Photo: The new commuter parking spaces along Royal Road.
Postponed three months due to the record snow fall, a new parking pricing scheme for Belmont Center’s parking lot and along a street popular with commuters begins Friday, May 1.
The plan includes the new fee structure for residents and shoppers using the municipal parking lot on Claflin Street and an attempt to monetize the vast number of commuters who have parked on Belmont streets for nothing, or close to it, for decades.
At Belmont Center’s main parking lot, the daily rate is being upped from $3 to $5. Shoppers will now pay a buck an hour to park there.
In addition to the hourly and daily fees jumps in Belmont Center, the town created 10 weekday parking spots along Royal Road adjacent to the MBTA’s Belmont commuter rail station in addition to spaces in the Claflin St. lot reserved for commuter pass holders.
Those monthly passes are going for $90 a pop, an increase of $30.
Many Belmont businesses owners were critical of the blueprint when it was approved in December, noting the hardship for many part-time employees. The Belmont Center Business Association suggested cutting the increases to employees and shoppers while pushing more of the costs onto commuters.
Belmont officials noted the new rates were approved by the town’s parking advisory group, and were vital to allow the parking system to pay its own way.
Belmont Town Treasurer Floyd Carman, said rates have been kept steady since January 2009 while the demand for parking spots is outstripping supply.
“Belmont parking is at a premium. We are not like other towns that either has the space for big lots or a lot of industry that can subsidize parking,” said Carman. “Belmont does not have that luxury; We have a limited number of parking spaces. That’s the facts.”