Boston T parking on a weekday
November 19, 2005 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Boston Commuters: How readily can I park at a T station on a weekday?

On Wednesday, I have to pick up someone in Boston on the way to Connecticut. She can't leave until 5, so I thought perhaps I might get to Boston earlier and go visit the aquarium or something. I've never parked *in* Boston (and I don't really want to now); I've only parked at Alewife and taken the train in, on weekends. Would I be able to find parking at Alewife at about noon or so? Or is that just crazy on a weekday?
posted by JanetLand to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (14 answers total)
I don't think you'd have difficulty with that at all. Even if you did, there is a commercial shopping lot diagonally across the street (look for the Loews Theater) which is always 50% empty, and doesn't cost a dime.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 12:20 PM on November 19, 2005

My sister used to come to Boston from SW NH once a week to teach a class and she started parking at the lot NotMyselfRightNow mentions after her car was vandalized at the Alewife lot. The commercial lot is better patrolled than the T lot. (And there's a shortcut to get to that lot: drive past the turnoff to the entrance to the Alewife lot, then make a right turn after going over the railroad tracks. That'll take you back under the road to the lot. Easier than going around the rotary.)
posted by TimeFactor at 12:35 PM on November 19, 2005

I just recommend not going to the Aquarium. It's pretty dull. For a great science-related activity, try the Museum of Science (on the Green line). It's much more interesting for the money, in my opinion.

Parking at Alewife should be no problem.

Good luck driving to CT after 5 on Wednesday. The Mass Pike will be backed up for miles at the Sturbridge exit, assuming you're going that way. Just be patient, and make sure you have an EZ Pass/Fast Lane thingie if you can.
posted by paschke at 12:39 PM on November 19, 2005

I actually completely disagree with paschke. The Museum of Science is aimed for very very young scientists. New England Aquarium stuff is intended for a broader audience, and it's a nice aquarium overall.
posted by whatzit at 12:51 PM on November 19, 2005

Don't want to get into the Museum of Science vs. Aquarium issue, just want to point out that there is a large parking garage on the north side of the MoS, and the T stop is right down the street.
posted by event at 12:57 PM on November 19, 2005

Here's a third voice for the parking lot by the movie theater. I've always parked there as the Alewife parking lot usually is full. As for the Museum of Science- the big exhibit right now is the science of Star Wars with lots of costumes from the movies.
posted by rodz at 2:01 PM on November 19, 2005

So is the consensus that I can't park at Alewife, that it will be full?
posted by JanetLand at 2:12 PM on November 19, 2005

I think it's pure luck. I've been able to find parking easily during the day, but occasionally had trouble and ended up driving to Porter Sq. and parking there.

The one thing I would say is that because it's the day before Thanksgiving, I'd expect the Alewife lot to be full. In which case try the movie theater lot.
posted by darsh at 2:27 PM on November 19, 2005

A side note, I haven't lived in Boston for a few years, but a friend of mine who parks daily at Alewife has mentioned that if he leaves his office (downtown) at 5, he'll sit in the Alewife garage for more than 30 minutes waiting to get out.

I'd park in the Lowe's Fresh Pond lot, too, if it were me.
posted by sohcahtoa at 2:28 PM on November 19, 2005

If you're going to the aquarium or anywhere down by Faneuil Hall/North End, the best kept secret in Boston is the Parcel 7 Parking Garage. It's right next to the Holocaust Memorial and sort of above the Haymarket T station. It's pretty easy to get to off of 93 south. Parking there is $3 for 3 hours, all day and all night long. The only 2 catches are, you need to get validated at a Haymarket area shop. And if you park for 3 hours and one minute, it's like $20. But if you're only going to be there for 2-3 hours, there's no easier, cheaper place to park downtown.

If you're going to be in the area for longer than 3 hours, it's not too difficult to drive out and pay for 3 hours and then drive right back in and park for another 3 hours. I have friends that do that all the time.
posted by evoo at 3:41 PM on November 19, 2005

Driving anywhere near Boston on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving is a nightmare. Last year driving to my parents house in New York after work was the worst traffic I've ever seen, even for Boston.
posted by mboedick at 4:18 PM on November 19, 2005

We went to the Aquarium this summer, and it was a disappointment. They seem to have sacrificed some of their exhibit space for the marine-animal hospital. (Some of the disappointment may be due to our having seen the awesome Monterey, CA aquarium in between visits to the Boston one.)

I've always liked the Science Museum, and a weekday is good for that. As noted, it has parking.

If you can spend rush hour doing something other than driving, you'll be happier. You and your someone could have dinner while the rushers do their thing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:20 PM on November 19, 2005

Yes, you should still be able to find parking at Alewife by noontime. Alewife's garage has three floors, if I recall; and in my experience, the roof rarely fills completely. That's where I usually park -- especially in the wintertime, because the sun warms the car interior for my return.

And I would guess that, on the day before Thanksgiving, Alewife would be less crowded, not more. It's mostly used by commuters, many of whom will take that day off.
posted by cribcage at 7:22 PM on November 19, 2005 [1 favorite]

Would I be able to find parking at Alewife at about noon or so? Or is that just crazy on a weekday?

I think you should be fine if you aim at a bit later than noon. Reason being that a lot of people might take half-days, or leave for long lunches and need their cars--basically there's a kind of "shift-change" around noon when you might have a couple of people leave their spots.

and I don't really want to now

You know, after the Expressway came down, driving around Boston (and in particular the area of the Aquarium) is a cakewalk. There are a number of garages in the area, many have already been mentioned. Here's the super-secret, members-only, master list of places to park in the area. Don't tell no one, or I'll break your legs. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:28 AM on November 20, 2005

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