Bogus Parking Tickets for ParkBoston App Users Are Up to Drivers to Dispute, Says the City
Boston, MA– Some Boston drivers have recently been issued parking tickets even though they are abiding by Boston city parking rules (which have two hour limits for metered parking during weekday work hours). Boston city leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, have confirmed that this is related to a quirk of the city's parking app ParkBoston, and that they plan to fix it as soon as possible.
According to NBC Boston, investigators have stated that many drivers are receiving tickets for being "over meter limit," even after moving their cars to a different city block every two hours and paying for parking through the app. Attorney Lisa Miller, who works on Beacon Hill, said that she has been using the ParkBoston app to make sure she abided by the parking rules in Boston.
Her solution, which is perfectly legal, was to move her car to another block every two hours to avoid getting a ticket. She stated, "I set a timer on my phone or I anxiously watch my watch." However, she has still received multiple $40 tickets stating that she was over the meter time limit. According to the meter receipts, Miller’s car was never parked in one spot for more than two hours.
When investigators at NBC asked the Boston Transportation Department about her specific situation, they dismissed all tickets issued to Miller, but declined to comment further.
Later, in an e-mail addressing the situation, the BTD stated, “While it is not against the City of Boston parking rules to move a car to different blocks over the day, it is strongly discouraged.”
Since the ParkBoston app does not show the BTD officer the parker’s full daily history, only the last session, parking enforcement officers are left to assume that the car has been parked in a spot for more than two hours.
Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley commented on the situation, stating that the city should not be forcing drivers to attend a City Hall hearing to plead their innocence when and if their meter receipts are showing that they were not parked in one spot for more than two hours. Mayor Marty Walsh thinks that the situation is leading to many unnecessary problems, and he claims he did not know about this until NBC Boston's report.
Last year, approximately 100,000 "over meter limit" tickets were issued. No one knows how many out of these were written in error.
Mayor Walsh and other officials are encouraging Boston drivers that the situation will be resolved soon. Until then, it’s up to the drivers to fight the tickets.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / matthewreid