Parking woes at North Quincy MBTA station

Where to go when all the spaces are full at 7 a.m?

IN QUINCY, IT’S LIKE WHERE’S WALDO, but instead, where are the parking spaces?

Quincy city councilors are seeking answers to how the MBTA will accommodate commuters who just lost nearly 600 of the 1,200 parking spaces at North Quincy Station to make way for construction of a new 1,600-spot public parking garage.

One major concern is that drivers who can’t park in the area around the station will flood congested neighborhood streets. “Six hundred parking spaces disappeared. Where are the cars?” City Councilor Anne Mahoney asked MBTA officials presenting an update on the project.

The 600 spaces were lost to construction that began on February 17, and will be inaccessible for a year and a half.

Other councilors were prepared with potential solutions, including lowering parking rates at other stations and increasing bus line availability. All five stations in Quincy are being impacted by $1.3 billion in improvement projects along the Quincy and Braintree portions of the Red Line, with work scheduled through 2023.

The Patriot Ledger reports that the MBTA opened up 403 spaces at Wollaston Station, which is closed and currently undergoing renovations. The T is charging only $2 a day for parking there until August, and providing shuttles to North Quincy or Quincy Center stations.

Drivers argue this will add up to 40 minutes to their commute daily.

Other councilors want to see the price of parking at Quincy Adams and Braintree stations lowered after they jumped to $9 a day in October. The latter station is currently at only 70 percent capacity and could be a potential home for some of the displaced cars.

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Sarah Betancourt

Reporter, CommonWealth magazine

About Sarah Betancourt

Sarah Betancourt is a bilingual journalist reporting across New England. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Sarah was a reporter for The Associated Press in Boston, and a correspondent with The Boston Globe and The Guardian. She has written about immigration, social justice, and health policy for outlets like NBC, The Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, and the New York Law Journal. Sarah has reported stories such as a national look at teacher shortages, how databases are used by police departments to procure information on immigrants, and uncovered the spread of an infectious disease in children at a family detention center. She has covered the State House, local and national politics, crime and general assignment.

Sarah received a 2018 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for her role in the ProPublica/NPR story, “They Got Hurt at Work and Then They Got Deported,” which explored how Florida employers and insurance companies were getting out of paying workers compensation benefits by using a state law to ensure injured undocumented workers were arrested or deported. Sarah attended Emerson College for a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Communication, and Columbia University for a fellowship and Master’s degree with the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.

About Sarah Betancourt

Sarah Betancourt is a bilingual journalist reporting across New England. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Sarah was a reporter for The Associated Press in Boston, and a correspondent with The Boston Globe and The Guardian. She has written about immigration, social justice, and health policy for outlets like NBC, The Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, and the New York Law Journal. Sarah has reported stories such as a national look at teacher shortages, how databases are used by police departments to procure information on immigrants, and uncovered the spread of an infectious disease in children at a family detention center. She has covered the State House, local and national politics, crime and general assignment.

Sarah received a 2018 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for her role in the ProPublica/NPR story, “They Got Hurt at Work and Then They Got Deported,” which explored how Florida employers and insurance companies were getting out of paying workers compensation benefits by using a state law to ensure injured undocumented workers were arrested or deported. Sarah attended Emerson College for a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Communication, and Columbia University for a fellowship and Master’s degree with the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.

The garage is not the only thing being built at North Quincy Station. The parking structure will be part of a shiny new development that will include over 600 luxury apartments and commercial space. Commuters will have access to 852 of the 1,600 spots.

The ground floor will be reserved for retail businesses. Separate floors of the parking garage will be designated for residents and MBTA users.