Modern Love Looks Like Parking Tickets

Fools rush in, they say—with a little push from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking, & Transportation Department.
February 14, 2014, 2pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Martine Powers shares the personal stories of couples in towns like Cambridge and Somerville in Massachusetts, where visitor parking permits are a logistical concern of budding romance.

Powers explains the regulatory issue: “In Somerville, residents can pay $10 for a two-day visitor pass and $40 for a three-day pass. The rules are spelled out: Visitors may not use the pass for more than two or three days of the week, though Sundays are free parking days.”

One resident quoted in the story explains the parking-enforcement-imposed metric of romance: “Once you pass that two-night-a-week threshold, it’s like, ‘Wait a minute. This is serious.’”

Powers also notes the privacy issues implied by the enforcement of visitor permits: “To identify overusers, the cities maintain months or years of records on the length and frequency of domestic visits.”

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Published on Friday, February 14, 2014 in Boston Globe
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