ALLOW OVERNIGHT STREET PARKING IN ARLINGTON
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It is time to allow for fair, equitable access to overnight parking in the town of Arlington, Massachusetts. It is time to create a fair protocol to have equitable access to street parking. Arlington must welcome modest-income families with multiple earners who may have unconventional work requirements to our town, without demanding that they ride the bus, or walk a long distance to park in a municipal parking lot.
Complaints about the current overnight-parking ban:
1. This rule is not being advertised in a meaningful way. Many people have lived in Arlington for years without realizing this is a municipal rule. It is posted at some town thoroughfares and not at others. Because it is not enforced consistently, many people remain unaware because they see cars parked overnight regularly on public roads.
2. This rule is not being enforced fairly.
a. Some people live on more side-like streets and have "claimed" spots that they have been parking in for fifteen years, despite these being public roads.
b. Some cars have been ticketed because of a neighbor complaint. At the same time, the police do not ticket other cars on the same street or neighborhood.
c. Some people have been given exemptions because their home has no parking spaces. (This is wonderful, but should be more broadly applied to be fair.)
d. Board of Selectmen members who vote against on-street parking have suggested residents should be richer in order to park two cars at home. Is Arlington the kind of town that only wants wealthy people, and says tough luck to people who can otherwise afford to live here modestly, or to go to the other extreme and offer subsidized housing? Whence the middle class? The new middle class works gigs, irregular hours, and in many states in New England.
3. There is no protocol for deciding when a person has a *need* for a parking space
a. When the Board of Selectmen cite "opening a can of worms" as a reason to reflexively say no, the system is lacking a protocol. The can of worms has been opened by allowing for on-street parking for families with no parking space with their property; residents deserve their just worms.
b. There should be reasonable, just, equitable consideration for people who want to park proximally to their home. This is not just a luxury, but also a safety consideration. (As a female who gets home between 10:45 and midnight most nights, I would prefer not to walk alone, with my instrument, at night, three or four or five nights a week from a remote municipal lot.)
Erratic, impulsive distribution of resources and opportunity is not the spirit of Arlington. This should be rectified.
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