Weekly Open Newbury Street Series Announced
Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) announced today that Open Newbury Street will be returning with expanded dates throughout August and September. Newbury Street will be pedestrian-only six Sundays in a row, with the first event on August 21 running through September 25. Open Newbury Street provides opportunities for residents and visitors to build community, shop and dine at local businesses, and have fun on a car-free street. The expansion of Open Newbury into the month of September builds on Mayor Wu’s commitment to reimagining family-friendly public spaces, including new one to two mile Open Streets events in Boston neighborhoods.
“Open Newbury Street has become a treasured tradition for Boston residents, showing how we can celebrate community in public spaces,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Expanding Open Newbury to a weekly event and into the fall means returning college students and new residents will be able to join in on the fun. I want to thank BTD and our public safety officials for making this expansion a reality.”
“We are excited to increase the number of Open Newbury days through the summer and fall for more residents to enjoy,” said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief of Streets. “More car-free open streets events for shopping, walking, cycling and active transportation helps us realize our vision of making Boston’s streets work better for everyone.”
Newbury Street will be open to pedestrians and closed to motor vehicles from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Berkeley Street to Massachusetts Avenue on August 21 and 28, and on September 4, 11, 18, and 25. Parking will be restricted on Newbury Street and adjacent streets, with enforcement beginning at 5:00 a.m. Signs will be posted informing drivers of the change.
“I am excited to see the Open Streets initiative transform our city and return to Newbury Street as another opportunity for residents, students, and visitors alike to enjoy our vibrant city,” said Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. “This initiative, led by our colleagues in the Boston Transportation Department, is an important initiative that continues to bring much needed support to our local restaurants and small businesses with increased foot and bike traffic.”
“In my nearly five decades of operating a business on Newbury Street, I have believed that creating a pedestrian space would effectively add to the sense of community and welcome to all,” said Bernie Pucker, owner of Pucker Gallery at 240 Newbury St. “After visiting many cities with such spaces and feeling the positive energy and sense of joy, it’s a gift to see the same style of car-free environment expand in our area.”
“The expanded Open Newbury Street programming sounds great, especially with so many restaurants having street level patios,” said Ellen Fitzgerald, co-owner of Mother Juice at 291 Newbury St. “We've definitely noticed an uptick in foot traffic during Open Newbury in the past. The more, the better!”
“The Back Bay Association is enthusiastic about an expanded Open Newbury Street,” said Meg Mainzer-Cohen, Executive Director of the Back Bay Association. “We look forward to hearing from Newbury Street businesses about how the increased pedestrian days impact customers and businesses on Boston’s iconic retail corridor.”
BTD first piloted Open Newbury Street in 2016. Thousands of people enjoyed food, shopping and dining in the street on one Sunday in August. To build on the success of the first event, Open Newbury Street was expanded to three Sundays a year in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Open Newbury Street returned for three Sundays in 2021 after a one-year hiatus.
Businesses and attendees are encouraged to promote the event on social media using #OpenNewbury. The public is encouraged to utilize public transportation in addition to bicycling and walking. For more information, visit the event’s website at boston.gov/open-newbury. Businesses are asked to submit their plans for any of the Open Newbury days using the form on the website.
In addition to Open Newbury Street, the City of Boston is exploring how to reimagine City spaces by opening streets for exercise, play and community through temporary car-free zones. The City has hosted two half-day Open Streets events, with another in Dorchester happening on September 24. In June, the City launched Copley Connect, a 10-day pilot that transformed Dartmouth Street into an open plaza space.
About the Boston Transportation Department
The Boston Transportation Department’s vision is for Boston’s streets to be safe, inclusive, and vibrant. The team plans, builds, maintains, and operates roads across the City of Boston. For more information about their work, visit boston.gov/transportation or @BostonBTD on Twitter.