Mayor Walsh today announced a new program called Healthy Streets to get more people biking and riding the bus - with plans to figure out how to let restaurants add new outdoor seating.
Walsh said the city is laying new bike lanes to connect downtown with the city's existing bike lanes in the South End and the Back Bay, by using traffic barrels and signs on:
Arlington Street between Beacon Street and Stuart Street
Beacon Street between Charles Street and Berkeley Street
Boylston Street between Arlington Street and Washington Street
Charles Street between Boylston Street and Beacon Street
Columbus Avenue between Clarendon Street and Stuart Street
Court Street between Congress Street and Tremont Street
State Street between Atlantic Avenue and Congress Street
Tremont Street between Court Street and Shawmut Avenue
Shawmut Avenue between Tremont Street and Marginal Road
The city is also working with the MBTA to create dedicated lanes for the Silver Line on Washington and Essex streets and to lengthen and mark off bus stops in several locations:
Maverick Blue Line Station on the median island in Maverick Square
Blue Hill Avenue at Morton Street and Woodhaven Street (inbound)
Massachusetts Avenue at Hynes Convention Center Station (outbound)
Congress Street at Haymarket Station
Warren Street at Whiting Street and Moreland Street
Route 39 Bus Stop at Fenwood Street
Broadway at L Street (inbound)
Walsh said 264 restaurants in Boston have expressed interest in adding patio seating to make up for the lost of inside seats. He did not have specifics of where the space would come from, for example, by carving out temporary sidewalk space out of street asphalt, but said the city will have a plan ready by the time the state announces restaurants can re-open their dining spaces.
Walsh pleaded with neihborhood residents not to get all NIMBY on these proposals but to instead give them a chance and be patient. He noted nothing Boston is doing or might do is revolutionary; cities around the world have done it.