Boston Tests Pedestrian Pop-Up Plaza In Downtown Crossing

BOSTON (CBS) — A bustling intersection in Downtown Crossing was transformed to seating space for just a few hours Tuesday morning.

Planters, fencing  tables and chairs were temporarily added to the intersection of Franklin Street and Arch Street by city engineers and planners to test a potentially permanent change.

The Boston Transportation Department is considering widening the sidewalk to create a permanent plaza, but first they wanted to test out the traffic and parking implications. If green lighted, the project would take city and public funding to pull off.

“This is an opportunity to look at the urban design and engineering considerations that need to be factored into the final design,” said Boston’s Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca said in a public statement. “We want to watch the changes in real time and be sure that we meet the needs of all road users in a permanent plaza.”

A table containing sketches of the space welcomed opinions by visitors. Those who tested the new, albeit temporary, seating area seem to like it.

“I work right around the corner so I think it’s a very cool idea,” said one commuter from Braintree. “I think it’s a great alternative for those who work in the area and don’t want to walk all the way to the park to eat their lunch.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

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