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What if Hanover Street were one way?
By adamg on Sat, 02/05/2011 - 1:40pm
The Globe reports some North End business types have begun talking up the idea because they could cram in more tourists in a neighborhood that's been bustling like nobody's business since the Central Artery came down. Some residents, though, say the last thing the neighborhood needs is more tourists.
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Better yet, just close that road to cars and make it a pedestrian mall.
-point. Why do cars need to go down Hanover?
Hanover Street has a fire station
You'd have to move it somewhere else before you can close the street to traffic.
How about emergency vehicles
How about emergency vehicles only?
Clearly making fanueil
Clearly making fanueil hall/quincy market a pedestrian mall didn't work, nobody goes there anymore.
Yes, the street should be designed to accommodate more pedestrians.
Use pavers, benches and such so you have the following situation:
Monday-Thursday: 2 parking lanes, 1 traffic lane, 1 bike lane.
The 8 feet gained can be added as walking space on either side.
Friday-Sunday: 1 traffic lane. 1 bike lane, no parking
The extra 16 feet gained can be used for outdoor seating on both sides.
Yeah, because you know what
Yeah, because you know what tourists love? One-way streets. PEDESTRIANS, maybe, but I can't imagine how converting 2-way streets to one-way streets in Boston is going to do anything besides piss off drivers.
-love when 'residents' decry one of the things that make their neighborhood so livable and distinct and keeps it from becoming just another afterthought in city planning. How many Boston residents actually trek into the North End from any other part of the city? Even suburban residents? I've been here ten years and I know people who've lived here their entire lives and have never bothered to go to the North End. I'd love to see the tourists stop coming and see how long all those restaurants and small, unique shops continue to stay open. The city would very quickly make the North End another West End and let developers have their way with the neighborhood if tourists stopped coming. There would be a bunch of luxury lofts and waterfront condos and...I'm going to go back and look at MIT's photo gallery of the former West End again-*wipes tear from eye*...
Just because you and your friends are suburbanites who never leave the house...
Among my circle of friends, walking or taking the T to the North End and wandering is a pretty common thing to do when people are looking to do some dinner or drinks and don't have a particular place in mind. It's really walkable and practical, with all of the menus in the windows with prices listed and everything. I think most people tend to make plans to just hit up "the North End" without a particular restaurant in mind unless they have a huge party.
But yes, I'm sure tourists help the area businesses out too.
My native Bostonian wife and I, on average, go from Allston to the North End for lunch and some shopping once a month or so, more often in the summer when we can get takeout or hit one of the bakeries and sit along the arcade on the greenway.
We're not alone in this. So what's it like being a shut-in?
Hanover St. is great. One of
Hanover St. is great. One of the city's highlights, really. Seems a bit silly to never visit it.
I spend time in the North End
I'm a regular North End visitor. I go for all the things that it offers it's residents. Little food shops, butchers, small owner operated restaurants, few chains of any kind.
Where do you buy a great loaf of bread or a box of pastry in the Back Bay? Where do you find a butcher to cut a piece of meat the way you want it?
Newbury Street has changed so much in the past decade that I no longer bring out-of-town friends to walk the street and enjoy the shops. My friends have the same chains where they came from or can shop them online. There are a few little gems that I where I will bring someone with a special interest. But, at one time my pals came to Boston and we'd spend the whole day doing Newbury. Now we do the North End.
I do take guests to the North End. Today it offers a lot. Change it bit by bit and you will have another place not worth a visit.
in this city my entire life and go to the North End whenever I have half of an excuse to. It's nice if you'd preface comments like this one with a qualifier such as, "I'm speaking only for myself here, but..."
Anyhow, making Hanover a one-way would open up pedestrian access, sure, but at the cost of maneuverability for emergency and commercial vehicles. Maybe having Hanover go one way, Salem the other would work out, maybe it wouldn't.
Did we read the same article?
Did we read the same article? I missed the part where residents said the last thing the neighborhood needs is more tourists. The gist of the article is that the Chamber of
Commerce plan would change the unique character of Hanover Street. Presumably that would make it less attractive to tourists. Also, there are many reasons a resident might need to drive on Hanover Street - dropping an elderly friend off to church, bringing a family member to the health center, picking up a large birthday cake at a bakery, running into the pharmacy for an urgent prescription, etc. I understand that these activities might seem trivial if you are a restaurateur living on Marblehead Neck or City Councilor LaMattina but there are still over 10,000 residents in the area and they actually care about these things.
Tourists just go where the
Tourists just go where the tourist guidebooks tell them to go. They're in Boston already, so where else are they going to go. There will still be a line in front of Mike's.
Traffic can have benefits
Congestion is not always a bad thing.
Yes, make it pedestrians only!
So the neighborhood can stop whining about the Segways...
Chaos is good planning!
Urban planners get a lot of good street design from European cities in Denmark and the Netherlands.
Some of the most successful streets are just like Hanover where everyone is allowed. It forces drivers to drive slowly because of all the parked cars and pedestrians; and its not an odd pedestrian mall atmosphere.
Keep the street as is!
If Hanover Street were one-way...
...it would be like Charles Street.
Honestly I never find myself driving down Hanover Street in a northerly direction, I'm always coming from the waterfront...so I guess I wouldn't care if it were one-way (provided it was MY way, bustuh). Not sure that would do much for traffic. I mean is Charles Street that much better off? It's not like it has a Newbury Street sidewalk culture (which basically equates to outside tables for people to be seen yakking on their phones and paying way too much for drinks and tapas).
Closing Hanover Street entirely to regular traffic, á la Washington Street @ Downtown Crossing, might be arguable for the last block or two (from Parmenter or Prince Street down to the Greenway) during the summer months, but I'd just as soon see things stay as they are. I don't think the argument is being made for the tourists so much as it is for the gentrifiers who have settled in the North End for quite some time now. That means it will happen eventually as the North End gets turned into an EPCOT-Center version of "East Coast Immigrant Enclave-land" or worse..."Boston's Little Italy." Animitronic Ant-anee's through the streets for Prince spaghetti night and greeters in Guido-suits posing for photos with the kids. ..sigh...you can't go home again...