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A Bold Vision for a Car-Free Boston

As other cities take daring steps to reclaim their streets, a car ban in downtown Boston doesn’t seem so implausible.
November 22, 2019, 10am PST | Camille Fink
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Fred Ortlip

Tom Acitelli considers the possibility of limiting vehicle traffic in downtown Boston. "Such a move would help Boston meet its own stated goals of eliminating pedestrian deaths and reducing pollution so much as to render the city carbon-neutral by 2050—never mind that, contrary to some concerns, the evidence suggests that banning cars downtown would not necessarily hurt businesses there."

Boston can look to the steps other cities have taken to redesign their streets, says Acitelli, including New York City’s vehicle restrictions on 14th Street in Manhattan and San Francisco’s plan to ban cars on Market Street.

Boston has already successfully instituted a series of recent street closures and repurposed public spaces. And the city is no stranger to pedestrianized shopping areas, including Downtown Crossing and Faneuil Hall Marketplace, both of which have benefited from the downtown’s economic boom, notes Acitelli.

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Published on Friday, November 15, 2019 in Curbed Boston
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