Parking meters installed along Boston, College Avenues

With the recent installation of parking meters along Boston and College Avenues, university staff and students will likely have more difficulty finding free parking on the Medford/Somerville campus.

According to the City of Medford website, workers have installed parking meters and kiosks in the Medford Hillside area—adjacent to the Tufts campus—Medford Square, West Medford and South Medford. Parking will cost $0.25 for 15 minutes, and most spaces will have a time limit of two hours. The spaces around Tufts will have a daily maximum rate of $5.00 and will not have a time limit.

The city created a parking committee in 2009 and has been developing a pay-to-park program for several years, according to a Dec. 29 Medford Transcript interview with Medford Police Chief Leo A. Sacco Jr., Assistant Treasurer/Collector Judith Johnston and Republic Parking District Manager Daniel Nash.

The Tufts University Director of Community Relations, Barbara Rubel, explained that the university spoke with Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn on several occasions before the program was developed and after it was announced on Oct. 7. However, because the streets surrounding campus are public, the city maintains the right to develop parking regulations, Rubel said.

“The city is sensitive to the equity issues associated with granting special considerations to any group, so areas adjoining Tufts will be treated the same as other parts of the city in regard to enforcement,” Rubel told the Daily in an email. “With a Green Line station coming to College Avenue, it was inevitable that the city would create new parking rules and enforcement.”

Students and faculty who have traditionally parked on Boston and College Avenues for free will have several options going forward, according to Rubel.

“We would love to see more students, faculty and staff take advantage of public transportation, but for those who drive there are options,” she said. “One can purchase a university decal for full- or part-time parking on campus, park in Dowling [Hall] on a per-day basis or pay for on-street parking in Medford.”

Rubel encouraged students and faculty to avoid parking on side streets, however, as the City of Medford will also be stepping up parking enforcement in residential areas. According to the Dec. 29 interview, Republic Parking will operate two vehicles to enforce parking regulations.

Residential and visiting parking permits are available, but a vehicle must be registered to a Medford address in order to be eligible for a $10 annual residential permit, according to the Parking Medford website. Tufts students living in Medford will be unable to obtain residence permits unless their vehicles are registered to their current address.

For residents who do not own vehicles but will have occasional guests, visitor parking permits are available for $10, and there is a limit of two per household.

Enforcement of parking will begin in business districts tomorrow  and on residential streets on Jan. 26, according to an update from the City of Medford.

1/15 Update: Many students and faculty may have noticed that parking stations have not yet been installed on Boston Ave. between University Ave. and College Ave. Concrete will be poured and parking stations will be installed in this area over the next few days, according to two parking ambassadors with knowledge of the city’s plans.

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