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Redevelopment Authority to Study Adding Parking Lots Beneath I-93

Lots could hold over 535 vehicles, according to four-year-old data.

A plan to convert open space underneath Interstate 93 into parking for cars and buses will be studied by the city’s Redevelopment Authority along with numerous other initiatives to improve transportation in the South End.

Whether the plan will come to fruition or not remains to be seen – the idea is still in its earliest stages and funding for implementation is nonexistant, according to Community Planning Director Randi Lathrop. 

However, according to a conceptual design put together by University Associations in 2006, the space beneath the Interstate in the South End could potentially yield 565 spaces for regular vehicles and between 20 and 25 spaces for buses.

“I think, as you’ll see, there’s a good amount of space under there,” said Jim Fitzgerald of the Redevelopment Authority during a Thursday night meeting of the Harrison Albany Corridor Advisory Group.

In the past, the state has been hesitant to allow construction under highways because of the potential threat to security, Fitzgerald said, but much of the post-9/11 sentiments have since been relaxed.

“The sentiment is that the feelings over there are changing,” he said. “We’re hopeful that maybe this could be something that we’d try to advance further.”

If the plan did materialize, funding would have to come from a private source, Lathrop said.

“The city does not have the money, the [Boston Redevelopment Authority] does not have the money,” she said. “If it’s going to be done, it’s going to be done by the private sector.”

Any lots built under the highway would be secured with fencing, she added. District 4 police have identified the area, known as the "stacks," as a high-crime zone notorious for prostitution and drug activity.

JMc March 11, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Interesting they're going to 'study' this, when they actually promised to put parking there several years ago.
Jim Smith March 12, 2011 at 02:10 PM
The only one who wants parking under there is GTI Propteries ( owned by Mario Nicosia) because it will enhance the value of his commercial property between Harrison and Albany Streets. So he should pay for it, if it's going to happen and then lease the space from the city on an annual/per space basis. A better solution would be to develop the space under the roadways with structures that could hold businesses with small amounts of parking in front that would help bridge the area between the South End and South Boston and end the no mans land feeling created by the elevated highway and train tracks to the east.
Bob Griswold March 12, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Would be great to see the MBTA busses that are now behind 580 Harrion and that strip of Albany Street (and across from the soccer field on Randolph) move under the highway. Then we could see more "connected" and "constructive" use of the MBTA lot. It would be great to see that space better used as a building, hotel, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc. That would further connect Harrison/Washington are right on through Albany Street. Any takers?
John C March 12, 2011 at 11:13 PM
Untrue, Jim! Plenty of us in this neighborhood see the value of "parking" as a way to put that space to better use. Parking cars or buses there is a natural, easy use of a very neglected - and at times dangerous - area. And having more parking that would enhance the nearby SOWA businesses, galleries, restaurants, etc -- I'm all for it!
Vanilla Sanchez March 15, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Good suggestion Bob - putting the parcel that the MBTA occupies to more neighborhood-centric use would be beneficial!

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