Centre Street will be car-free between Jackson Square and Centre and South Streets on July 10, offering residents a stretch of road to walk, bike, shop, dance, and support local businesses.
The city’s Public Realm Director, Jacob Wessel, came to the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) on June 28 to discuss the event, which is part of the city’s Open Streets Boston initiative.
“This will be a day where we get to come together and explore Centre St. in a new, different way,” Wessel said, “in the tradition of a lot of street festivals.”
On July 10, the street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., during which there will be several “activity hubs” along the street, he said. There will, however, be “two spaces where vehicles will be able to cross over the route.” These will be at Green Street and at Boylston Street at Canary Square, which will be “active patrolled intersections.”
Wessel said that “this has been a rocky road getting here,” as he is aware that several residents have been asking for a car-free day in the neighborhood for a long time and have been turned down.
The route will feature free pedicabs that can shuttle people to different areas, and toilets, including accessible ones, will be available along the route as well. Water bottle filling stations will also be available along the route.
According to the Open Streets Boston website, programming will include things like a pop-up bike lane, face painting, live music, fitness classes, outdoor dining and food trucks, a Paint-A-Thon, and more. Residents can also interact with local community organizations and businesses as part of this event as well.
Dogs are permitted, provided they remain on a leash and owners pick up after them.
“This is very exciting; I think it will be very good,” said JPNC member Michael Reiskind. JP resident Louise Johnson also expressed her excitement for the event, as she and others have advocated for an event like this in the past to no avail.
Wessel said that there should be no overnight parking on Centre St. the day before, and “all parking should happen on the side streets,” as the street closure goes into effect on 8am on July 10.
The event will happen rain or shine. For more information, visit openstreetsboston.org. Other Open Streets Boston Days will take place on August 6, on Blue Hill Ave. between Warren Street and Dudley St. in Roxbury, and on September 24 on Dorchester Ave. between Freeport St. and Gallivan Blvd. in Dorchester.