Newbury Street will again be transformed into a pedestrian-only walkway when Open Newbury returns for six consecutive Sundays between Aug. 21 and Sept. 25, Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) announced last week.
“Open Newbury Street has become a treasured tradition for Boston residents, showing how we can celebrate community in public spaces,” Mayor Wu said in a press release. “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.”
Newbury Street will be open to pedestrians and closed to motor vehicles from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from the intersection at Berkeley Street to the intersection at Massachusetts Avenue on Aug. 21 and 28, and on Sept. 4, 11, 18, and 25. Parking will be restricted on Newbury Street and adjacent streets, with enforcement beginning at 5 a.m. Signs will be posted informing drivers of the change, according to the city.
“We are excited to increase the number of Open Newbury days through the summer and fall for more residents to enjoy,” Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief of Streets, said in a press release. “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.”
Likewise, Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion, said in a press release: “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.”
Added Meg Mainzer-Cohen, executive Director of the Back Bay Association, “The Back Bay Association is enthusiastic about an expanded Open Newbury Street. 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, with thousands of people enjoying shopping and dining in the street on one Sunday in August. Building on the success of the first event, it was expanded to three Sundays a year in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and 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.