As Somerville residents take down holiday decorations, they can start decorating their cars instead with colorful decals proclaiming their allegiance to the city: resident parking stickers. The city's long-delayed resident-only restrictions will finally take effect on Jan. 4.
This change was originally slated for last summer, but public outcry put a hold on changes the Traffic Commission passed in May. Input from the Parking Solutions Task Force kept 20 major roadways open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Cars will need resident permits to park overnight, though.
Resident-only signs on the newly restricted streets go up starting Nov. 16. A slew of multilingual info flyers will follow, plastering like so many fallen leaves the windshields of cars parked on those streets. (Note: Street cleaning continues through December.) Subscribers to the Connect CTY phone alert system will get three robo-calls as well. Call 617 666-3311 to sign up for those. Meter maids start issuing warnings on Dec. 21.
Some tips: Instructions on applying for resident stickers are online on the city website. Resident stickers cost $15 (free to people over 60 or with HP plates/placards). Bring your car registration and a recent utility bill to the Traffic and Parking building in Davis Square. (Apartment leases don't count.)
Every household, car-owning or car-free, can get two visitor cards for $5 each, again no charge for seniors and drivers with disabilities. Bring a utility bill from the past 30 days or a bank statement.
Traffic and Parking is cash-only. According to a city press release, the department may open on two Saturdays (Nov. 21 and Dec. 5) to meet demand.
If you get a ticket, crying has helped this reporter in the past, but only genuine distress over life events, not crocodile tears.
Mayoral spokesman Tom Champion has said many times that those who live in the two-thirds of the city that's already resident-only know that life goes on.
The Somerville Parking Advocacy and Reform Coalition hosted a forum on the changes on Sunday. Learn more at somervillevoices.org.