Arts + Entertainment

The “Open Newbury Street” Dates Have Been Announced

Here are the days you can shop and wander on a car-free street.

As the city announced in May, Newbury Street will once again be open to pedestrians for a few select days without all those pesky cars around this summer. And now we have the dates.

Newbury Street will be closed to traffic on July 23, August 13, and September 10.

“Open Newbury Street,” as it’s called, will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last summer it was offered only once for the season as an experiment, but the support the initiative has received prompted officials to expand it.

“Last year, Open Newbury Street was overwhelmingly positive for visitors and businesses alike, bringing thousands of people to the Back Bay neighborhood,” Mayor Marty Walsh says in a statement. “We’re excited to bring the idea back this year, so residents and visitors from all over can again enjoy Newbury Street for an afternoon, free of cars. We look forward to working with businesses and residents to make this year’s Open Newbury another success.”

Despite some initial critiques last year from higher-end businesses that wealthier clientele might not want to walk and take the T to shop, many on Newbury are celebrating.

“This special day will create an opportunity for people to wander around Newbury Street and discover new places to shop and dine,” reads an announcement on a site that promotes businesses on the street. “While many already know the shops and brands on Newbury Street, this new perspective allows shoppers to discover aspects of the street for the first time.”

Developer Jamestown, which has invested in dozens of Newbury properties, is also cheering on the initiative.

“Open Newbury allows the community to engage directly with Boston’s most iconic retail main street,” Michael Phillips, its president, says in a statement. “At Newbury we celebrate retailers that are finding synergies between brick and mortar and the online market place.”

Short-term pedestrian-only streets as a concept is also on the move. The city will be doing the same thing on Canal Street in the West End on Saturday, July 8.


Spencer Buell Staff Writer at Boston Magazine sbuell@bostonmagazine.com