Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Waltham Mayor Eyes Shutting Down Moody Street to Traffic to Help Restaurants Add Seating Capacity

As restaurants in Massachusetts get closer to reopening their dining areas, a western suburb of Boston could be closing down its "restaurant row" to traffic as a possible strategy to help the dining spots there.

According to a source, Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy is considering shutting down Moody Street to vehicles, with a Patch article indicating that she is asking the traffic commissioner to close the road from the Pine Street/Crescent Street intersection up to High Street, which would be a total of approximately five blocks, while also looking at using parking spaces on nearby Main Street to do something similar. Currently, restaurants in the Commonwealth can only offer takeout and/or delivery, and while Phase 2--which could begin as soon as June 8--is expected to allow dining spots to open their spaces back up, they may be doing so at a greatly diminished capacity, which is why McCarthy wants to close down Moody Street in order to allow restaurants to be able to set up outdoor spaces for additional seating.

There has been talk of closing down other streets in the Greater Boston area as well, including the possibility of shutting down Hanover Street and Newbury Street in Boston, though nothing has been decided as of yet.

[June 4 update: A couple of sources tell us that plans to shut down Moody Street to traffic have been approved, with a Facebook post from The Waltham Channel saying that the closure of the road begins on Monday, June 8 and runs through November 1.]

by Marc Hurwitz (Also follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston)

[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]