Boston 'Green' Parking Policy has SUV Owners Seeing Red

In Boston, a group named Dinosaur Capital Partners is planning to develop a “green” parking lot on the site of an old Mobile gas station. However, a concept of charging people who drive “gas guzzlers” a premium for parking there is creating a lot of controversy.

By means of technology, the plan will be to offer a 10-percent discount to those who drive “green” vehicles and choose to park there, while those that pilot machines with 15 miles per gallon or less fuel economy ratings will face a 10 percent penalty.

Not surprisingly a number of local truck and SUV driving residents, interviewed by the Boston Herald weren’t exactly enthused at the idea.

“It’s not fair,” said John Roberts, who drives a GMC Sierra pickup. “It’s like they’re trying to make money off people who are not environmentally conscious.”

Christine Degregoria, who drives a Jeep Liberty added, “whatever you buy [to drive] is your choice and they shouldn’t charge you more because you don’t have a hybrid because you drive a gas guzzler.”

Nonetheless, Dinosaur’s Scott Oran believes what his company is doing is right. “We feel strongly that not only is this the right thing to do but we’ll attract customers that feel the same way.”

Besides the obvious goal of reduced emissions, Oran said another reason is to reduce wear and tear on the lot’s surface, often caused by heavy trucks and SUVs. “We think that should be reflected in our price,” he said.

Dinosaur is spending some $1.5 million on the new parking lot development, which will include no fewer than eight charging stations for EVs, though the cost for those is being picked up by the City of Boston. That said, despite anger from local drivers, so far the city hasn’t made any legal objections to the proposed surcharges.

Oran believes in the end that many truck and SUV drivers “understand that their vehicles cost more to operate” and so “will find other places to park.”

Do you think Dinosaur is right to do this? Feel free to add your comments below.

Boston Herald


  • Alexprime

    “It’s not fair,” said John Roberts, who drives a GMC Sierra pickup. “It’s like they’re trying to make money off people who are not environmentally conscious.”

    ….they should.

    It’s the only way to make them change their their ways, plus let’s face it 15 mpg is insanely low, perhaps only a few super cars and HUGE pickups fit in that category…

  • Darnelll

    Obviously, if you frequent this site your opinion is probably going to be biased, but I think its fair. And its a view on how you look at the wording. It doesn’t sound like there’s a flat rate that if you have a gas guzzler you pay more than for, it sounds like there’s a flat rate you get a discount on if you have a fuel efficient vehicle. In reality its the same thing, but if it flys its just an annoyance having a gas guzzler contributes to and the owners will either have to accept it, change vehicles, or address it in court.

    Its something they’ll just have to deal with.

  • FamilyGuy

    It’s not fair. But it sounds like a private lot and they can do what they want with it. You don’t like it, don’t park there. As the article states, they are converting an old Mobile station. It’s like drivers have been parking there all along and this is something new in the pricing.

    You vote with your dollars. You don’t like it, don’t give them your business.

  • perfectapproach

    I don’t think it’s about fairness or unfairness, but I agree with you. “Free” country, private parking lot, the owner can do with it what he/she pleases.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    “It’s not fair,” said John Roberts, who drives a GMC Sierra pickup. “It’s like they’re trying to make money off people who are not environmentally conscious.”

    Christine Degregoria, who drives a Jeep Liberty added, “whatever you buy [to drive] is your choice and they shouldn’t charge you more because you don’t have a hybrid because you drive a gas guzzler.”

    —Weird because when the shoe is on the other foot it’s okay. What I mean by that is there are proposals to charge EV’s and hybrids more because we don’t consume as much gas therefore we don’t contribute as much in tax revenue to maintain the roads.

  • charlyhibrid

    “It’s like they’re trying to make money off people who are not environmentally conscious.” This remarks just shows whats wrong with the environmental and renewable energy debate, gas guzzling vehicles, are not just your choice, by you the individual using such vehicle, the roads, your city and the global environment are affected in a larger way than if you make a more environmentally friendly choice, in the end we as a society and at a global level “pay” for your imprudent decision, by making you pay a gas guzzling tax or just passing to you directly those cost that you would burden on the rest of us, we’re just doing whats fair, its not environmentalism, its capitalism at its finest, you want a two ton truck that spews out double the toxic gasses and c02 that a normal vehicle, fine that’s great its your decision, just pay for it in every way.

  • dutchinchicago

    Some people would say that it is not fair to drive a gas guzzler that causes kids (and adults) to die prematurely and causes millions of people to loose access to drinking water or loose their homes due to rising sea levels.

  • Van

    I am all for the effort. If the market supports the move, then special breaks for non-guzzler vehicles could become the norm.

    What would be unfair would be to use government compulsion to achieve leftist goals.

    To equate this with a “white only” drinking fountain seems a stretch, the people who buy and drive gas guzzlers are using more than their fair share of an essential product. Not to mention polluting more than needed as well. A market based pricing structure to reward those that waste not is as American as apple pie.

  • Sri

    Perhaps another point to be made here is parking space used by the larger vehicles. All things considered I don’t think a 10% penalty for larger vehicles is unfair.

  • Dudegranma

    I think it’s innovative, like the EV industry itself.
    CIgarettes have been found to cause cancer, but still there is no law against their manufacture, and so they keep on producing income.
    I think we have as much right to price parking spaces as we choose.
    Not to compare us with “cancer sticks” but hey. Combustibles can certainly go elsewhere to park; they have that choice; we cannot remove that right from them.

  • veek

    I’m not sure I understand what the issue is here.

    If someone has a private lot, pays their appropriate taxes to the fair city of Boston, does not monopolize trade, and communicates the parking policy to those who use it, why should this not be fair? What’s the point? And if the city of Boston wants to put in a few low-cost charging points, well, shouldn’t the citizens of Boston give their elected officials a little slack?

    SUV drivers should be happy that this lot frees up more parking spaces elsewhere in the city, which they will now be free to use.