January 1, 2008

Storrow Drive outbound may close to motorists Sunday mornings

So reports today's Boston Globe:
A five-mile stretch of Storrow Drive could be closed to car traffic on Sunday mornings beginning this year, opening the riverside roadway to bicycling, walking, in-line skating, and other recreational uses, under a proposal being considered by state officials.

"The proposal by the Charles River Conservancy would close only the westbound side of Storrow between the Longfellow Bridge and Harvard Stadium, allowing inbound cars to travel into Boston as usual. If the plan is approved by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which oversees Storrow Drive, the Sunday closures would take place from April to November from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., when traffic is typically light."

The move would be great for hard-core exercisers and serious non-motorized sports usage. However, it's not going to do much for others -- who else is out that early on a Sunday morning? The summertime shutdown of Memorial Drive from 11 to 7 am on Sundays has much more of an impact, attracting casual strollers who might be out and about for lunch, dinner, or an afternoon. But obviously, it's not practical to close Storrow Drive to cars the same time as Memorial Drive. Too bad Storrow couldn't close 11 to 7 am on Saturdays.


  1. It may take baby steps to get Storrow closed for longer hours. This is a great first step though. Central Park and Prospect Park in NYC have car-free hours that were once fairly limited but now encompass most of the day. I think once people start seeing the benefits of a car-free Storrow, we'll start to see the hours expanded.

  2. I hope you're right, and the hours will eventually expand. As a first step, I agree it's great. As a final result, not so much.