They want to improve Downtown Crossing. The city has seen some high-profile retail defections over the past months (notably Barnes & Noble, and Filene’s is closed), but the area has never lived up to anyone’s expectations, I don’t think.
The main street is blocked off to traffic; a debatable idea, I think, although the city has hired planners who have suggesting removing cars from even more streets:
The pedestrian zone, which would be strictly enforced, would allow for outdoor cafes and retail that spills into the street. The enlarged zone would include Washington Street from Temple Street to Milk Street; Winter Street; Bromfield Street; and portions of Summer and Franklin streets.
Curbs would be removed, and roadways would be recovered with decorative pavers. After early-morning delivery hours, electric bollards would rise from below ground to prevent cars from entering the area, traversed by 100,000-plus people each day.
Places where people can “stop and look,â€? such as the paved areas outside Borders bookstore and next to the Filene’s building, also would be enhanced. “We’re trying to slow people down,â€? said Randi Lathrop, the BRA’s deputy director of community planning. “A lot of people walk through the Crossing, but they don’t shop in the Crossing.â€?
You gotta love the photo … not a street-thug in view, and … wait, is that a guy PLAYING A VIOLIN???
More: Crossing planners aim for ‘quality’: Combine shopping and leisure – By Donna Goodison, The Boston Herald
Also: Pedestrian-centric plan for downtown: Consultants add cafes, limit cars – By Jenn Abelson, The Boston Globe