Transportation

Marty Walsh Promises to Fix Parking Ticket Errors

Drivers are getting fined for violations they didn't commit around Boston.


Marty Walsh speaks at a lecturn

Photo via Mayor’s Office/Don Harney

Diligent and legal parkers in Boston are getting stacks of parking tickets on their windshields for violations they didn’t commit. Turns out even if you think you’re carefully moving your car every two hours to park it in a new zone, the city may still give you a ticket.

Mayor Marty Walsh, appalled by a new NBC10 report on the unwarranted parking tickets, said he’s sorry—but sorry isn’t good enough for Marty.

“I’m going to look into it and try and fix it,” he said. “Not try and fix it, we’ll fix it.”

The NBC10 Boston investigative story explored the case of one woman, Lisa Miller. Miller works on Beacon Hill and, like a good, law-abiding citizen, moves her car to a new parking zone every two hours on the dot.

“I set a timer on my phone or I anxiously watch my watch,” she said.

But even after all that work, she still ended up with four tickets, $40 each after the fine was raised from $25 in 2018 to discourage car traffic downtown. She said she uses the city’s own ParkBoston app, which is designed to bar Bostonians from parking in the same block or zone within two hours of the last park. But apparently that function of the app doesn’t always work.

With receipts in hand showing she never violated parking zone rules, the city forgave her tickets. And she’s not the only one who’s been wrongly ticketed—according to NBC10, the Boston Transportation Department forgives 61 percent of parking cases. But you still have to make the trek to City Hall, which is not something many drivers can make time for in the middle of the day. The city, meanwhile, isn’t pleased with the “move every two hours” solution, anyway.

“While it is not against the City of Boston parking rules to move a car to different blocks over the course of the day, it is strongly discouraged,” the BTD told NBC10 in an email.

According to the BTD, it’s difficult for parking officers to tell whether cars have been properly moved or have just circled the block and come back. Conveniently, however, there’s supposed to be an app for that.