BROOKLINE (CBS) — Practicing social distancing while walking on a narrow sidewalk can be difficult. But Brookline is taking steps to give pedestrians more space to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The town’s Transportation Board voted Wednesday to remove parking lanes and make other changes on four high-density streets: Beacon Street, Brookline Avenue, Harvard Street and Longwood.

“Even with people staying home in significant numbers, there is still a natural need for walkable space and we want to give residents as much space as possible while vehicular traffic is low and the need for physical distance among pedestrians is high,” Transportation administrator Todd Kirrane said in a statement. “What’s important to remember, however, is that this is not designed as an invitation for more people to go outside — rather it’s meant to enable those who have to go outside to commute to work or do essential shopping to do so in the safest way possible.”

The town’s breakdown of the changes is below. More information can be found on the town’s website.

Beacon Street Eastbound (Webster Street to Pleasant Street)
Vehicular traffic will be allowed only in the left lane, with parking available in the right lane. The existing parking lane will be open for pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and mobility devices.

Beacon Street Westbound (Pleasant Street to Marion Street)
Vehicular traffic will be allowed only in the left lane, with the right lane serving as a parking lane and the existing parking lane remaining open for pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and mobility devices.

Brookline Avenue (Pearl Street to the town line)
Parking lanes in each direction will be removed to provide additional space for pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and mobility devices.

Harvard Street
One parking lane will be removed along the entire length of the street to better accommodate pedestrian, bicycle and scooter traffic.

Longwood (Town line to Sewall Avenue)
The parking lane will be opened as an expansion of the adjacent sidewalk.

 

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