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Beacon Street Design Project

We're working to slow drivers and improve safety on Beacon Street in the Back Bay. This includes people who walk, bike, and drive.

Image for beacon street map

We're looking at ways to make Beacon Street, between Arlington and Massachusetts Avenue, safer for everyone. Based on data collection, field observations, and community feedback, our project goals are to:

  • manage vehicle speeds
  • reduce the number and severity of crashes, and
  • increase walking comfort.
  • Still have questions? Contact:

    Fill out the form below to get updates about the Beacon Street design project.

May 2018 Construction Update

Our teams are actively working to complete the implementation of the plan.


Once the implementation is complete, we'll give people a bit of time to adjust. Then, we'll collect data and conduct an evaluation of the street.

Public Meeting

This fall, we'll hold a public meeting to share data and discuss the project with the community. This will give us the opportunity to make tweaks to the design before the 2019 repaving.

Previous project updates

Previous updates

During the day, we will paint the new configuration with a longer-lasting material. We anticipate needing several days to complete the painting. Please look for posted signs to understand any parking restrictions associated with our work.

We will install flex posts to provide better guidance on parking locations. Please remember to park to the left of the buffer area.


We are working with our contractor to re-time the traffic signals this spring. We will give people walking a head-start before drivers are allowed to turn. We are also adjusting the signals so that the WALK light comes on automatically at almost every crosswalk.


Additional signage changes will come this spring as well. We will be adding turn restrictions for drivers at red lights and signs to remind everyone to look out for one another.

We begin implementing our plans during the winter of 2017-2018.

Pavement markings
  • Expect work on Wednesday, December 20, through Friday, December 22. Parking will be restricted on the even side of Beacon Street.
  • Crews will be working during daytime hours (7 a.m. - 3 p.m.) to implement the road diet from Berkeley Street to Massachusetts Avenue. Posted signs will include upcoming dates for work and fliers will be distributed in the neighborhood. 
  • We are focused on installing the "long lines" that will shift the parking lane to a new location. When they have completed a block, they will place cones in the buffer area. Please park to the left of the cones.
  • We are scheduling crews to install additional signage over the winter months. Expect minor parking restrictions.
  • To include the pedestrian head-start at each intersection, we need new signal controllers and different signal faces. We have ordered the new equipment. We will install it as it arrives.
  • At Beacon/Dartmouth, the signal changes require pavement marking changes on Dartmouth. We plan to install those pavement markings in the spring. We will change the signal shortly after that.

We hosted a drop-in meeting on October 2, 2017. More than 100 attendees reviewed the plans in detail and asked questions to the full design team. You can view the meeting materials below.

Data analysis poster (PDF)

We summarized key data collected for the project. This includes the number of people walking and driving, traffic volume, and speeding drivers.

Existing and proposed signal sequences poster (PDF)

We plan to have the WALK light appear automatically in most locations, while giving pedestrians a six-second head start.

Curbside use and pavement markings roll plan (PDF)

View the pavement markings and curbside uses for Beacon Street. If you have proposals for curbside changes, email them to

Outreach, education, and next steps poster (PDF)

With the new design, we’re planning more outreach. We'll also continue to collect data.

Review Meeting Materials

Give your feedback

We’ve put together a list of potential project objectives and a list of tools / interventions that can be used to reach the objectives.

We need to know your priorities so we can explore the right types of changes. Read through the potential objectives and tools / interventions and then share your priorities for Beacon St.

Central Library, Commonwealth Salon 700 Boylston Street

The Boston Transportation Department held a community meeting to discuss transportation safety improvements for Beacon Street. We collected ideas from people who walk, bike, and drive along Beacon Street to shape the project’s objectives and identify the design interventions that should be considered.

Related documents
Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street

The Boston Transportation Department and the Boston Police Department attended a special meeting called by the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay to discuss pedestrian safety and ways to reduce speeds on Beacon Street.

Speed feedback signs give motorists instant feedback on how fast they are going and flash when a driver exceeds the speed limit.

Image for beacon st speed

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