Juno, Juno, Juno. What was once simply the name of the lead character in an uproarious, yet painfully truthful comedy centering around teenage pregnancy has become the bane of our existence here in Boston (and Salem, and Providence and every other nearby city).
Blizzards are a way of life here in New England so many of us scoffed at this supposed “storm of the century” when early reports surfaced. While our friends in places such as Atlanta or Miami may think we’re crazy, you gotta remember this is the city where some people were upset that their favorite bars were closed during Winter Storm Nemo a few years ago (just for reference, Nemo dropped over 2 ½ feet of snow in less than 24 hours). Here in Boston we know how to navigate every part of the blizzard preparation from stocking up on salt and flashlights to making sure you get to the liquor store before the hardware store; because while you can substitute plenty of items for a shovel (trash can cover + wind-ravaged tree limbs= shovel) there is no replacement for whiskey and when you’re suffering from cabin fever there is only so many remedies.
Alas, there is one part of the Juno struggle that like many a nor’easter (or winter storm, or blizzard or whatever we’re calling it these days) before it, Boston seems to have no answer for; where to park one’s car. When severe snow hits a city so condensed and full of narrow streets as Boston, there are only so many private off-street spots for the taking. Garages fill up with those who have the pockets deep enough to shell out $100 for 2 days to enable them to avoid shoveling and the rest of us are stuck fighting for the luxury of parking at a nearby school or church, only to dig our way out of 20 inches when the boss expects you in the office at 9 am Wednesday. But what other choices do you have?
Well starting this year you’ve got a few actually. Firstly, few people know that MBTA garages lifted their ban on overnight parking for the storm so your chance of getting a space there is higher than any other garages you may be trying, albeit for out of your way. For those of you in the suburbs you also probably stand a fighting chance if you were able to park at an ocean facing lot, as unbeknownst to many, ocean winds tend to take off a couple inches from the total snowfall so it’ll leave you with less to shovel when you wake up tomorrow.
Of course this year is also the year SPOT vowed to allow Boston to #parkeasier, and that includes snow parking as well. SPOT offers hundreds of off-street private parking spaces that are available for rent at rates far cheaper than garages that are further from your home. In addition to that, many cities around Massachusetts, including Boston, have programs that hire teens to shovel out the elderly and disabled in storms like this one and so chances are you can pay the able-bodied 17 year old a few houses up the street 15-20 bucks and he’ll come shovel your SPOT out after the snow stops falling. Beyond that SPOT also has a limited amount of garaged SPOTs for rent, meaning for prices far below the $40 garages in Back Bay are charging today, you can have your car kept warm and tidy in someone else’s garage, no shovel, salt, or cursing at the heavens above required.
Of course, you can always take your best shot at leaving your car on the street, hoping you don’t get towed, shoveling that SPOT out in the morning, leaving a beach chair or parking cone in its place, hoping nobody moves your space saver and steals your spot and if they don’t hoping that the neighborhood watch of the South End doesn’t fine you for all of your hard work…but a couple taps on your iPhone seems like a lot better solution to me.