Hooray for Providence! Finally the city has started dismantling the on-street, overnight parking ban that has hampered its residential real estate market for so long.
The ban’s effects were easily quantified, as single-family and multifamily homes sold at a significant discount once the buyers realized there were not enough off-street parking spots to accommodate their needs, or homeowners chopped down trees and paved front yards to create ugly mini-parking lots. Without the ban, home values should rise and neighborhoods should start to take on a leafier feel.
By instituting a permit system – wherein residents can purchase licenses to park on the street overnight – the city has recognized that the 80-year-old ban was a holdover from an era when few people had automobiles and public transportation was more plentiful. And that it was an impediment to the economic and aesthetic health of the city.
Of course, the city hopes to create a modest revenue stream from this new program. But in this case, the $100 per-year fee is a small price to pay for the long-term benefit that will accrue to all Providence’s residents. •