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POLL: What's Your Take on Downtown Parking?

A Boston Globe correspondent slams the city's online appeal system in Sunday's issue - "Next time, we'll just eat in Melrose."

Boston Globe correspondent Kathy Shiels Tully criticized what she called the “icy wall of indifference” awaiting those who appeal their parking tickets at City Hall this week. 

Tully – who concedes she was 12 minutes past her hour parking limit when she received a ticket near last month – said she expected the ticket to be reversed with a personal plea to the city's parking department, but was instead aghast to learn she'd need to appeal the violation online.

“Online? No, I wanted to talk to someone," she wrote. "Eyeball to eyeball. Like I had done once, just the year before - and successfully - after receiving a parking ticket outside the charter school on Salem Street."

Ultimately, the city rejected her appeal, via email - “just as everyone – but me – expected,” she wrote.

“Surely, I thought, Malden wants to attract people, both residents and neighbors, to its redeveloping downtown. But how can it, if the city doesn’t make space - or time - for consumers to enjoy it?

“...Next time, we’ll eat in Melrose.”

We've all felt the frustration of seeing a parking ticket on our windshield. Is Tully overreacting here, or does she have a point about parking problems in downtown Malden keeping potential consumers out? 

Chris Caesar January 30, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I once appealed a parking ticket when I was living on the UC Irvine campus - I submitted a two page, single-spaced appeal and enclosed about 10 pictures. Guess who didn't pay a ticket? THIS GUY.
Naomi Brave January 30, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Malden badly needs to put in metered parking downtown. Local business employees grab most of the spots, and can because there is no time limit or cash expense involved. Malden can make it reasonably priced, but needs to put in some reason for business owner and employees to use the lots and leave spaces for customers.
Chris Caesar January 30, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I believe most of Pleasant St. has an hour-limit on parking during the day, doesn't it?
Jennifer January 30, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Nobody likes to pay a parking ticket but if you clearly violated posted rules then you should expect to be penalized. I never had an issue parking in the garage to handle my downtown business if I expected to be more than an hour.
Pietro Cicolini January 30, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I have no sympathy for Kathy Tully. She got a ticket because she went over on the time allotted. What's there to appeal? Why would you need to see someone "eye to eye" for that appeal? The online process is as efficient as I would want all government functions to be in this situation. Here's another thought on her issue with availability of parking in Malden Square. Maybe if people adhered to the 1 hour or 2 hour parking policy, there would be more turnover in spots available on Pleasant Street. Tully.....go and eat in Melrose if you want. Just means more parking for me!
DannyBoy January 30, 2012 at 04:29 PM
The city should put metered parking in place, instead of the one-hour signs, and allow for two hours limit, to make it more convenient for visitors and customers. Other than that, there is plenty of parking spots in the garages downtown.
Todd January 30, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I personally think they should completely close Pleasant Street of to all vehicles. There is plenty of parking on either side of the square and I believe most restaurants still validate parking. People used to do this really easy thing called walking, it can be tiring, but it saves money and when used properly can be good for your health.
Chris Caesar January 30, 2012 at 05:12 PM
That's a really interesting idea and it would make Pleasant St. all the more, well, pleasant. But they just unveiled that new parking lot late last year, so I don't see it happening any time soon.
Todd January 30, 2012 at 05:23 PM
You don't need to enter that lot from Pleasant st, there is an entrance/exit on the opposite side.
Chris Caesar January 30, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Touché.
Mark Micheli January 30, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Closing down Pleasant Street to all traffic is an outdated plan that was originally proposed in the 70s when they built Government Center in the middle of the roadway. Most people today believe businesses would do better if more traffic could flow by them.
Jennifer M January 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Metered parking w/ a two-hour time limit is a great idea for downtown! I found a one hour space today and overstayed my welcome, luckily I did not get a ticket. If I had not found a space I would have paid the $2 to park, a small price when you consider the $25 ticket. Also, most restaurants and businesses validate parking including the library.
Erik Royds January 30, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Mark, I agree. Outdated idea. Medford killed off businesses trying it even though you could park on the backside of the street. We have enough trouble with City Hall smack dab in the middle of the street. Having to walk it would be the areas death knell.
Paul Weston January 31, 2012 at 08:23 PM
The only reason the appeal on the ticket was denied was simple: She didn't live in Malden and didn't know the right politicians. Just goes to show why Malden residents want to do their shopping, etc elsewhere.
Ed January 31, 2012 at 11:32 PM
I beg to differ, Paul. The only reason she got denied was because she was in the spot longer than the posted time allows for. Ignorance is not an excuse. If one wants to complain about the posted times allowed by law/ordinance, that is one thing. That does perhaps need to be addressed to make downtown more user friendly. However, the ticket was given because you, Ms. Tully, overstayed the posted time. The appeal was denied because there is nothing to appeal or argue. You, yourself, admittingly violated the law/oridnance.
Ed January 31, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Well said, Pietro. I agree with all points.

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