WBZ interviews the owner of Kowloon in Saugus and a North End restaurateur about life after the shutdown ends - and how they're thinking about how to adapt to reduced seating capacities.
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(with h/t to Arnie Woo-Woo Ginsburg):
Out on Route One in Saugus,
Come dressed just as you are;AdventureKowloon where the service is tops
And you never get out of your car
Certain areas and streets strategically closed to all motor vehicles...
The sidewalks and parking lanes turned into patio seating and open air shopping...
The travel lanes turned into combination sidewalk/bike lanes...
We could be the model city for how to reduce pollution, congestion, viral transmission, while keeping restaurant and retail capacity, while simultaneously improving public health through increased cycling, public transportation, and walking!
This is all possible RIGHT NOW by just changing a few overcrowded streets into plazas for everyone's benefit except drivers.
Some cities, like Montreal, have been doing this for years. Some blocks have no vehicles. Other blocks had parking transformed into restaurant patios. It’s more space for people, more customers for restaurants and more revenue for the city.
There is no reason Salem Street can’t be pedestrians only. The north end existed long before cars.
The north end also existed long before municipal sewerage, electricity, antibiotics, polio vaccine, etc.
Try asking the residents of Salem Street what they want. You'll probably get a variety of opinions and positions, probably run into some things you hadn't thought about.
Vaccines save lives, cars take lives. Not a great comparison.
I’m fundamentally on your side. I recognize the environmental, social, political, and foreign policy damage that our embrace of the car has done. I am a former bicycle commuter. I choose to live in the city. Parts of my adult life I have not owned a car. Typically, over the past few years, I average less than once per week taking my car out of its parking space. I use my vote, and my influence in community planning, to advocate for mass transit and pedestrian-friendly development.
And yet, although I am pretty sure you are not this way in person, your writing here makes you come across as personally such an abrasive, monomaniacal asshole on the topic that it is impossible to take you seriously
I would encourage you to consider what it is that you actually want to accomplish, what changes you want to see in this world, and how you might go about making them happen. In particular I would encourage you to try seeing people who drive cars as responding somewhat rationally to a world that has been set up to facilitate and promote car use, rather than as bad people who have chosen a path of destruction.
Before Salem Street was crowded with cars (and trucks), it was even more crowded with horse carts.
The problem as I see it isn't that we allow cars on Salem Street. It's that new Salem Streets are illegal, but we keep encouraging new Legacy Places.
The plan to close Birch St. in Roslindale should be sped up so Birch St and Village Fish can have seating out there along with the beer place. Other restaurants have it trickier - unless they closed the South St. end of the Village Market parking lot, I don't know what Delfino could do. Pleasant has a big old parking lot but it's not practical to get food and drink across Washington in a service setting.
North End should be 50% closed to cars as it is.
I'm no fan of the car and what it has done to our landscape, our cities, our foreign policy, etc....
But at the same time, if you live on one of those streets that is to be blocked off, there are benefits (less noise, more pleasant streetscape) as well as costs (sooner or later you need a new dishwasher delivered; when it's pouring rain sometimes it's nice to shop for groceries by car and pull up right in front of your house and throw the bags in the door before driving off to find a parking place, etc.)
Not that all of these can't be addressed with a little thought, but there's more to a successful conversion than dropping a few concrete planters at the end of the block.
British govt just committed 250MM pounds ($310MM USD) to biking and walking infrastructure to include pop-up bike lanes, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors. This will help them in opening up and giving folks alternatives for getting to work. Imagine US being this pro bike/ped!
God, I miss the bar at the Galway House.
As the linked article points out, the presence of a large fire station on Hanover Street complicates this issue. The fire station needs to be right there, given the built-up density of this neighborhood.
The fire station is at the far end of Hanover, well past any patio needs.
Additionally, it's not like Fanuiel Hall will burn down because it's a pedestrian mall.
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