The Boston Transportation Department’s revival of plans to improve the Hyde Square rotary is good news.
The general idea of tightening car lanes and expanding public space will make Hyde Square much safer for pedestrians and create elbow room for local businesses and public art.
For these same reasons, BTD should not give up on similar plans for Monument Square.
There are valid differences of opinion on how best to showcase the historic Soldier’s Monument. But fundamentally, Monument Square is a traffic safety problem that must be addressed. It has too much asphalt and too little directional sense, resulting in regular fender-benders and pedestrian near-misses.
It sounds like BTD intends to install a second traffic light in Monument Square, as it has long planned. But that alone won’t solve the obvious dangers.
Both Hyde and Monument Squares have remained more dangerous and less appealing than they should be for far too long. Even this planning process will have taken six years, and there’s not even an actual construction schedule after that.
We look forward to the common-sense Hyde Square improvements and urge the same mindset be applied to Monument Square.