Plans for Boston’s ‘Healthy Streets’ Initiative Expected Later This Week

Construction barrels block cars and a sign encourages park users to stay 6 feet apart on Parkman Drive next to Jamaica Pond on April 11, 2020. Photo courtesy of Sarah Freeman.
Construction barrels block cars and a sign encourages park users to stay 6 feet apart on Parkman Drive next to Jamaica Pond on April 11, 2020. Photo courtesy of Sarah Freeman.

On Tuesday, the City of Boston briefly published a new website with tentative plans for its “healthy streets” initiative, which would make tactical changes to city streets to provide more room for safe physical distancing among pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders.

City officials had discussed the overall strategy at a City Council hearing earlier this month, where elected officials expressed strong support for concepts including pop-up bike lanes, expanded bus stop waiting areas, and restrictions on car traffic on low-traffic residential streets.

The website that briefly went live Tuesday included maps and descriptions for a proposed first phase of implementation for those initiatives. The website was taken offline shortly after StreetsblogMASS published an initial report on that website’s content and reached out to city officials for additional detail.

At the Boston Transportation Department’s request, screenshots and other details that were included in an earlier version of this story have been removed while the city is finalizing its plans.

A Boston Transportation Department official said that the official rollout for the program can be expected later this week.

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In a sure sign that taking away lanes from cars to create safer, more efficient streets is a politically winning strategy, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday morning to boast about the ambitious changes being made under his administration’s “Healthy Streets” initiative. The Walsh administration is on track to […]