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Newbury Street to be shut to cars for three Sundays this summer

The mayor's office today announced that Newbury Street will turn pedestrian-only on July 23rd, Aug. 13th, and Sept. 10th.

Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on those days, the street between Arlington Street and Mass. Ave. will be available for pedestrians to stroll down.

Canal Street will have a similar day on July 8.

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Last time they did it everyone had fun. Only problem was a lot of people without resident stickers parked in resident spots.

Some retailers liked the event, some (like the salons that don't get walk in biz and want street parking for staff and customers) not so much.

C'mon down. Have fun. Just don't park on the resident parking. My guess is the city has the tow trucks out in force this time around.

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It's still taking place on Sundays, meaning they still have no enforcement working. I doubt they'd call in officers on overtime for it.

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Why should nonresidents have to bear the full inconvenience?

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Tourists love it... I hardly think there will be any pearl clutching, relax.

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Where I drive my Ferrari?

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you know, the garage below West Elm where it is now.

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Who attempt to impose their lifestyle choices on other.

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The drivers are the ones doing the imposing. People existed in cities centuries before cars did. And the "lifestyle choice" drivers impose on others results in tens of thousands of deaths in this country every year.

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If everythig were delivered by horse drawn carriage or maybe a bicycle?

In 20 years we'll have self driving electric cars and very few deaths and very little pollution.

Unfortunately we can't go from A to C unless we go through B.

Time to suck it up and deal with reality. Cars or a semblance of them are with us forever.

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It would be pretty darned nice.

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You don't need food, shelter, clothing or medical care. Other than that, it would be great.

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Aren't typically delivered by passenger car, but OK

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Are how most of those people get to work in the first place. And who says we are just talking about passenger cars?

Imagine trying to run the current delivery system for all those things with say horses and steam engines?

And add to that all the feed and horse leavings.

Not pretty. Not sustainable for 9 billion people.

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Not in that area of the city, and not in most of the city.

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Bikes don't leave horse droppings or require the space of horses.

Most people get to work in BOSTON by bike, on foot, and using transit. Less than 50% of Boston residents own cars.

If you want a strip mall, go live in one. If you want a healthy city, cars are guests at best.

Funny how billions of people living in places where people actually think about these things do just fine without cars being the default travel mode. They get to work, get food, and manage their daily lives without owning or using cars.

You need to get out more. Maybe do some travelling to strip you of this jingoistic insistence on destroying the city for your convenience.

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So are you going to pull your delivery van around by bicycle? Is your T driver going to take his horse and buggy to work? Maybe the T could build flophouses at Lechmere for all the Green Line engineers and their families? Get a grip.

Most people that work in Boston don't live here - they get here either by car or by transit - and how do those transit people get to work - they drive to work! So with no cars - there's almost nobody working in Boston. All those customers for the downtown shops and restaurants - they are going to bike in/literally hoof it?

there's a lot more to this equation than "people that drive to work" - it's all an interconnected web - and if we get rid of cars - the web collapses.

And in case you don't know - I live in the city and I walk to work. I use a personal car maybe 2-3 times a week for errands and getting out of the city.

If you get rid of cars - for many reasons - society as we know it ceases to function unless you want to go back to the 19th century.

It's a nice pipe dream to think we are getting rid of cars - it's not happening. That's not a preference - it's the reality of modern society.

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  1. Passenger cars are how most of those people get to work in the first place.

Not Bostonians. 2014 data, page 36. 38.9% drive alone. 5.7% carpool. 54 percent of Bostonians do not drive to work.

The percent who drive (alone or with others) has steadily declined since 1980/1990. Walking, biking, and riding transit are all up since 2000. I'd bet so too is work from home (3.4%), though this publication doesn't have time series data for that category. I'd also bet that the coming Hubway expansion will increase the number of people who do some combination of walk, bicycle, and transit ride.

I suspect that similar trends also appear in Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline.

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If there were no personal automobiles?

City services -- motorized as necessary.

Commercial deliveries -- motorized as necessary.

Mass transit, taxis, delivery vehicles -- motorized as necessary.

Construction equipment -- motorized as necessary.

If you want to get from A to B, you can ride transit, catch a cab, walk, or ride a bike. Need to carry "stuff" along? Delivery for hire.

It would be glorious!

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Why is taking a taxi so much better than driving your own car?

Supposedly downtown traffic is up by a large percentage in the last few years due to Uber, Lyft, etc.

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You might as well go completely off the grid, so as not to be a hypocrite. Do you enjoy food and tangible products that are shipped by vehicular transport? You like living in an economy fueled in part by people who have to commute by car to work?

FWIW, I think this is a great idea for Newbury street. But I also knew you'd jump on this topic instantly with your bizarre anti-car fetish.

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Please.

We want a better city. We don't need to cater to the diseased addictions of lazy suburbanites.

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centuries before medicines were invented. Your point is?

Call back when you need to purchase a car and we can bash you about your lifestyle choices.

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People existed in cities centuries before cars did.

Cars have been around for over a century now, get over it.

Honestly, I also believe there should be fewer cars in the city, but your broken-record arguments are just stupid.

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your broken-record arguments are just stupid.

Translation: "Please stop bringing facts into this discussion".

Also, the complaint about "broken records" would have a little more weight to it if the anti-bike people didn't post the exact same arguments on every single thread.

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I ride a bike as much as almost anybody here. I'm pro-bike.

Yes, it's a fact that some streets were originally designed for bikes, but it's an irrelevant fact. Times have changed and the streets have since been redesigned for modern times. The roads were also dirt then, too.

Again, it's a dumb argument

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I live 50 miles outside the city and don't even work in the city. So I'm going to get upset when you won't make it convenient for me to use my 5,000 pound wheelchair.

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Strip malls await you in the suburbs and exurbs.

Oh, wait ... so you think that you have a right to bring your large piece of personal property wherever you want whenever you want? Really? Please provide your address - I would like to drop off my dumpster collection for storage!

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as a "lifestyle" choice then, yes, barring places where I can't park and/or legally drive, I do have a right, as you do also.

If no, than I have no idea what you are talking about.

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Roads are made for cars, get used to it.

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Huntington Ave was originally laid out with bike lanes, not car lanes.

This is a city that is older than cars - I'd tell you to get used to it or leave, but you seem to have left and moved several hundred miles away. Yet you cannot shut up about what we in Boston should do.

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Putting your dismissive tone aside....

As many of our history-savvy readership knows, our roadway system was not made for cars. Bicyclists were responsible for the federally-regulated, uniformly designed system of paved roads we have today. This book specifically addresses your comment, but here's a relevant excerpt:

http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/the-petition-that-paved-america/

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Because that was the technology at the time. Bully for bikes. In the meantime the internal combustion engine supplanted the bicycle and roads ever since have been built for cars - not bikes.

Thanks for rejoining us in the 21st century Mr./Ms. Van Winkle.

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We get it, some people hate all things cars. That does not mean they are useless, and that article is obviously biased.

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I want to to point out that arguing in the string of post is not really arguing about usage, design, history, or transit priorities but sense of hostility as people.

Talking down at each other doesn't do any good except building as distinctly different and separate identities. Especially since most here do both modes (as I recalled from posts saying how most cyclist still own a car too).

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A few summer Sunday on Newbury St. - Seems like an appropriate place & time to drum up some. Business without causing much turmoil. I'm glad the city is willing to try fun things.

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Newbury St makes sense for this kinda thing, but Canal street? Unless there's an event at the Garden Canal is a wide open ghost town on weekends.

Maybe the developers of all the new buildings are trying to bait retail tenants into thinking there's life over there after sports?

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Exactly. Last time I walked down Causeway on a weekend day there were some pretty serious drunks and not much else. Canal doesn't seem any more inviting.

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"Maybe the developers of all the new buildings are trying to bait retail tenants into thinking there's life over there after sports?"

There may not be life after sports on Canal, but there sure is life after death. There are multitudes and multitudes of zombified, over medicated, drugged out, passed out, blissed out stumbling junkies populating that street at all times. Many of them are middle aged women. Maybe this no cars thing is a way to try to sweep them out for the benefit of the rich people in the luxury housing at both ends of the street. It won't work.

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RVMS will be closing Poplar Street like it did on the first day of the Saturday Farmers Market about 3 times total this summer. I think they are allowed to do that once a month now.

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Every neighborhood should have car free areas every weekend, if not permanently. Cities around the world near(Montreal) and far(Tokyo) put Boston to shame when it comes to this.

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You cannot own a car and park it in the city unless you can prove that you own or control a space for it.

Other forms of parking (2 hour spots, etc.) are very strictly enforced via overnight parking bans.

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Tokyo also has a much better public transportation system.

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Montreal does, also.

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Even with that have you seen how many cars there are in Tokyo?

And that's with a vastly more extensive network of bus and rail public transportation system then Boston will ever be capable of.

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And ...

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I'm not opposed to closing streets for periods of time, and the Farmers Market is a big draw, but closing Poplar Street forces a lot of cars onto the already jammed Corinth Street.

Then again, I'm not driving that way on Saturday mornings, so if it works, great. If not, not so great.

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Where are we supposed to park?

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If it's good enough for the commoners, it's good enough for everyone!

Well, it isn't good enough for anyone. But if everyone had to use it, politicians would have motivation to improve it.

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At one of the thousands of free parking spots in Boston. Or walk two blocks from the green line. I'm assuming you aren't being sarcastic.

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show me an empty spot out of the thousands.

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Where are we supposed to park?

Boylston Street
Commonwealth Ave
Beacon Street
Arlington Street
Berkeley Street
Clarendon Street
Dartmouth Street
Exeter Street
Fairfield Street
Gloucester Street
Hereford Street
Mass Ave
Boston Common garage

You'll get by.
(Although I suspect that the OP was, in fact, sarcastic, you can never be too sure.)

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Nowhere. Say at home in the burbs and let we in the city enjoy 10 minutes without cars all over the place...

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Sop Dorchester is the burbs? Or does every car owner live in the burbs in your demented mind?

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... you've got the Red Line to take you into town.

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Cannot wait for this. Wife and dogs loved this event last
time.

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A few years ago, the city had a program called "Circle the City" which shut down much longer streets for a day. One time they closed one side of Huntington Ave. and made the other side two-way for the day. Another time they closed Blue Hill Ave. from Dudley Street to Grove Hall, which was awesome and brought lots of people into a neighborhood they didn't normally visit.

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Somerville has four or five such events every year, called SomerStreets.

This year's events:

Sunday, June 11 (already happened), 2-6 pm: East Somerville Carnaval on lower Broadway

Sunday, August 6, 2-6 pm: Holland Street between Teele and Davis squares

Sunday, September 17, 2-6 pm: Highland Ave. between School and Lowell streets

Sunday, October 22, 2-6 pm: Somerville Ave between Union Square and Spring Street

Also, though it's not officially called a 'SomerStreets' event:

This Thursday, June 29, Broadway between Ball and Magoun squares is closed for a street festival with musical entertainment, starting at 5:30 pm, leading up to fireworks at 9:15 pm

Finally, we've got ArtBeat coming up on Saturday, July 15, which closes Holland and Elm streets in Davis Square from 11 am to 6 pm.

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Got a link to any info on the Broadway closure between Ball and Magoun? I live right there and haven't heard anything about this.

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Here. I'll also edit the link back into my previous post.
Somerville always schedules this event for the Thursday before July 4.

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Thank you!

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Cambridge closes Mass Ave between Central Square and City Hall this Friday from 7 pm to midnight for the annual City Dance Party.

And on September 10, they close Main Street (next to MIT and Kendall Square) for the Cambridge Caribbean Carnival.

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Surprised to see a September date. Vacation season is over, schools are back, etc.

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As you say, schools are back in session, so this will introduce the street to all of the college students who have just moved in. It's still summertime with warm weather, which means there will also be plenty of tourists around (some of whom are parents who just dropped off their kids at their dorms).

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Also, September seems like a very popular time for tourists and other visitors.

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not a lot of schools there, but traffic in general has a big uptick come September.

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Newbury St. is surrounded by college housing - some frats from MIT's days in the area, plus a lot of BU, NU, Emerson and others in the area, plus Berkeley School.

Stick to what you know.

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(Berklee College of Music is not on Berkeley Street. But it's very close to Newbury Street.)

Besides the schools already listed above, Suffolk University, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, and the colleges of the Fenway are well within walking distance of Newbury Street.

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Boston Architectural College

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You live in Vermont, right?

Nope. Near but not in. For 11 years I lived in the West Fens, a short walk from Newbury Street. That good enough for you? No, probably not...

Newbury St. is surrounded by college housing - some frats from MIT's days in the area, plus a lot of BU, NU, Emerson and others in the area, plus Berkeley School.

Frat houses on Comm Ave count as "a lot of schools on Newbury Street"? Or maybe Berklee's academic buildings a couple of blocks away on Mass Ave? If you say so. But tell me again why this means that Newbury Street should not be closed down for one Sunday in September.

Stick to what you know.

Take your own advice.

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The presence of all those schools within walking distance (which includes MIT, across the river) is exactly why Newbury Street *should* be closed for a Sunday in early September. The students will easily fill the street.

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I agree, however, this is what I responded to:

Surprised to see a September date. Vacation season is over, schools are back, etc.

So, not sure why you're responding to me.

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How will someone who uses The Ride get to a business or residence in the middle of the block?

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