New Director of Traffic & Parking

On July 1, 2010, former aide to Mayor Curtatone, Matt Dias, became Somerville's Director of Traffic & Parking. Matt had staffed the Mayor's Parking Solutions Task Force and is very familiar with the history of the recent parking regulation changes. If there are any concerns you still have about the impact that the parking regulation changes have had on you, please let Matt know. He is reasonable and nice to work with. The more he hears from people about concerns, the more likely it is that he will consider making changes. Matt can be reached at or 617-625-6600.

SPARC Meeting Tuesday May 4th, 7pm- Join Us!

Still concerned with the impact that Somerville’s parking regulation changes have on quality of life and the business community?

SPARC will be holding a meeting to discuss how to move forward:

Tuesday May 4, 2010, 7pm

Johnny D’s in Davis Square.

Everyone is welcome. Please email if you can make it, or just join us that night.

City Makes Improvements to Parking Regulations, Concerns Still Remain

April 20, 2010

On January 4, 2010 the City implemented citywide resident permit parking. Prior to implementation, the Mayor’s Parking Solutions Task Force submitted a list of recommendations to the Mayor on ways to lessen the impact of the parking changes. On April 20, 2010 the City posted a press release to report on the progress that the Traffic and Parking Department has made to implement these recommendations. The progress report can be found

There are several wins that we feel were made that lessen the impact of the parking regulation changes including the designation of 20 main thoroughfare streets, the creation of an artist permit, more flexibility in landlord permits, and more flexibility in the time frame of business parking permits.

However, there are still outstanding concerns that have significant impact on businesses and quality of life including:

  • The impact on businesses on two-hour parking restriction on the main thoroughfares,
  • The inability for caseworkers to legally park in front of their clients home,
  • The inability for Somerville residents to get parking permits for their primary vehicle if it is a commercial vehicle with markings on it,
  • The 2 day per week guest pass restrictions are even more problematic now that there are no streets guests can park for more than 2 hours or overnight. This has particular impact on people visiting sick or elderly family in the city and on the other all quality of life for many residents, and
  • Residents who would like spontaneous, small gatherings are limited to two cars at a time. The City is working on making a small gathering pass that can be downloaded online, but this has not yet happened.

See the links on the right for more details on SPARCs remaining concerns, and for links to recent press, including some Alderman expressing concern on the impact that parking changes are having on businesses.

Permit parking changes are coming- January 4th is the date

The City has officially set Monday January 4th as the enforcement date for citywide resident permit parking. Signs are being put up over the next few weeks and the City will make a couple of citywide CTY call announcing the changes. One call already went out. Parking Control Officers will flyer cars and then give out warnings, before beginning to ticket on January 4th. We are pleased that the City agreed to engage in this level of notification before issuing tickets and to postpone the implementation date from the initial August 1st date.

Over the summer the Traffic Commission vote to designate 21 streets as Major Thoroughfares that will be 2HR parking from 8am-2:30am and resident only from 2:30am-8am. The City has said they won’t be enforcing the 2HR parking at night. I’ve pushed them to have the signs reflect that but that is not likely to happen. A list of those streets can be found:

SPARCs Push for Tweaks to Permit Parking- Wins to Report

The City, particularly Tom Champion, the City Spokesperson, has spent many hours with me and Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz to create a list of modifications for the Mayor’s Parking Solutions Task Force to vote on. I cannot thank him enough for all of the time he’s put into getting our concerns heard. I've attached the list of those items here. Unfortunately, the Task Force was only amendable to a few of these modifications. However, there are some likely wins to celebrate and some more discussion to come on a few points.

Some of the things that we are proud to say will likely be put into place, with the Mayor’s approval are:

  • Creation of small gathering visitors passes (likely for up to 4 people) for $1 that can be downloaded online- it may take some time to upgrade the website to allow this, but the City is open to the idea
  • Creation of artist parking permits- the specifics are still being worked out, but the City is committed to ensuring artists renting studio space will be able to park near their space.
  • Flexibility of the hours of Business Permits- The permits are generally available from 8:30am-6:30pm or 6:30pm-3:30am. The application now says that the hours can be flexible. Talk to Traffic and Parking Director Jim Kotzuba if your business requires more than a 10 hour window for a Business Permit.
  • Additional Landlord Pass Available to Absentee Landlords- this would allow a landlord to have a pass to provide to prospective renters, or to a contractor working on their property.
  • Centralized Correspondence to Traffic and Parking issues and Improved procedures and staffing for Business Permit Program
  • Process for Adding Streets as a Main Thoroughfare- Traffic and Parking will devise a protocol for how people can petition to get a street, or portion of a street, added as a main thoroughfare.

Please continue to let SPARC know if there are concerns you have that we have not yet tried to have addressed, or that you are not getting successfully resolved by the City. Also, if you’re still unhappy about these changes, let it be known! Call the Mayor’s office, contact your Alderman and the Alderman-at-Large. Tell your friends! Contact information can be find here:


Check out the article up on about the recent Somerville parking reg controversies.

Mayor's Parking Solutions Task Force Update

As of October 2nd, Courtney from SPARC has been a part of two Parking Solutions Task Force (PSTF) meetings, as well as a communications subcommittee meeting. The subcommittee put together a list of recommendations to bring to the PSTF for vote that if passed, would address SPARC’s concerns about the impacts of making all streets resident only parking. To see an updated list of our concerns and proposed solutions, go to SPARC is pushing to have all of these items addressed before implementation of citywide resident only parking.