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Boston moves up start of outdoor dining to March 22

The mayor's office announced today that official outdoor dining - during which restaurants with permits can use sidewalks and parking spaces for tables - will start on March 22 instead of the previously announced April 1.

The earlier start is due to current long-range forecasts, which show no snowstorms on the way.

The city began its outdoor dining pilot last year due to indoor restrictions caused by Covid-19.

Free tagging: 



Let's make the first day of outdoor dining the equivalent of Sox opening day as a sign of spring (for those of us who are willing to sit outside when its not actually that warm out).

Mayoral candidates, I'm looking at one of you to take this up as an issue.

Voting closed 34

Yes! The expanded outdoor dining is seriously one of the best things Boston has done recently. Let's keep it going and make it easy for as many businesses as possible to participate, throughout the entire City. I would love to see even more of it in Chinatown for example!

Voting closed 24

... to make Chinatown car free.

Voting closed 17

Densely populated, pedestrian heavy, restaurant packed, subway accessible neighborhoods like Chinatown and the north end are the exact type of areas that should be pedestrian only. It’s ridiculous to devote more space to car storage than to people.

Voting closed 20

High housing prices have pushed much of the Asian-American community out of Chinatown and into surrounding cities, particularly Quincy and Malden. They will drive in to patronize Chinatown businesses -- a 20 minute drive is far more convenient than the never-ending clusterf**k of MBTA weekend diversions on the Orange and Red Lines. If Chinatown is made car-free, it will push those people to patronize the Asian businesses that are springing up in Quincy and Malden. Businesses in Chinatown will be forced to leave for those places, taking the "China" out of Chinatown.

It's also important to note that Quincy and Malden are home to only the working and lower-middle class Asian-Americans. The upper-middle class ones live in the leafy suburbs of Newton, Wellesley, etc. For them, Quincy and Malden are arguably already easier to reach, and it'll be a no-brainer to switch to patronizing those businesses.

This is not just a hypothetical. If you were to examine the distribution of large-scale Asian supermarkets in the greater Boston area, you will find only three in Chinatown: Jia Ho, C-Mart, and Ming's. There is one in Malden (99), but an astounding five in Quincy (C-Mart, the other 99, New York Mart, Kam Man, and Good Fortune). What do these non-Boston locations all have in common? Free parking, and lots of it.

Now to the most important question: who will benefit? It's the highly-educated white gentrifiers moving into the new-build luxury units all around Chinatown, who will enjoy the "exotic" nature of the built environment, albeit one that is now complete with Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Amazon pickup lockers that will replace once-vibrant, minority-owned small businesses. Look no further than Downtown Washington DC for an example; there, the only Chinese are (a) the few seniors that live in low-income senior housing, and (b) the city-mandated Chinese-character gibberish on the signs of American businesses.

Voting closed 11

For a big snowstorm.

It should just never go away at all.

Voting closed 8

..be, and zero citizen input on whether citizens should have something OTHER than restaurant tables in the public spaces.

Think parklets for general use, wider sidewalks, etc.

Maybe some places, tables are the right move, but plenty of places it is not.

Also, in several places, there were major pedestrian safety issues with no standardization to table area barriers.

Voting closed 13