While some customers may be having food delivered to avoid having to fight traffic and find parking, some in Boston are arguing that delivery drivers are exacerbating those problems.
On Boylston Street on Monday afternoon, cars were swerving to avoid double-parked cars as a near-endless stream of food delivery drivers pour in and out of several popular restaurants.
It's not just there. Over the weekend, Boston Police dispatched to two problem areas in the Seaport District for reports of cars double-parking there.
"In some of the most congested areas, it has had tremendous impact on the street," said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Boston's chief of streets. "What we see is rampant double or triple parking. We see vehicles, delivery drivers squeezing their car in ways that ends up being terribly unsafe."
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Franklin-Hodge says his department has started working with the Boston Licensing Board to find solutions. At a recent licensing meeting, new restaurant applicants were grilled on their plans for takeout, and asked if they had plans for food delivery drivers to help relieve any potential congestion.
"We want a city where everyone is good neighbors, and we have to use all the tools in our tool box, and one of those is licensing," Franklin-Hodge said. "Our goal is to recognize that the curb needs to serve a lot of different purposes."
On Boylston Street, the city took several metered spots and turned them into five-minute pick-up/drop-off zones to help alleviate some of the issues.
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"Where this problem is at its worst, what we have found is not even giving huge amounts of curb space over to deliveries deters the illegal and unsafe behavior," Franklin-Hodge said.
The city is also talking with the delivery companies to try to reach a potential solution there. However, like the traffic on Boylston Street, that is slow-going.
"I think it is time for us as a commonwealth for us to look at some sensible regulations that support food delivery, but also work to minimize the negative impact that it causes on our streets," Franklin-Hodge said. "In some of the cases, we have seen restaurants really having tremendous impacts to everyone surrounding them."