The Dorchester Reporter previews tomorrow's Open Streets festival, the third non-Newbury shutdown this year of a street to motorized vehicles for part of a day.
These 6 hour open streets are not nearly enough. Some streets should be pedestrian only all weekend year round. Some streets should just be straight up pedestrian only all the time. If tiny Burlington Vermont can do it than so can we. Newbury, Charles, Hanover, Beach streets. Pedestrianize them. They already have ten times as many people as cars.
It's just one block, from Beach Street to Kneeland, but what a crowded block it is. You'd still need to allow delivery trucks at off-hours.
The closed streets plan has been welcomed by many.
However, there was no coordination with the public and MBTA on how disabled people will get in and out during the closures.
Some partly disabled people can get a regular bus on their special reduced-rate card but of course, no buses on Dot Ave. and walking to a Red Line station may be too far for some. Those needing accommodations either use THE RIDE or a ride share service such as Uber or Lyft where the MBTA picks up a portion of the cost. That is a part of their ADA plan.
While THE RIDE may get through to people needing that service, and only those that have been pre-qualified for it get that van, those with lesser mobility issues that need the ride shares were tossed to the curb so to speak. While the streets are closed the disabled are held hostage until the closure is over because the ride shares are not allowed passage.
This can work if the city and MBTA actually talk to each other to fix this problem. So far, no federal law suits over accessibility... I think.
We can do better.
So you can go to the 15 chain stores that sell winter coats, the chain ice cream place, the chain Irish bar, and the chain bank?
My brother in law's girlfriend owns a store on Church Street. Most of her paying customers drive and park on Bank or other street as opposed to the tourists who only browse.
PS - Have you asked the patrons of stores and the owners on Beach Street do they want it pedestrian only? Kind of hard to lug all that stuff back to their houses in the burbs without a car.
I wish they'd open the stretch between Summer and the Southie welding supply/joke shop.
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