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New “Healthy Streets” Program Will Expand Bus Stops, Create More Bike Lanes

As part of the City’s reopening process during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Walsh has announced a new “healthy streets” program that will reimagine streets to support businesses and restaurants, provide additional space for residents using public transportation, and accelerate the installation of bike lanes.

The series of changes to Boston’s streets builds on Mayor Walsh’s earlier discussion of creative ideas to maintain social distancing in public spaces. The City has now released more details, including locations that will be impacted.

Expanding Bus Stops

To better accommodate workers who use MBTA bus routes, which continue to see high use by essential workers, the Boston Transportation Department will expand bus stops at ten locations in partnership with the MBTA, and will begin to make these changes the week of June 1st.

The closest location to the North End is Haymarket Station on Congress Street. Other locations include:

  • Maverick Blue Line Station on the median island in Maverick Square
  • Blue Hill Avenue Bus Stops (Inbound Only) at Morton Street and Woodhaven Street
  • Hynes Station (Northbound) Stop 
  • Broadway Station 
  • Haymarket Station on Congress Street 
  • Warren Street at Whiting Street and Moreland Street
  • Route 39 Bus Stop at Fenwood Street
  • Route 7 (Inbound) stop at L Street at Broadway

Accelerating Bike Lane Installations

The first phase of bike lanes will focus on connecting downtown to the citywide network. The closest street to the North End getting a new, “quick-build” bike lane is State Street from Atlantic Ave. to Congress St. Other locations include:

  • Arlington St (Beacon to Stuart)
  • Beacon St (Charles to Berkeley)
  • Boylston St (Arlington to Washington)
  • Charles St (Boylston to Beacon)
  • Columbus Ave (W Newton to Stuart)
  • Court St (Congress to Tremont)
  • State St (Atlantic to Congress)
  • Tremont St (Court to Shawmut) 

 “These innovative streets programs focus on what residents need: safe, reliable transportation if they must travel in Boston, access to fresh air and open spaces, and building social and physical distancing into everyday life. As we continue to carefully plan for reopening in Boston, we will continue our work to create streets and transportation that work for all.” – Mayor Walsh.

Support for Restaurants

The Transportation and Public Works Departments are reviewing requests to accommodate outdoor dining on sidewalks and parking lanes from over 250 establishments. Temporary street closures with barriers and signs will also be explored as part of the outdoor seating work, and to create better green links to parks and open spaces.

The City has also created temporary pick-up zones in front of restaurants. To request a zone, fill out this online form.

Read more about the Healthy Streets Program at boston.gov/departments/transportation/healthy-streets.

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3 Replies to “New “Healthy Streets” Program Will Expand Bus Stops, Create More Bike Lanes

  1. That person who posted claim they were a nurse and that the distance around runners and bicyclers needs to be 16 to 30 feet sort of sidelined my bicycle activity. Any truth to this?

    1. No. This is excessive. Go out and enjoy your summer exercise, as long as you are smart, you are fine. Exercise, fresh air, sunshine vital for our immune system…we need to be extra cautious doing things like riding the T, using public restrooms, and looking out for the elderly and the people with preexisting conditions…I

  2. While I’m excited to (finally) see this start to move forward, I’m very disappointed that Phase I of this initiative doesn’t include any additional space for quality of life or recreation and exercise.

    For recreation and exercise, the sidewalks/bike lanes/bike paths from South Station through the Esplanade along the water are either overcrowded, unsafe, or non-existent. It’s a no-brainer to repurpose a parking or travel lane along this route to provide space for recreation and exercise.

    For quality of life, I’d love to see the city give residents the option to repurpose space in front of their apartments for active use (rather than passive car storage). For that matter, we should really consider reclaiming the space in our neighborhood that is already purposed for active use but is instead used for passive storage (e.g. Foster Street Playground).

    I’m looking forward to announcements of Phase II, but given how long the city has dragged their feet on Phase I, and the lackluster contents of it, I’m not optimistic.

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