BOSTON (WHDH) – Hundreds of people took advantage of one of the biggest Open Streets events in Boston yet on Sunday when Centre Street in Jamaica Plain closed down for cars and opened up for the street-wide summer event.
Music, food and games were offered to the public across 1.4 miles of road. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
After the past success of Open Newbury Street, city officials expanded the idea into “Open Streets Boston” in an effort to open the streets for walkers in specific communities for the first time. The Jamaica Plain event marked the first time Open Streets was held outside of Downtown Boston.
“It’s a way for our community to get out and to also say “hello” to the police officers (and) the firefighters,” said eventgoer Betsy Weaver. “And its also good… to say ‘hi neighbor!’ We never do that!”
“I think it’d definitely be nice for people to get out and interact and communicate,” said Brittney Haynesworth, another eventgoer. “It’s a lot being stuffed in the house.”
Along the route, Mozart Park hosted a family play area, food trucks were parked outside the Mary E Curley School, and yoga and music were available near Soldiers Monument. The stomp rockets in front of Junior Mojica’s barbershop, Junior’s iCuts, were also a big hit.
“The last two years, we’ve been indoors, and this is a chance for people to come out and see the world again,” Mojica said.
According to event organizer Kaché Boyd, the hope was that those participating would be able to relish using the public space in a new way.
“It’s an opportunity to activate space in a way that we normally wouldn’t use it,” said Boyd. “Vehicular free roadways so that folks can walk, run, play, skate, roll. However it is that folks want to be in motion, they can be so.”
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said an event of Sunday’s size takes months of planning and coordination with dozens of departments, but that it is worth it.
“We’re a city that’s growing in our population, we know that as more and more jobs come to the area, we have to give people alternatives to getting around rather than coming in by car,” Wu said.
Sunday’s closure of Centre Street in Jamaica Plain was the first event before Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury and Dorchester Avenue in Dorchester do the same in August and September, respectively.
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)