Taking Back the Streets: Expanded Sidewalks, Bike Lanes Coming Soon to Boston

Other major cities have implemented the strategy in order to more easily maintain social distancing practices for pedestrians.

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According to, city officials are looking into repurposing Boston streets during the coronavirus pandemic.

At a Boston City Council hearing Tuesday night, Vineet Gupta, the director of planning for the city transportation department, explained the city is looking to expand sidewalks into driving lanes in specified locations this month to make room for people to walk and ride bicycles.

Other cities across the world have made similar moves to allow for increased social distancing.

On Monday, Mayor Marty Walsh cited Hanover Street as one example of a street that could be closed to vehicle traffic in order to increase distance for outdoor dining and pedestrians. But one issue that still needs to be looked at is how emergency vehicles would access the area.

“We're going to be looking at all the different ideas, and we're going to be reaching out to the community for input," he said.

The city is also searching for ways to allow for more social distancing on buses. Walsh explained that subway ridership is down, but essential workers still heavily rely on buses.

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