I don't know about you, but I'm a happy woman whenever a duck boat parade is scheduled. No matter what the cause, it's always fun to see the entire city (and half of the New England area, it seems) squeezed onto the city's sidewalks to celebrate.
Now, the question is, how exactly are you going to get into the city to join us? And, well, when you're here, how can you ensure you won't get a ticket, get towed, or accidentally drive straight into the parade route? I've got some information that will hopefully help...
Where is this parade going to be, anyway?
The team will be loading up onto the duck boats at Fenway Park, and will be kicking off around 10:00 or so. The parade route runs down Lansdowne Street, then onto Ipswich Street, where they'll take a left onto Boylston Street. You'll see the ducks then head down Park Drive, back onto Boylston Street until they hit Tremont Street by the Common. They'll take a left and head (the wrong way) up Tremont Street, then follow Cambridge Street through Government Center and the West End. They'll make it to Blossom Street by MGH around 1:00 or so after a lap in the Charles River.
If you'd prefer a visual, or just aren't sure about the directions, you can find a map of the parade route here, provided by the city of Boston.
Streets will be shut down around the city starting around 9:00 AM Saturday morning until just about 3:00 in the afternoon, depending on how fast they can pick up the route. Plan ahead, too, about which side you want to stand on for the parade and how you're going to get there, because once the streets are closed, you won't be able to cross them even on foot -- even if the parade hasn't started yet. If you require wheelchair access to the parade, head over to the Boston Common side of Tremont Street by Temple Place. Seats are limited but they are available.
Where to park?
Of course, there's plenty of parking restrictions that come along with this sort of event. Check to see if your area's affected. Keep in mind that these parking restrictions go into effect Saturday morning at 12:01 am, so if you're coming into town to stay with a friend or family member and are planning on parking on any of these streets, you'll need to find alternate arrangements...
- Arlington Street from Newbury Street to Saint James Avenue
- Avery Street from Tremont Street to Washington Street
- Beacon Street from Somerset Street to Tremont Street
- Berkeley Street from Saint James Avenue to Newbury Street
- Blossom Street from Cambridge Street to Charles Street
- Bowdoin Street from Cambridge Street to Derne Street
- Boylston Street from Kilmarnock Street to Park Drive, then from Charlesgate East to Washington Street
- Bromfield Street from Tremont Street to Washington Street
- Brookline Avenue from Overland Street to Commonwealth Avenue
- Cambridge Street from Tremont Street to North Grove Street
- Charles Street from Boylston Street to the center gate of the Public Garden
- Charles Street South from Park Plaza to Boylston Street
- Clarendon Street from Newbury Street to Saint James Avenue
- Court Street from Tremont Street to Washington Street
- Dalton Street from Boylston Street to Belvidere Street
- Dartmouth Street from Boylston Street to Newbury Street
- East Dedham Street from Harrison Avenue to Albany Street
- Exeter Street from Newbury Street to Blagden Street
- Fairfield Street from Boylston Street to Newbury Street
- Garden Street from Phillips Street to Cambridge Street
- Gloucester Street from Newbury Street to Boylston Street
- Hadassah Way from Park Plaza to Boylston Street
- Hamilton Place from Tremont Street to the dead end
- Hancock Street from Cambridge Street to Derne Street
- Hemenway Street from Boylston Street to Haviland Street
- Hereford Street from Boylston Street to Newbury Street
- Ipswich Street from Jillian's to Boylston Street (near the Shell) and also near the Mass Pike
- Irving Street from Cambridge Street to Phillips Street
- Joy Street from Myrtle Street to Cambridge Street
- Lansdowne Street from Brookline Avenue to Ipswich Street
- Massachusetts Avenue from Newbury Street to Haviland Street
- New Chardon Street from Cambridge Street to Merrimac Street
- New Sudbury Street from Cambridge Street to Congress Street
- Park Street from Tremont Street to Beacon Street
- Parkman Street from Blossom Street to North Anderson Street
- Plympton Street from Harrison Avenue to Albany Street
- School Street from Tremont Street to Washington Street
- Somerset Street from Ashburton Place to Cambridge Street
- South Russell Street from Cambridge Street to Myrtle Street
- Staniford Street from Cambridge Street to O'Connell Way
- Temple Place from Tremont Street to Washington Street
- Temple Street from Cambridge Street to Derne Street
- Tremont Street from Stuart Street to Cambridge Street
- Van Ness Street from Ipswich Street to Kilmarnock Street
- West Streeet from Tremont Street to Washington Street
- Winter Street from Tremont Street to Washington Street
- Yawkey Way from Boylston Street to Brookline Avenue
So if I don't decide to drive...
... which you shouldn't ... because driving is going to be VERY complicated in the city Saturday ... you can always take the T! MBTA officials say they're going to be running extra service starting at 7:00 am on all subway lines -- you'll see trains running as often as you would during a weekday rush hour. That will be the case most of the day.
For commuter rail customers, there will be extra service in the morning and through the afternoon, but all commuter rail schedules will return to normal at 4:00 in the afternoon. If there's normally no service on Saturdays on specific lines, that will continue to be the case this weekend (this is so on the Greenbush, Needham, Stoughton, Fairmount and Kingston lines). There will be extra cars on each train, too, so you won't be completely squashed during your ride.
Coming into North Station, here's what your morning departure times look like:
- Rockport: 6:00, 7:00 and 8:45 am
- Newburyport: 6:15, 7:15, 8:48 am
- Haverhill: 6:00, 7:15, 8:15 am
- Lowell: 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 am
- Wilmington: 7:45, 9:20 am
- Fitchburg: 6:00, 6:50, 7:40 am
- South Acton: 8:50 am
For leaving the city, the Fitchburg line will have extra trains leaving at 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00 pm which will make stops at all stations.
Heading into South Station...
- Worcester: 6:30, 7:30 am
- Franklin/Forge Park-495: 6:35, 8:35 am
- Providence: 6:35, 8:35 am
- Middleborough/Lakeville: 6:50, 8:22 am
If you're thinking about taking the bus around, you'll find the normal Saturday schedule in place, but the T says they'll bump up service on the 39, 57, 111, 504 and 442. The Riverside bus is running express to Kenmore Square starting at 7:00 am. Remember, though, that there will be diversions due to the parade on the SL5, 1, 8, 92, 93, 57 and 65.
There will be commuter boats available (fitting nicely with the duck boat theme) from Hingham to Long Wharf. Boats will depart at 6:00, 6:20, 7:20, 7:40, 8:40, 9:00 am out of Hingham, and at 6:40, 7:00, 8:00 and 8:20 am out of Boston.
You'll also find afternoon service in place. Departures from Hingham will run at 2:40, 3:00, 4:00, 4:20 and 5:20 pm. Boats will leave Boston at 2:35, 2:55, 3:20, 3:40, 4:40, 5:00 and 6:00 pm.
A few other notes:
Commuter Rail customers can purchase a $10 roundtrip fare electronically via our mTicket mobile ticketing app at www.mbta.com/mticket beginning Friday, November 1 at 1:00 p.m.
If you were going to avoid the T because you read the Red Line was going to be diverted over the Longfellow Bridge between Kendall and Park Street, good news -- the T's decided to forego that diversion for this weekend. Also, good news for people on the Blue Line heading downtown -- normally Bowdoin isn't open on weekends, but it will be on Saturday during the normal weekday hours (5:15 am - 6:30 pm).
If your plans involve parking at one of the MBTA facilities on Saturday, keep in mind that no credit cards will be accepted -- only cash -- and you will have to pay on entry, not on exit.
You'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you can either load up your CharlieCards Friday night before you head in Saturday, or by buying enough to cover your return fare when you head to the station Saturday morning. The lines are going to be nuts. Keep in mind there is an option to load your CharlieCard online! Check it out here.
Overall... I'd imagine traffic is really going to bump up early in the morning, around 6:00 or 7:00 or so because people are going to want to get a decent spot. It's likely that, no matter what mode of transport you take, it's going to be busy and you're going to have to pack your patience. Can't wait to see you on the parade route! I'll be doing my best to live-tweet any issues I hear of on Twitter at @choley but be sure to follow @bostondotcom for the latest as well. Be safe - have a fantastic time - and celebrate!
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