Parts of Moody Street in Waltham, Massachusetts, will be temporarily closed starting Saturday as restaurants expand for outdoor dining.
Crews were out early Friday morning putting up barriers in preparation. Traffic and parking from High Street to Crescent and Pine streets is banned through Oct. 31.
Some coronavirus restrictions are in place. Restaurants are required to provide hand sanitizer and paper menus. Face masks must be worn when leaving the table or going to the restroom.
There will be no Tick-Tock Trolleys during outdoor dining. Normal bus routes have been rerouted. Trash pick-up will not be impacted for residents or businesses.
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Restaurant owners and managers whose businesses took a financial hit during the pandemic told NBC10 Boston that outdoor dining has been a lifeline. But some retailers said outdoor dining is bad for their business.
Waltham Mayor Jeannette A. McCarthy is hoping those in favor and against outdoor dining can find a middle ground.
“We put millions of dollars into the downtown and we’re trying to encourage people to have foot traffic so they’ll come in enjoy the shops and go to restaurants and work with each other,” she said.
There’s even talk among community and city leaders about making Moody Street pedestrian friendly on a permanent basis.