Underwater Parking Garages: Why Not, Boston?

Underwater parking garages have been constructed in Europe, and Boston seems like the perfect opportunity to bring the idea to the United States.
August 23, 2017, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Billie Grace Ward

According to an article by Matt Rocheleau, "a seemingly far-fetched notion might become a reality if Boston follows the lead of other cities desperate for parking but lacking land to build it." That is, underwater parking garages, similar to existing or planned in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Geneva.

"In a city like Boston, where the most parking-starved areas are surrounded by water, the payoff could be significant: helping to reduce the pollution and traffic caused by drivers circling the block hunting for spot, making parking more affordable, and freeing up more street-level space for other uses," according to Rocheleau.

To make the idea seem more realistic, Rocheleau takes in in-depth look at the construction methods and costs of a two-floor parking garage under the Boerenwetering, a canal in Amsterdam. "Once it’s completed in early 2018, about 300 street parking spaces in the surrounding area will be removed to create more green space and room for pedestrians, cyclists, and play facilities," according to Rocheleau.

The article returns its focus to Boston, where a construction boom has come to the water adjacent neighborhood of Seaport, but the idea of underwater parking garages is likely still a tough sell politically.

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Published on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 in The Boston Globe
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