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Part of Dartmouth Street in the Back Bay to be open to just pedestrians for ten days this month; streets in JP, Roxbury and Dorchester to be shut to traffic for one day each this year

Mayor Wu today announced plans to turn Dartmouth Street in front of the Copley library into a pedestrian area between June 7 and June 17th - in a pilot that could lead to the block being shut to traffic permanently - and to re-create the Newbury Street open-streets pedestrian program on long stretches of Centre Street in Jamaica Plain one day in July, Blue Hill Avenue in Grove Hall in August and Dorchester Avenue in September.

Programming will include activities unique to each neighborhood, offering a taste of culture through a variety of food trucks, big games, photo installations, exclusive performances and activations. Examples include a block party in collaboration with SEED in JP, a roller rink in Roxbury, and boxing on Dorchester Ave.

The Copley Connect pilot program will temporarily connect the plaza in front of the library with Copley Square Park and will include "food trucks, programming from the Boston Public Library, performances, as well as various activities for youth and families," the city says. City planners, though, will use information from traffic and other studies to consider whether to shut the block to traffic permanently or to open it more frequently as an event pop-up space. A couple years ago, Boston permanently turned the smaller Birch Street in Roslindale Square into a pedestrian gathering spot and seating area for surrounding restaurants.

On Sunday, July 10, Centre Street in Jamaica Plain will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Lamartine Street and the Monument.

On Saturday, Aug. 6, Blue Hill Avenue will be open to just pedestrians from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Warren Street and Dudley Street.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, Dorchester Avenue will be car-free from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Freeport Street and Gallivan Boulevard.

A pedestrian-only Newbury Street will return this summer as well, although dates have not yet been set.

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Comments

Closing the nub end of Birch St. has been a home run in Roslindale. (sorry Christine)

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Voting closed 56

until they do the full build out of it. last i heard it’s stuck in contractor purgatory

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Voting closed 12

even unfinished. I'm excited for the full build if only to be sure it won't go back to being a parking lot in the future.

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Voting closed 5

There is already plenty of spaces for food trucks and performances. The many Boston parks and city properties would be much better for these types of programs. Every road needs to be repaved. Closing down more streets makes life worse for those already dealing with poverty and economic hardship. We need real progress but instead we get parties.

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Voting closed 24

There is already plenty of spaces for driving and commuting. The many Boston roads and streets would be much better for these types of activities. Every road needs to be reconsidered. Closing down more streets makes life better for those already dealing with ground level pollution, unsafe pedestrian environments, and congestion caused by suburbanite commuters. We need real progress but instead we get myopic uhub comments.

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Voting closed 47

There is already plenty of spaces for cars. The many Boston highways and city roads would be much better for these types of cars. Every sidewalk needs to be fixed. Closing down more streets makes life worse for those who face economic hardship and poverty because they are stuck in cars. We need real progress but instead we get cars.

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Voting closed 49

Your comment is completely nonsensical. How the hell does letting people use part of a street for 6 hours make poverty worse? Streets can be repaved the other 8754 hours of the year. Crazy car nut.

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Voting closed 41

Won’t anyone think of the most famously disadvantaged and underprivileged group in our city: drivers

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Voting closed 21

So how to the buses get into Ashmont and Fields Corner?

Do people taking the 240 have to get off in Milton Lower Mills?

Do people taking the 21 and 22 have to get off on Talbot Avenue and then walk to Ashmont? Not everyone is 28 and spry.

If you live on a one way street and have to use your car that day are you hemmed in?

If you live on Edwin Street, Dix Street, Lonsdale between Florida and Dot. Ave, do you have to violate the law to get to somewhere that you need to be that isn't accessible by public transportation?

So, the nice people of the Back Bay lose a few hundred feet, while the working class of Dot have to cope with the poor infrastructure of the neighborhood with this imposed fiat from above?

Seems awfully war on the working class to me.

PS - If someone says "Just Bike", go lick the sidewalk for me. A lot of Dorchester people have limited time for things like buying groceries and other items. Closed streets are great in some places. Shutting down 2 miles of an artery on which many depend might be a bad idea. A lot of people can't just call Peapod.

Good luck BPD that day. Traffic on Washington, Adams, Geneva, and Park will be a nightmare.

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Voting closed 70

LOL!

That’s quite a stretch, even for you.
Not every Dorchester resident is enamored of cars. You would not know that though.

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Voting closed 66

You can ride your tricked out tricycle to your heart's content. You will be the belle of your own little ball.

Also, as a member of a family that had to take a bus to get groceries for a while, it sucks.

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Voting closed 34

Also, as a member of a family that had to take a bus to get groceries for a while, it sucks.

Okay. But that won't get any sympathy from me.

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Voting closed 9

Must have been traumatic.

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Voting closed 18

Like you were the only one? It's 6 hours for 1 day.

We want a livable city - not more of a parking lot. No, your excise taxes don't pay for anything and the gas tax hasn't been raised in 25 years b/c car owners love socialism...free parking, incredibly low taxes, cheap gas b/c 'Merica! It's about time we are paying $5 a gallon...maybe people will start to think outside of the box now.

I highly suggest traveling to livable cities to experience how they and their small businesses thrive when there is more walking space and less cars in central areas.

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Voting closed 14

So I'm assuming your response to the people who ride those buses is "let them eat cake?"

Some people rely on those buses. It's nice that you don't have to rely on buses, but try not to look down on those who do.

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Voting closed 28

...from the French judge for that astounding leap from "Not every Dorchester resident is enamored of cars" to looking down on people who have to rely on buses.

I'm curious, Waquoit: do you rely on a bus? When was the last time you took one?

(before you ask, I'm a 57 bus regular, 65 and 66 on occasion)

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Voting closed 6

And sure, I could take the bus home after work, and I have nothing against those who do it, but ironically 15 years ago I was riding the bus home with a neighbor who noted that it's a 15 minute walk from Forest Hills to the Square. So, I decided to ditch the bus in the afternoon in favor of the walk to ensure that I got a 24 minute low impact cardio workout. Until recently, that also meant that I was going faster than the buses, since traffic on Washington Street is horrible between, oh, 4 and 6:30 in the afternoon. That meant that walking was the more time efficient mode of transport.

No, I have nothing against those who ride buses, because I am one of them. I've mentioned that the walk between Forest Hills and Roslindale Square numerous times on this website in the past and have had posters who I know and respect note that the walk isn't for everyone, which I get. It would be nice if the likes of Lee would get off of his "2 wheels or less" high horse and find a better response to possible issues with this plan as it relates to bus riders.

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Voting closed 7

…, do I mention anything about buses?

You get curiouser and curiouser every day.

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Voting closed 4

I mean, since you were getting all worked up over his comment about the impact on the closure of Dot Ave on buses, I would say there was an implication on your views on the matter.

I mean, looking at your comments over the years, it would appear that anything more than 2 wheels is a horrible device to you. That would include buses.

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Voting closed 9

And find them anyway.

If you do go back and read all my posts as you say you do you would know I am pro public transportation. I ride buses regularly.

But unlike you, I’m not going to post personal info on which particular lines I use. You and John Boy seem just a bit too obsessed with me and other people who comment here.

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Voting closed 6

War on the working class? Please, it's a free community event for six hours on a Saturday. I'm fairly certain this wouldn't be announced more than three months in advance if they didn't have a plan. Why don't you just look forward to a fun event later this summer instead of complaining about any change for literally one weekend day out of the entire year. You can drive your car up and down Dot Ave to your heart's content the other 364 days.

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Voting closed 71

Says it all.

Also, not everyone wants to have city imposed "fun".

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Voting closed 46

Your entitlement is astounding. You are talking about a part of one street for a total of 6 hours. Apparently your parents never taught you how to share even a little bit.

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Voting closed 26

Your idiocy is outstanding. People (cars, pedestrians, bikes) share the street now. This is exclusion of one of those factors. Apparently your parents (those poor people) never taught you logic.

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Voting closed 11

Saturdays, for quite a few people in Dorchester, are nothing but another workday. Your privilege is showing.

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Voting closed 18

So how to the buses get into Ashmont and Fields Corner?

What do they do on the day of the Dorchester Day parade? My wild guess is they’ll do something similar to that.

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Voting closed 41

The street is only closed for 1-2 hours for the parade and Sunday bus service is far reduced or eliminated compared to Saturdays. No one thought this through.

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Voting closed 5

it'll be closed for way more than 2 hours.

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Voting closed 7

sitting around the conference tables down town think shutting Dot Ave on a Saturday in September is just so cool.

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Voting closed 7

I bet the Dorchester Day parade will go off just fine this Saturday, like it does every year, without decimating the working class.

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Voting closed 28

Is a Sunday. Always a Sunday. Sunday is not Saturday when you have limited time to do things that you need to do which you cannot done during the week.

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Voting closed 10

…. of an entitled white collar worker who assumes everyone works 9 to 5 with weekends and holidays off.

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Voting closed 15

The bus to the grocery store with common folk and people who aren’t OFD and it was apparently traumatic for him. John demands to live the life of suburbia in Dot with all activities approved only by the venerated OFD. Activities that include any change are automatically denied approval.

The good news is that if, by magic, one of these activities somehow sneaks into the community for a decade or so and change is suggested at some point in the future, the OFD will deny that change as well because a dominant trait of the OFD is an immediate rejection of any change.

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Voting closed 13

As a FYI, although you probably know this already, Dot Ave is going to be closed to traffic this Sunday for much of the day as it has for decades for the glorious Dorchester Parade. Somehow people have managed to survived it over the years.

Happy Dorchester Day!

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Voting closed 18

Yes and Sunday is a lot different than Saturday just look at the bus schedules. The 18 doesn’t even run on Sunday, but it does in Saturday and for a reason. And the parade is an annual event that only closes sections of Dot Ave for about 1 hour as the parade rolls through (aside from the staging area in Lower Mills ) I’ve been marching in the parade for the past 15 years. It is not comparable to shutting down Dot Ave for a full 6 hours.

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Voting closed 4

bus schedules are immutable and can never be altered. There's no way they could, for instance, run extra buses on Sunday to accommodate people who couldn't travel on Saturday.

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Voting closed 6

That makes zero sense. There won’t be more bus riders on a Sunday due to a bus disruption on a Saturday. And even if there were, the T isn’t on top of things enough to boost the Sunday schedule. And even if they were, there’s a shortage of drivers right now.

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Voting closed 4

I take it you will soon bring this same argument to the Dorchester Day post? I mean, that's several hours this Sunday when cars and buses will be prohibited from using an even longer stretch of Dot Ave.

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Voting closed 5

in order for this to really be a good assessment, you'd need it to be more frequent and reliable, so that people, businesses, etc can plan around it. A single day doesn't really tell us much one way or the other.

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Voting closed 21

Huntington Avenue and Trinity Place used to cut through what's now Copley Square Park. https://web.archive.org/web/20160317003054/http://docs.unh.edu/MA/bsns46...

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Voting closed 23

that the city is closing these streets for a couple miles and not just a couple blocks. i’m very excited to check them out!

I can’t imagine the city would permanently make any of those streets car-free for the full length of these stretches. What I would love to see is private vehicles barred from Centre from South to Green St. There’s no streets on that stretch that are only accessible from Centre. It’s a highly commercialized and walkable stretch already. All the parking lots still seem accessible by car. It would help get rid of traffic from Centre as it would no longer make sense as a throughway, freeing the 39 from being stuck. And it would just be so nice to have (one of) the hearts of JP be car-free!

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Voting closed 41

Oh, how I long for a time when Centre St. in JP become 5000% more pedestrian friendly. The pie-in-the-sky dream is to have Centre/South not be a car-commuting corridor, to have sidewalks twice as wide with outdoor dining, and to beef up cycling infrastructure to boost the amount of people riding bikes to and through the area. Bring back the Green Line E branch, and you've got yourself and amazing, livable, and transit connected space for people to shop, dine, gather, and live their lives.

Sigh, I wish it would happen...

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Voting closed 46

It was called the 70s. It sucked. Thats why it was changed. People really don't learn from history

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Voting closed 6

By someone who has never been in the area around Marathon time.

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Voting closed 13

Being in the area around Marathon time shows that its totally possible to shut down major roads to cars for limited hours with advance warning, as seen by the fact that the metro area manages to do it (on a weekday, no less) every single year.

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Voting closed 35

Between Stuart and St. James and close the Pike exits so Keith and Karen from Swellesley stop driving their Escalade at 50 mph at 15 mpg.

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Voting closed 12

I mostly agree but I will point out that Marathon Monday is a Holiday (Patriots Day) during a week that is extremely popular to travel out of state (April school vacation) for those communities.

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Voting closed 3

Marathon Monday is a Holiday

It is? I've never had "Marathon Monday" (or "Patriots' Day") off in my life.

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Voting closed 7

It is less flawless than you and Mayor Wu are making it out to be. Sure, dealing with it for less than a week a year can be handled, especially considering it is for a major sporting event, but closing it permanently is a bad idea.

I remember when that block was 2 way. That was a bit of overkill, especially it was one way for blocks on both sides. That said, that road handles traffic.

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Voting closed 4

Traffic patterns are not eternal features of nature. Roads close, traffic adapts. New roads open, traffic adapts. If Dartmouth is closed, people will just use Berkeley or Charles.

Arguments that road closures are bad because they cut off access to homes and businesses along the closed stretch at least carry some reasonable weight, but that's not the case here, where the argument is just that alternate routes are in a slightly different location and might be slower... well, life goes on.

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Voting closed 14

Sure, dealing with it for less than a week a year can be handled

And, based on this, it sounds like we agree that it's not that big of a deal to run such a pilot and see how it goes. Heck, sounds like you'd be ok to stretch it out to at least 6 days, which seems even better to me than what Wu's proposing!

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Voting closed 7

The Marathon closure is very different from what is proposed here, which would literally be a single block of one street, rather than multiple blocks of several streets. Regardless, this is a pilot. Implicit in that label is the idea that data will be collected and analyzed in order to make an informed decision, rather than simply go with what one Internet blowhard says to another Internet blowhard.

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Voting closed 6

They close this block about mid week before the marathon, then it's reopened the afternoon after the race.

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Voting closed 4

If you would like a preview of what 6 hours in September will be like, come to Dorchester between 1 and 4 PM this Sunday and try to get anywhere. Then add more people because college kids will be here and no one will be on vacation like in the summer. I can't wait to take a leisurely stroll down Dot Ave between Freeport and Adams and look at all the auto body/repair shops, plumbing supply warehouse, DotHouse, and empty Vietnamese grocery store parking lots. Maybe the Martinez Tires chickens will be out crossing the road!

I'm all for street closures in the summer, but this one used absolutely zero thought and clearly zero engagement and understanding of our community.

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Voting closed 14

As someone who lives on the affected portion of Dot ave, maybe that stretch road would not be the depressing, traffic choked hellhole that you (correctly) describe it as if we encouraged people to get out of their cars and think differently about how we use our public spaces…

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Voting closed 17

It's a one-off pilot to see what works and what doesn't. If it doesn't work, as you predict, they won't do it again. The sky isn't falling.

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Voting closed 5

So the homeless can sleep on the heating grates outside the library undisturbed.

Thx, Michelle!

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Voting closed 12