The North End is adding cars at an alarming rate

The North End is adding cars at an alarming rate

Between 2010 and 2020, North End households added 1,448 additional cars for a total of 3,643 vehicles - up 65% from 2,195 in 2010 according to Census data. That's enough new vehicles to fill every one of the approximately 1,300 free on-street parking spaces and still have 150 cars left over.

A parking lot to store all of the cars currently owned by North End households would take up 30 acres of land. More than the land area of Puopolo Park, Langone Field, Columbus Park, Copp's Hill, The Prado, and The Gassy combined. In fact, we'd have to raze all of the buildings east of Hanover Street clear to Commercial St to make room for a parking lot big enough.


  • Two net new new cars are added every week. Over a dozen additional cars are added every month; 144 a year.
  • The majority of households in the North End have no car (51%), but this has dropped from 62% in 2010.
  • 25% of households (households with 2 or more cars) own over 40% of the cars.
  • It would take a 30 acre parking lot to store all of the North End households' cars. (All the parks, pedestrian squares, and green space in the neighborhood combined make up less than ten acres.)

The next time someone laments the "loss" of a parking space as an argument against daylighting an intersection, making room for trash containerization, or to repurpose curb space for active use, remember that their energy would be much better spent doing everything they can to preserve the quality of life for households that do not have a car. If the remaining 51% of households went out and bought a car tomorrow (and make no mistake, that's the direction we're headed), it would add an additional 3,000 resident cars - for a total of nearly 7,000 - all vying for the same 1,300 spots.


Submitted by Not so sure Tue, 05/28/2024 - 07:31

I'd really do a nose dive into these numbers and ask what's behind it. How are parking stickers issued? Ask the tough questions. Can an owner or a retail shop / restaurant register their car at the address and obtain a sticker from city hall? I've heard (and seen) anecdotal evidence that this is happening! 

What are the outer limits of claiming a parking sticker? Can I be in Harbor Towers and have a parking spot and still get a sticker? All indoor parking spots can get on street parking stickers. So this needs to be investigated! 

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