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Downtown Crossing: Auto Restricted Zone in Boston
  • Published Date:
    1982-07-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-20.97 MB]


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Downtown Crossing:  Auto Restricted Zone in Boston
Details:
  • Publication/ Report Number:
  • Resource Type:
  • Geographical Coverage:
  • TRIS Online Accession Number:
    369741
  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-PLANNING AND POLICY-Transit Planning and Policy
  • Abstract:
    The Downtown Crossing auto restricted zone, implemented in 1978, involved the

    elimination of all auto traffic froma zone of twelve blocks encompassing six

    different streets in Bostn's central business district. Some of the blocks were

    pedestrian-only zones, some were originally a transitway and later converted to

    a pedestrain-only zone, and some remained open only for taxi access. A series

    of physical improvements, including bricking of the streets and the placement of

    benches, new lighting and information kiosks, was completed in 1979. Additional

    aspects of the project included the extension of local bus routes to better

    serve the auto restricted zone, and extensive promotion activities.

    The evaluation report examines conditions before, during, and after construction

    of the Downtown Crossing zone, including organizational arrangements and impacts

    on traffic movement, transit ridership, goods deliveries, pedestrian movement,

    air and noise quality, shopper behavior, and business conditions. The study

    found that pedestrian activity and store purchases increased following the

    closing of the streets, although most of the increase was attributable to midday

    trips by the large number of office works nearby. There were also clear shifts

    from auto to transit as a mode of travel for both area employees and other

    shoppers. Expected increases in traffic congestion on nearby streets did not

    occur; in fact, there was a decrease in overall traffic volumes in the area due

    to both the mode shift among area visitors and the diversion of some traffic to

    streets much further away. Both businesses and pedestrians felt the program was

    helpful in improving downtown conditions.

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