Unless a person lives in a major city (and drives), they may not fully appreciate the challenges faced by residents and workers when it comes to parking. In Boston, parking problems have become so significant that there are proposals to begin charging for residential spaces and/or limiting the number of vehicles a resident in the city can own.
According to some reports, Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty recently noted that there are too many bus stops throughout the city, spaces that should be designated to automobiles. However, Councilor Michelle Wu countered that a more common sense proposal was needed, which would involve charging for residential parking permits. Some have also suggested limiting the number of vehicles an individual can own when they live within the city limits.
Charging for parking permits, though, could have a negative impact on some workers, including in-home care support services. That’s why, according to her plan, some low income residents as well as home health care aides could be exempt.
As commented on in an editorial published by The Boston Globe, titled, Michelle Wu’s right: Parking permits should not be free:
“In [Boston City Councilor Michelle]Wu’s plan, some populations would be exempt: seniors, low-income residents, home health care aides visiting patients, and Boston Public School staff visiting students. Her ordinance would also implement a visitor parking permit at a cost of $10 per visit and valid for 72 hours.
In Boston, the need is only becoming more acute as the population and number of permits grow. Data provided by Wu’s office show that between 2008 and 2018, the number of active permits issued in the city went up 31 percent. In East Boston, for instance, the number of stickers nearly doubled from 6,900 to 13,500 in the same period.”
Providing exemptions to in-home care providers, including visiting nurses, would be beneficial. The key provision here, though, is that these exemptions would only apply when they are visiting patients. It’s unclear how this could be enforced, especially given the number of different clients some caregivers work with on any given day.
Some cities and states are grappling with a number of challenges, including budget shortfalls and limited space. There may very well need to be some provisions put in place to combat these issues, but it’s important to understand how it might affect certain low-wage workers who are absolutely essential to growing numbers of aging seniors and disabled adults, like home care.
Added expenses for home care aides and agencies can have significant unintended consequences that leave potentially millions of people struggling to find adequate care and support at home.