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Healthy Streets to support COVID-19 recovery

We are making changes to Boston’s streets to support a healthy reopening and an equitable recovery. We are focused on safe streets, connected bike routes, reliable transit, and resilient small business districts.

Responding to the COVID-19 crisis means doubling down on our Go Boston 2030 goals:

  1. equity
  2. economic opportunity, and
  3. climate responsiveness.

We will accelerate our work to improve street safety and reliable transit. We want to give residents better access to jobs, neighborhood retail centers, and open space.

We will phase our work over the coming months. We will be testing things out and making changes as needed. We welcome your feedback.

Healthy Streets

As we move through this crisis, we are guided by our shared values. We plan to use creative strategies to more quickly realize our long-term goals.


We aim to increase safety on Boston's streets by building protected bike lanes. Protected bike lanes will reduce crashes for everyone on our streets and help keep speeds in check.


Essential workers continue to travel by bus in high numbers. We will make more safe space for them at busy bus stops. We will explore additional ways to keep buses moving reliably on City streets.


Helping people travel to and from jobs, small businesses, and local restaurants is fundamental to economic recovery. More spaces to walk and to bike will help our residents improve their mental and physical well-being.

Healthy Streets map

View a map of street changes we are making to address the COVID-19 crisis:

Healthy Streets Map

First phase of Healthy Streets

First phase (summer 2020)

The City is working with the MBTA on expanding bus stops and bus priority on key routes.


Starting next week, we will install new bus lanes on Washington Street (between the Marginal Road and Temple Place). We will re-paint the bus lane on Essex Street. We are exploring the potential to add additional bus lanes in the next phase.


We will provide more space for people to wait at the following high-ridership bus stops:

  • Maverick Blue Line Station on the median island in Maverick Square
  • Blue Hill Avenue at Morton Street and Pasadena Road
  • Massachusetts Avenue at Hynes Convention Center Station (outbound) 
  • Broadway Station 
  • Congress Street at Haymarket Station
  • Warren Street at Whiting Street and Moreland Street
  • Route 39 Bus Stop at Fenwood Street
  • Broadway at L Street (inbound)

We are installing protected bike lanes that will be comfortable for people of all experience levels.  These bike lanes improve access to Boston's major job centers and will calm speeds on our downtown streets.

We will immediately install bike lanes that were already scheduled for construction:

  • Washington Street between Stuart Street and Avenue de Lafayette
  • Stuart Street between Arlington Street and Washington Street, and
  • Tremont Street and Shawmut Avenue between Boylston Street and Herald Street.
Quick-build lanes

We will use traffic barrels, cones, and signs to add the following bike lanes:

  • Arlington Street between Beacon Street and Stuart Street
  • Beacon Street between Charles Street and Berkeley Street
  • Boylston Street between Arlington Street and Washington Street
  • Charles Street between Boylston Street and Beacon Street
  • Columbus Avenue between Clarendon Street and Arlington Street
  • Court Street between Congress Street and Tremont Street
  • State Street between Atlantic Avenue and Congress Street
  • Tremont Street between Court Street and Boylston Street

The barrels and cones will be removed before winter.

We are changing the ways we use our streets, sidewalks, and curbside space to better support Boston's small businesses and restaurants.


Over the last few months, we have created temporary pick-up zones in front of restaurants. We anticipate continuing this program and expanding it as needed.

Temporary Take-Out Zones

Outdoor Seating for restaurants

In partnership with multiple city agencies we are reviewing requests for on-street outdoor dining. In some locations we will close streets to vehicle traffic and make the entire street available, and in other locations we may close part of or an entire curb lane. 

Information for Businesses

Second phase of Healthy Streets

Second phase (fall 2020)

The City, in partnership with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, will be adding bus priority to three corridors.

The MBTA and City of Boston seek to improve bus reliability as a way to enable more social distancing on transit. By improving bus travel times and reliability, the MBTA can run more service to Boston neighborhoods.

Columbus Avenue from Egleston Square to Jackson Square:

Nearly one-third of those traveling on Columbus Avenue between Walnut Avenue and Jackson Square move on buses. But, passengers can face significant delays and crowding. Building bus lanes in the middle of the roadway will improve reliability of bus service. These will be served by new boarding platforms. We will also construct additional safety and accessibility improvements for pedestrians.

North Washington Street in the North End/West End:

The North Washington Street corridor provides a critical connection for MBTA Routes 92, 93, and 111, with service to Charlestown and Chelsea. On a typical weekday, up to 12,000 bus passengers use this corridor. These routes have seen high ridership since the beginning of the public health crisis.  

Washington Street in Roslindale:

The City and MBTA will add an outbound evening peak bus lane from Forest Hills Station to Roslindale Square. This is based on the success of the inbound morning peak bus lane. This bus corridor is used by 19,000 daily commuters. The outbound bus lane will provide the same high degree of transit reliability in the evening peak as riders currently experience in the morning peak. 


We will make changes to traffic signals and create permanent separated bike lanes on many streets Downtown. We are focusing on the streets around the Public Garden and the Boston Common. This work will be the first phase of design changes to result from our Connect Downtown project. Any temporary bike lanes created from cones and barrels on other streets will be removed in early December.

Learn more about downtown


American Legion should be more comfortable for walking, waiting for the bus, crossing the street, and riding bikes with your family. We have started working with residents along American Legion Highway in Dorchester and Roslindale. Our goal is to improve safety and slow speeding along the two-mile corridor. Planning and design work will consider changes that could be made before winter, as well as those that can be completed in 2021.

Learn more about American Legion

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