Top Places to Stash Your Van in Boston

Written by Sean Robinson Posted in: on January 20, 2012

Boston is notorious for terrible parking and small, competitive venues so it’s possible that a place to stash the van during the show isn’t going to be provided. Whether you just need a place to stow the van for the gig or find yourself partying too hard and spending the night on the town, here’s a list of the best parking for each of Boston’s neighborhoods.

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Allston Village: Great Scott, Paradise, Brighton Music Hall, O’Brien’s

There is street parking all up and down Commonwealth Ave., (Great Scott & Paradise) Brighton Ave., (Brighton Music Hall), and Cambridge St., (O’Brien’s) but it can be tricky with a van & trailer because these are in high traffic spots. Brighton Music Hall & Paradise are the only venues in this area who might offer bands free parking out front, but for the most part you’re on your own. You won’t usually have trouble parking when you get there during sound check times because it’s during the transition of commuters and night owls, but if you need a place for overnight, the safest and best bet for finding extended (and free) parking in on Chestnut Hill Ave. in Brighton between Washington St. and Commonwealth Avenue. It’s about 8 blocks from any of these venues, doesn’t have “parking permit” restrictions, usually has large spots to park, and is in a really safe neighborhood.

Type: Meters/Parking lot
Tow Risk: Depends on the area, but tow trucks are constantly on the prowl in Allston.  Brighton isn't as scary.
Parking Signs: Keep an eye on the street signs. Parking rules typically change from block to block.
Trailer parking: Finding more than one consecutive parking spot can be tough, but it's more likely on Comm Ave, Brighton Ave and Chestnut Hill Ave.
Safety: College kids are everywhere. Put your stuff under the seats and lock it up!

 

Central Square: Middle East, TT the bears, All Asia

While the meters in the area shut off at 6:00PM, finding street parking in Central Square can be difficult. However, depending on what venue you are playing, you have options for garages. If you’re playing All Asia, they will validate parking in The University Hot Parking Lot directly behind the venue. For The Middle East and TT the Bear’s a good shot is behind the McDonald’s on Bishop Richard Allen Dr. Alternatively, The Middle East provides a parking spot you can use during the show, but it’s quite a few blocks away and not necessarily worth the hassle if you can find street parking. An alternative if you’d prefer cover is the Green Street Parking Garage located on Green Street a block away from both clubs.

Type: Meters/Parking Lot/Garage
Tow risk: Cambridge likes to hand out tickets like candy.  Park legally and you should be fine.
Parking signs: Keep an eye on the street signs. Parking rules typically change from block to block.
Trailer parking: difficult
Safety: Lock your doors.

 

Harvard Square: Club Passim, Charlie’s Kitchen, Lizard Lounge, etc.

There’s a lot of metered parking on side streets in Harvard Square, but it gets competitive when the meters shut off at 8PM. However, before 8PM it’s a 2 hour limit. Club Passim offers discounted parking in the University Parking Garage for $7 for the evening. There’s free parking at 124 Mt. Auburn St. in The Cambridge Common Parking Lot behind the Lizard Lounge, which can also be an option for clubs closer to Harvard Square if you’re comfortable with the half-mile walk.

Type: Meters/Parking lot/Garage
Tow risk: Cambridge likes to hand out tickets like candy.  Park legally and you should be fine.
Parking signs: Keep an eye on the street signs. Parking rules typically change from block to block.
Trailer or Bus parking: difficult
Safety: Lock your doors.

 

The Fens: House of Blues, Church, Lansdowne, etc.

There’s 2 hour street parking all around the Fenway area where the meters are off at 6:00PM and don’t go on until 10:00AM if you need to leave the van overnight. However, it is advised that you don’t leave gear in the van overnight because the area can get sketchy. If street parking isn’t an option, many of the gas stations in the area offer parking and can often be persuaded to lower their asking price down to $10 for the night when there isn't a Red Sox game. Be sure to check the Red Sox schedule because parking can get more expensive and more competitive. The Landmark Center lot/garage and Pilgrim Parking Garage on Lansdowne Street is also an option.

Type: Meters/Parking lot/Garage
Tow risk: Avoid street parking at all costs during Red Sox games.
Parking signs: Keep an eye on the street signs. Parking rules typically change from block to block.
Trailer parking: veneus can usually provide parking or at least help you find spot.
Safety: Hide your shit & lock your doors.

 

Theater District: Royale, Wilbur, Orpheum, etc.

Street parking in the theater district is rare at best. Your best bet is a lot at 41 Stuart Street that is $15 for the duration. Pilgrim Parking on Charles Street South is within walking distance of the Colonial, Shubert, Wilbur, and Emerson theaters, as well as Royale, Charles Playhouse, and Citi Center. They’ll charge you $20 and while the theater district is pretty safe, it’ll be less risky for your gear than parking in the lot. If you don’t want to spend the money or the venue won’t validate another option to consider is dropping your stuff off, parking farther away, and taking the T in.

Available: Meters/Parking lot/Garage
Tow risk: High. Park in a garage.
Parking signs: Keep an eye on the street signs. Parking rules typically change from block to block.
Trailer parking: Moderate - It's hard to come by, but there are meters along these streets.
Safety: Hide your shit & lock your doors.

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