The Select Board is debating a change to Arlington’s overnight parking ban, with a possible pilot program to allow overnight parking with an annual paid permit. Since this is a controversial topic, here’s how you can learn more about what’s being discussed.

Timeline Of Arlington’s Parking Ban

Arlington’s overnight ban on parking is a fact of life for long-time residents, even if it may be a surprise to some newcomers. In 2013 Town Meeting considered the overnight parking ban; but the majority of voters supported keeping the ban in a nonbinding referendum. Residents still span the spectrum of feelings towards the ban, from disappointment that we don’t allow street parking for renters, to cries that we don’t want to be like Somerville. However there have been folks who’ve tried to improve the parking situation for folks for a while.

At the start of 2023, the Select Board started discussing a pilot program that would end the overnight parking ban, but require an annual permit to park overnight. The Select Board is continuing the discussion this week, with more details on how much overnight permits might cost. Want to see what the Select Board said? All meetings are recorded video on ACMi.

Local Perspectives On Overnight Parking

Who else has an overnight parking ban? See parking data on comparable towns to Arlington, which shows that:

  • Belmont, Brookline, and Winchester each ban overnight parking
  • Stoneham, Watertown, and Lexington ban winter overnight parking (December to April, typically)
  • Melrose requires a resident permit for $120 annually
  • Medford, Milton, Cambridge, and Somerville each require annual resident permits under $40 annually; parts of Reading do as well
  • Natick, Needham, and North Reading do not restrict overnight parking

These towns are included for comparison, either because they count as ‘comparable’ in terms of rough size and structure, or because they are neighbors to Arlington.

Where To Discuss This

As expected, The Arlington List email list is all over the issue. Some residents are asking “Where is the money in this question?” and pointing at out-of-town developers who want to build denser housing in Arlington. Some neighbors who want more neighbors believe in more equitable housing options, which means more ability to park on the street. The likely Facebook groups around Arlington are also talking about this.

If you’ve got solid information on overnight parking changes, please let us know!