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Tontine Crescent Tactical Plaza

Come see the re-imagined Franklin Street, between Devonshire and Hawley Streets in Downtown!

We are turning the Tontine Crescent into a signature public space. This temporary plaza will support local businesses, improve safety, and maintain parking and traffic flow.

We have been working with the local community, including the Downtown Boston BID and abutters, to develop a design for this summer.


Survey responses

Survey responses

The City ran an online survey asking what people thought of Tontine Crescent, from August through December 2018. We received 63 responses as of December 2018.

Image for tontine survey responses dec 10 2018 q1 satisfied

Image for tontine survey responses dec 10 2018 q2 should install

Image for tontine survey responses dec 10 2018 q3 how long

Image for tontine survey responses dec 10 2018 q4 purchase

Comments are summarized below:

32 comments are positive, emphases include:
  • Bike lane
  • Seating
  • Better traffic pattern

12 critical comments; issues include:
  • This is part of discouraging automobiles Citywide
  • Inconvenient
  • Aesthetics
  • Smell of paint
  • Fire access
  • Already have plazas in area, not needed
  • Traffic flow
  • No longer able to double park (whether delivery or pickup / drop-off)
  • Better singage
Suggestions include:
  • Request for landscaping, plants, trees
  • Request to do same to block of Franklin, between Devonshire and Arch
  • Request for contra-flow bike lane
  • Request for umbrellas on sunny days
  • Request to do similar at Phillips Square in Chinatown

Image for tontine survey map metro 01

  • 1. Your link isn't activated.  2. Perhaps consider signage and a companion website illustrating and describing the original Crecent and its role in Boston's development.
  • A permanent, landscaped plaza is much needed in neighborhood especially during construction at Winthrop Sq
  • As someone who works at 70 Franklin Street (directly on the plaza), the intervention is most welcome.  The single lane of traffic is a huge improvement on the free-for-all there previously. The temporary plaza begins to extend some of the elements from Washington Street/D-Town X-ing a little further out - making for greater coverage of the walking/pedestrian scale vitality found there.
  • Beautiful spot – we need more like this in the city. As a business owner at 50 Franklin Street, love having this right outside the door. Looks great and is extremely nice for taking a break and getting some fresh air.
  • Do more of them And thanks for the bike lane more bike lanes Please
  • Expand this!
  • Fun! Umbrellas important; sunny midday!
  • Great addition to the neighborhood! This plaza makes a barren car parking area into a vibrant urban place that people want to be in rather than move through.
  • Great work!
  • How could you not make this permanent? There’s absolutely zero reason to revert to the former streetscape, unless you prefer a free-for-all where people who walk (dine, shop, etc) and people who bike are at the mercy of two-ton-plus machines driven by nutjobs.
  • I have owned business and have commute to Boston for 42 years everything that has been done recently has been so discourage any automobile traffic from operating a tax paying business From being profitable and constructive to the city . thanks for nothing
  • I hope they will plant it!  That would make me 100% satisfied.  
  • I like it and think it's a pleasing element that adds value to the area.
  • I live right on this corner in the MT Building and its inconvenient and an eye sore.
  • I saw they may do this same thing at Harrison Ave in Chinatown. I would love to see this happen. Chinatown needs this space!
  • I think the temporary plaza is dangerous, I don't understand how the businesses on the other side of the cement barriers, large planters and tables will be able to have a fire truck get to the building/restaurant quickly. The smell of the paint was horrible for an entire week and made me feel sick every time I left my office. I think this should be temporary, but if it is actually temporary it was a huge waste of money. There was construction to install a large mental piece of art, then it was taken away to build the temporary plaza, then it was moved again to be incorporated in the plaza, so if the plaza goes away it will be moved again? I think the money could have been spent more efficiently.  
  • I think this is a fantastic reclamation of space -- great job and keep it up!
  • I would be very inclined to stop here and patronize the businesses in the area, now that a comfortable pedestrian area is setup.  This reminds me so much of plazas in Europe, this will bring more business into the area, please build more!
  • If this is permanent it might become a resting/stop place for reading and coffee breaks.
  • incredibly tacky
  • It rules
  • It’s great!
  • It’s great! Keep up the awesome work and I can’t wait to see more pedestrian plazas and bike lanes in Boston
  • It’s so beautiful. I never stopped to look up until I sit down at one of the tables and enjoy Boston architecture. Also with all the take out places it’s nice to have this beautiful place to sit down and eat lunch. Thank you!
  • it's a great place to take a break while working downtown during the workday
  • It's awesome!
  • It's beautiful!
  • Its great to see more casual seating space in the city. It is something that is dearly needed
  • It's not needed -- limits traffic flow and is a waste of money. Sign indicating right turn only is misleading as you can turn left onto Hawley Street.
  • Let's do the same with the right turn lane on the 100 block. Few cars drove on that block during a Friday rush hour and still fewer used the turn lane. It's space that can and should become exclusive to pedestrians.
  • Looks ridiculous and traffic is a mess.
  • More of these please! Cities are best when they are full of people! We have too much space dedicated to cars.
  • More trees
  • Never have but I will better then cars any day
  • Nice place to sit for a break from work
  • Please add a contraflow bicycle lane to the street so that bicycles can safely and legally travel in both directions.
  • Please expand to Chinatown
  • Please make it permanent.  We need more pedestrian only areas like DTX, it makes Boston a better place to live and work and helps local businesses
  • real trees.
  • removing the plastic bollards and more parking.
  • So glad to have come across it by accident as I biked by. Can't wait to come back and spend some time there!
  • Spent it sitting in traffic due to the congestion this creates. Commercial truck deliveries are a nightmare
  • The final version is exciting and it has made the area safer for pedestrians, but the temporary plaza is ugly. Uber pickup/drop-off is also impossible with the plastic barriers at every corner. Signs need to be added before the plaza notifying drivers of he change in traffic patterns.
  • The temporary plaza should be permanent
  • The traffic flow to Millennium Tower has been greatly disturbed. Franklin should have been made wider (at least enough for one car to pass another) because when, for example, USPS pulls over, it can be impossible for a car to reach Millennium Tower for 10–15 minutes. If Franklin could be made wider and still allow for the crescent, then do it.
  • This place making is a great start
  • This should be part of more visions for road diets and reclamation of public space from vehicles.
  • Very disappointed that clearly ZERO thought has been given to the businesses along this Franklin St block and how this area functions for its commercial businesses. We no longer have front door access for pickup/drop off. Getting an uber or taxi for meetings is now a complete nightmare because there is no place for them to safely pull over and pick you up. My drop-off in the morning now consists of my car pool slowing down enough at the light for me to jump out and hope I don't get hit by another car. As a pedestrian it's just as bad as people in cars don't know where to go. Poorly signed, poorly planned. Why not turn the residential circle at Millennium into a pedestrian park, instead of giving preferential treatment to the millionaires?
  • We already have the DTC plaza one street over. This is a millennium tower stunt.
  • where does snow go?
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