Electric vehicle charging stations coming to the North End

Electric vehicle charging stations coming to the North End

No live presentation - as had been planned - from the City on the electric charging stations at this month's Neighborhood Council Meeting. The presentation will be moved to one big Zoom meeting on 29 March. But they did provide some information via a slide deck.

Electric vehicle charging stations

The City will host a Zoom meeting with presentation on 29 March. For now, they provided a slide deck with quite a bit of detail. Takeaways:

  • There will be four charging stations installed in the North End
  • Location is across from Sal Lupoli's place and the NBSS at 128 North Street
  • Chargers will be accessible 24/7
  • Only electric vehicles allowed to park there
  • Vehicles must be charging while parked there (or risk a "small overtime fee")
  • 4 hour limit (so if you park at 10pm, you must be out by 2am I guess)

There is also some information in the deck about why the City is rolling out this "demonstration" program. Namely that the demand for EV charging is growing and that not all residents have access to a private parking space to charge their theoretical EVs - so the City is investing in public charging stations. The goal is that every household without access to a private parking space will have a public station within a five minute walk.

The charging stations will be installed by one of two private operators.


Is it right for the North End?

I'm not sure if these stations are right for the North End. Vehicle ownership by North End households - and the associated problems with storage, safety, and health - has exploded in recent years. The City's own Recharge Boston webpage states that the primary goal is get "people who drive alone to take transit, carpool, bike or walk". Installing more vehicle infrastructure doesn't serve that goal.

That said, this is "demonstration program". I feel like just as many people would complain if the North End was excluded, so I'll keep an open mind.

Sidewalk space?

A far greater concern is that this demonstration could pave the way for more permanent sidewalk space sacrificed to vehicle and other infrastructure. Consider the parking signs, the bollards, and the cars straight up parked on the sidewalk. That's not even mentioning the 5G cell towers, the scaffolding, and the trash.

Pedestrian space has been nickel and dimed in this neighborhood for decades. Another inch is too much.

Looking forward to the 29 March meeting. I'll post here if/when I get details.


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