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Boston Plans To Open Space For Outdoor Dining, Grow Bike Lanes

BOSTON (CBS) -- The city of Boston has announced a new initiative to help get people outdoors and restaurants back in business. The Healthy Streets program looks to improve bus stops, increase the number of bike lanes, and open up spaces for restaurants to use as outdoor seating.

The process for restaurants to expand outdoor dining has been streamlined, the city said in a statement. Over 270 requests to accommodate dining on sidewalks and in parking lanes are already under review.

Boston 'Healthy Streets' Initiative Map (Photo Via

Boston is also looking into temporary street closures.

"We have to take on a one by one approach," Mayor Marty Walsh said Thursday. "The obvious street is Hanover Street."

He has concerns though. "We have a fire station about a quarter of a way down Hanover Street that needs to go right or left out of the firehouse...Hanover Street could potentially help the business on Hanover Street but then you have all the adjacent streets that have restaurants on them so we are going to take that one restaurant at a time," Walsh continued.

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Hanover Street in the North End. (WBZ-TV)

North End residents who spoke to WBZ-TV were intrigued by the proposal.

"I don't know how it would work but it will be interesting to find out," said Indira Ebora.

Mark Jaquith works nearby. "They need all the help they can get if they can't pack them in like we used to, let's pack them out here," he said. "I think this is the best idea ever."

Bike lanes to attract new riders, families, essential workers, and commuters will be created downtown. They will be on:

  • 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)

Bike lane creation that was already scheduled will also take place.

Ten MBTA bus stop locations will be expanded starting the week of June 1.

  • 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

A bus lane will be installed on Washington Street north of Marginal Road.

Walsh said the changes will be easy to improve upon as time goes on.

The city is waiting for the state's approval of the plan, which could come as early as Friday afternoon.

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