BOSTON (CBS) – With Massachusetts announcing its plan to begin a phased reopening of the economy, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city is working on coronavirus precautions that could include expanded sidewalks and more outdoor dining options.
Walsh spoke about potential changes for businesses during his daily press briefing on Monday.
“As summer approaches, and as the weather brings more people outdoors, and as we prepare for a phased reopening, we want to make sure that we have enough space for safe distancing,” said Walsh.
The mayor said potential options include more sidewalk room in business districts.
“That could help with physical distancing, especially where people wait in line for businesses that are following new capacity guidelines,” said Walsh.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Monday that the state will begin allowing businesses to reopen in a 4-phased process. More details are expected to be announced on May 18.
“I’ll make an assumption here that when restaurants open up again they’re not going to open up at 100 percent capacity,” said Walsh. “Many of them don’t have outdoor dining. Is there a way for us to give them additional capacity by possibly using outdoors in some locations?”
The city may also consider opening up entire lanes for pedestrian and cyclist use to calm traffic speeds, Walsh said.
“We want to make sure everyone has safe and healthy transportation options, so in addition to our planned capital investment in safe and sustainable streets, we’ve been looking for ways to expand space for pedestrians, small business customers, cyclists, and bus commuters,” said Walsh.
Walsh said that as people start to go back to work, they are likely going to want to avoid crowded buses. As a result, Walsh said increasing frequency of the buses and dedicating bus lanes could be a solution.