District 6 Boston City Councilor Matt O'Malley loves the "old world charm" of Boston, but says it's time motorists learned "the new rules of the road." At Wednesday's Council meeting, O'Malley called for a future hearing to consider ways to improve traffic flow in Boston.
Mentioning that Boston's original roads were made by following cow paths (not the most ideal for traffic flow), he said it's time to use better signage and enforcement in Boston neighborhoods.
O'Malley led a hearing last winter to explore traffic calming measures, added he "wants to use every arrow in our quiver" to improve traffic flow.
O'Malley raised four specific areas of concern:
- Not knowing bike laws — According to Boston Bikes, bicycling ridership went up 122 percent from 2007 to 2009. O'Malley said cyclists and drivers need to be familiar with the City's bike laws. "Some people don't know they can't park in a bike lane," said O'Malley.
- Block the Box street markers — Boston is now utilizing them in 18 intersections, mostly in the Longwood Medical Area. O'Malley would like to see them in other neighborhoods, like Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury.
- Double parking — O'Malley said this is an issue in business districts. He suggested better signage could limit double parking.
- "Pig parking" — Made familiar by Larry David on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' (please see PG-13 attached video), it's when a driver parks over a parking line thus creating a domino effect with the next driver doing the same.
O'Malley said he's "not wanting to fine people" but "wants to use signage to make roads and parking better." He suggested maybe having a sign that tells people to park within lines.
“Parking, traffic, and pedestrian safety all play a role in how we travel through this city,” said O’Malley. “I want to see if we can make those trips a little easier and a little safer for everyone. It is my great hope that one day we will make the term Boston Driver synonymous with safety and civility.”
The councilor said the future hearing will include the Boston Transportation Department, Boston Police, residents and other interested parties to testify.
The matter was referred to the Committee on City, Neighborhood Services and Veteran Affairs, for a future hearing date.