Brookline: Just Go Away!

November 30th, 2010 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

goawayProbably all of us as adolescents had our cranky periods. Brookline never outgrew its.

Unless you live there, they are too good for you anyway. They don’t even want you parking there. They don’t need your damned tourist dollars. If you are from a neighboring town, why don’t you just stay there?

Speak to someone from Brookline and you are likely to hear how friendly they are. After all in schools, income, personal achievement and every other way, they are superior and have a lot of reason to be happy.

Brookline as a town makes its attitude plain on every street and road coming it. I think of it particularly as I bicycle around Eastern Massachusetts. (Fortunately for lesser mortals such as me, Brookline does not put up toll roads at its borders…yet.)

Other burgs in the area, such as Boston, Newton, Somerville and Cambridge, are different. Signs on streets entering those have this curious term that seems unknown in Brookline — WELCOME. Driving, cycling or walking into those ordinary places read WELCOME TO…

The Brookline version appears here. You are not welcome. You will not park anywhere in town for more than two hours, and there will be places that permit less time or none at all for non-residents. You will not park on the street anywhere overnight.

Go home. You don’t belong there.

It doesn’t work the other way, of course. Many from Brookline work in the financial district, medical facilities, corporations and universities of Boston and Cambridge.

thumbYou get a sense of the long standing of the Brookline attitude from its geography and governance. Brookline is a self-selected island of Norfolk County. As you can see from the map, it appears to be a thumb protruding into Boston’s bottom.

The rest of Norfolk County is to the South. Brookline refused to join Boston on several occasions, the last in 1873 when the town of West Roxbury agreed to annexation. Now Brookline is an exclave (not coincidentally sharing the first four letters with exclusive).

Back to bicycling, for all its snootiness, Brookline as a town is OK by riders. They don’t have nearly enough bike racks (goes with the car-parking attitude surely), but the cops there expect drivers to play nice with riders.

It has one nice, large park, plus the Olmsted site. We attend an old UU church there. The Brookline Village and Coolidge Corner areas have numerous OK, some good, but no great restaurants. (Note: Be very careful in the Village in the evening. Predatory towing services constantly monitor all off-street parking lots of closed businesses. They will get your car within 10 minutes.) It also has a concentration of kosher restaurants and bakeries.

Brookline never joined Boston, never formed its own county and apparently never got lonely for the rest of it body and buddies. It is content to float solo.

If you want to visit, bring quarters for the meters and for God’s sake, get out within two hours!

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2 Responses

  1. Uncle says:

    So this is where all those people in Concord used to live?

  2. Brookline Visitor says:

    I wish I had read this article before I got the ticket 🙂

    I want to share my story so that others do not fall in the trap.

    The other day I wanted to shop in Boston and could not find parking (not stupid to pay $30 for parking in a garrage).

    Anyway, after 1/2 hour of going around and not finding any parking I said let’s find something farther away maybe. So I ended up in Brookline it turns out on Pleasant Street, just off Comm. Ave. I looked at most signs until then and all had POSTED signs of 2 hour limit parking. I wanted something more as I had to return to Boston by T and shop and then come back to Brookline by T again. Doing a simple math I estimated it would take 3 to 4 hours for the whole thing so 2 hour parking limit won’t do it.

    So, lo and behold, I found a stretch of street on Pleasant Street that had DID NOT HAVE 2 HOURS limit POSTED!! This is important because I wanted to make extra sure that it was not just a fallen sign. I went up and down the street to find any 2 HOUR limit sign and there was none. There were other cars parked there. Also, I verified that there was no RESIDENT ONLY PARKING sign at all. I mentally stored this location as a good to know location.

    So I went to and did my shopping and when I came back after 3h and 30 min (good estimation) I found a parking ticket with code 36. On the back of the ticket violation 36 means “Overtime (2 Hour Parking)” and the fine is $30.

    So I was like WTF??

    The timing of my arrival was very accurate (to the minute) which means I might have been watched when I parked.

    Anyway, I wanted to lookup if there is any law or regulation I did not know about and it turns out there is indeed. Brookline MA . GOV states this:

    “Daytime Parking: Unless posted otherwise, no driver may park a vehicle on the same street in Brookline for more than 2 hours between the hours of 6am and 2am the next day. ”

    Good to know!!!

    Thank you Brookline, I will recoup my $30 by dining at your fine restaurants and NOT TIPPING or tipping very small amounts. I figured that will take about 6 outings.

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