I don’t like the idea of a parking garage, so you see I’m heading into a pickle.
Fact: Waterfront West aka Karp needs to provide his own parking on Waterfront West site. See Waterfront West Overlay at
Fact: If you have a paid parking garage, no one will park there if the street and off-street parking is free.
Fact: Revenue could be generated from paid street and off street municipal lots which would be significant for the City’s general fund AND could also be used to pay for and maintain an expanded Waterfront Park. See
Opinion: Paid parking, if priced right and with the right time limits in the right spaces, has the potential to better manage the utilization of the spaces we have.
Fact: The parking garage is being designed to be ‘intermodal’ ie connect to bus, bikes, and other forms of local transportation. Buses do already go downtown. It will allow for bus pickup but to call it a bus terminal is a bit of a stretch.
Opinion: This could be an opportunity to stitch together the MBTA commuter rail, the Park and Ride on Route 95, Plum Island with a localized circulator bus (clean energy of course!) which could be funded by the parking revenue."
What the Councilor is not mentioning is that the Master Plan
, adopted by the City in 2001 lays out guidelines for future planning. It identifies and the City Council agreed and approved in 2001 recognizes the Waterfront Land as the key to all other developments in the City. Thus, if the Central Waterfront is resolved (And I hope to see it in my lifetime), a domino affect will occur. A Waterfront Park will require a Parking Garage. A Parking Garage and the Waterfront Park will require a funding mechanism to improve and maintain both. The Funding mechanism will setup maintenance programs and more improvements for the Downtown, the City and into the rest of the Community. The improvements will encourage more visitors, better services for the community, raises the value of land east and west of the waterfront park, etc. and it keeps on going.
The best thing you can do is to read the Master Plan
. It is, as important as it is, short reading. It’ll take you about as much time as reading a single issue of the Daily News
and that includes the Life section too! I would also encourage all of the councilors to read it especially Councilors’ Croniin, Derrivan & O’Brien.