Boston Open Streets returns with expanded dates and neighborhoods

The program kicks off on June 25 in Jamaica Plain.

Newbury Street will be one of the roads closing to cars this summer. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Sunnier days are ahead, and the city’s new plan for open streets will allow Bostonians to enjoy them with pedestrian-friendly events across the city.

Mayor Michelle Wu on Tuesday announced the return of the summertime “Boston Open Streets” program, which opens up throughways in the city for six-hour pedestrian and cyclist-only events. Last year’s program included Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and Dorchester. This summer, the program is expanding to also include events in Allston-Brighton and East Boston. 

Open Streets starts on June 25 between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Jamaica Plain. The following events will be in Roxbury (July 15), Allston-Brighton (August 19), Dorchester (Sept. 17), and East Boston (Oct. 15).

Wu also announced that Open Newbury Street will return on July 2 and continue every weekend until October 15. The program, which also blocks off a mile-long stretch of the Back Bay neighborhood to vehicular traffic, is expanding to 16 consecutive weekends this year. 


“I still remember very vividly the sounds that happen when you take away the buzz and hum of car traffic and replace it with kids laughing and the pitter-patter of their feet running down the street,” Wu said at a press conference Tuesday. “Impromptu chess games out on the street. A line dance in the middle of Dorchester Ave. The sounds of people getting to know each other, sharing and telling their own stories, and supporting their local small businesses.”

The mayor was joined at the Jackson-Mann School in Allston by city officials and local leaders to announce this year’s expanded event series. Each neighborhood event will feature food trucks, art installations, and games for residents of all ages. The goal of the expansion is to provide more opportunities for Bostonians to enjoy their neighborhoods and spur economic activity for local businesses. 

Jascha Franklin-Hodge, the city’s chief of streets, said his office is working closely with the Boston Police Department, the Disabilities Commission, the Office of Economic Opportunity, and other stakeholders to ensure that this summer’s events are enjoyed by all. 

“Open Streets connects and reflects the communities where they happen. The local nonprofits, the artists, musicians, and everyone who just comes out to participate is what gives these events their energy and their sense of celebration,” Franklin-Hodge said. “You cannot help but leave an Open Streets event with a smile on your face and a deeper appreciation for the people who make Boston neighborhoods such a great place to live.” 


Alex Cornacchini, executive director of Allston Village Main Streets, said the expansion will be “a great opportunity to showcase the vibrancy of our business, art, and entertainment community.”

In East Boston, Open Streets will also coincide with The Veronica Robles Cultural Center’s El Día de los Muertos celebration and annual parade. 

“We are very excited about Open Streets coming to East Boston. This is a great idea and excellent opportunity to network with neighbors and bring everyone together,” said Veronica Robles, executive director of the center.

More details about each Open Streets plan and attractions are coming soon, but programming will reflect each neighborhood. Stay tuned for more information on the city’s website


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