Food & Drink Transportation

Cross St. Sidewalk Comment Letter Issued by NEWRA


In response to proposed sidewalk changes on Cross St., the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association has sent a 5 page comment letter to Peter Gori, Sr. Manager at the Boston Redevelopment Authority and William Tuttle, Deputy Director of Real Estate at MassDOT.

A few excerpts:

“We continue to believe that public safety, especially pedestrian safety, is greatly compromised by the current sidewalk and roadway configuration and the many conflicting uses.”

“The changes were expected to create an attractive pedestrian plaza, eliminate the mixing of vehicles and pedestrians, and safely and comfortably accommodate outdoor dining tables, pedestrian access and public gathering. Contrary to our expectations, the recent plans continue to show little change to the configuration of the sidewalk plaza.”

“NEWRA generally supports outdoor tables and chairs which seasonally complement a restaurant or cafe’s indoor seating and are carefully managed, provided they do not compromise safe pedestrian passage, are compatible with public use of the sidewalk and open space, and do not otherwise create adverse community impact.”

“In summary, NEWRA is opposed to the Cross Street sidewalk plans that have so far been presented. Moving forward with the current plans for outdoor tables will worsen existing problems, further compromise pedestrian accommodation and safety, and not provide the pedestrian plaza that is envisioned, if substantial physical changes are not made. ln the absence of a broader plan supported by the neighborhood, we request that the immediate needs outlined above be addressed without delay and further that no tables or chairs be permitted in front of the pasta shop; that the number of tables and chairs in front of the deli be reduced and that these tables be replaced and reconfigured to avoid encroachment on the Freedom Trail; that no tables or chairs be permitted on any sidewalk near (within 20 feet) Hanover Street and none be permitted for general public use; and that no license be issued by MassDOT for tables associated with Cafe Graffiti until the neighborhood has reviewed detailed plans for these tables and approved them as part of an amendment to the establishment’s alcohol license which will as a matter of course come before NEWRA for approval.”

Click here to read the entire NEWRA comment letter on the Cross St. sidewalk changes.

More information is available on the ZLC webpage at

2 Replies to “Cross St. Sidewalk Comment Letter Issued by NEWRA

  1. Very disappointing that the proposed solution is to eliminate or lessen the number of outdoor tables. Besides being wonderful for outdoor eating during our too-brief warm weather, the outdoor seating welcomes people to the North End, by making the Cross St. area human and inviting. I agree that changes need to be made, a friend of mine was almost hit by a car pulling out of a parking space. My friend was visiting the North End and didn’t "get" the layout (who could blame her – there’s not much to show pedestrians where they should walk, it all looks the same) and the car pulled out way too fast, almost didn’t see her and honked at her. It startled her as she wasn’t aware that she was doing anything wrong.
    Let’s make the area user-friendly for pedestrians, outdoor dining AND cars. I’m sure it can be done.

  2. I totally agree. I KNOW how the area works and I have almost been nailed twice. Saftey first! As for the tables, any extension of tables must come with protective barriers. Never know when a car runs of its due course. But yes–MORE tables. MORE bipodal action, and LESS crazy 4 wheel fright!

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