Monday, June 11, 2018

Boston City Council Looks At Parking Fines, Jitney Licenses, City Budget & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their June 6, 2018 meeting:

FY19 Capital Budget: The Council voted 12-0 (Councilor Edwards absent) for the first of two required votes to pass the City’s FY19 Capital Budget. [Any capital appropriations require two affirmative 2/3 votes at least two weeks apart.] You can find details on all the proposed capital projects here.

Parking Fines: The Council voted to pass an amended version of the Mayor’s proposed ordinance to increase fines for specific categories of parking violations, as well as create a new category of violation for overnight street sweeping, which will be a no-tow violation. The goal is to better align fines to deter violations; many of the previous fine levels were cheaper than the cost of parking in a garage. The revenue from increased fines would go to support a major investment in active transportation initiatives in the FY19 budget. After the hearing, the amended version reduced the fee for double parking within Zone A from $75 proposed by the Mayor to $55, and from $55 to $35 in Zone B. Councilor Flaherty stated that these changes would ensure that the fee increases will not be overly burdensome to residents and businesses. Councilor Zakim noted that he opposed designating overnight street sweeping as a no-tow violation, because many residents in several of his neighborhoods believe that towing is necessary for effective street-sweeping; otherwise parked cars will prevent street sweeping to the curb.
 
Short-Term Rentals: The Council did not vote today on the Mayor’s proposed Short-Term Rentals ordinance. The next opportunity to vote will be at the Council meeting next Wednesday, June 13th.

Local Motion of Boston: Local Motion of Boston filed a petition for a jitney license to operate motor vehicles for the carriage of passengers for hire over certain streets in Boston. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Planning, Transportation and Development for a hearing. This petition is the 2nd filed by Local Motion in the last month. Two weeks ago, I held a hearing on their first petition for a corporate shuttle between Brighton and Kenmore Square, which the Transportation Department recommended denying because the route is redundant to public transit (with commuter rail stops near the origin and terminus) and because the planned pickup and dropoff locations are in No Stopping Zones. As Committee Chair, I wanted to give some time for the petitioner to follow up with the Transportation Department as well as local neighborhood groups, but may bring the matter before the Council at our next meeting. Over the course of the hearing, we also learned that the petitioner was already operating another route that they did not have a license for, and that is the 2nd petition.
 
Upcoming Hearings (Livestream: )

  • Tuesday, 6/12 at 2PM: Hearing on Vacant Properties in the City of Boston (City, Neighborhood Services, and Veterans & Military Affairs)
  • Thursday, 6/14 at 10AM: Policy Briefing on Diversity Initiatives for Boston’s Public Safety Agencies (Public Safety & Criminal Justice)
  • Thursday, 6/14 at 1PM: Hearing on Summer Violence and Community Engagement (Public Safety and Criminal Justice)
  • Monday, 6/18 at 10AM: Hearing on Tree Coverage (Environment, Sustainability & Parks)
  • Monday, 6/18 at 3PM: Hearing on Teacher Diversity in BPS (Education)
  • Tuesday, 6/19 at 4PM: Hearing on Usage of Surveillance Technology (Public Safety & Criminal Justice)
  • Friday, 6/22 at 1PM: Hearing on Equitable Access to Public Transportation & Cashless MBTA Fares (Planning, Development & Transportation)
  • Monday, 6/25 at 10AM: Hearing on Curbside Composting (Environment, Sustainability & Parks)
  • Thursday, 6/28 at 2PM: Hearing on Resident Parking (Planning, Development & Transportation)
For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically.

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