Councilor Wu Applauds Creative Repurposing of Public Space for ‘Open Charles Street’ Event

In anticipation the inaugural “Open Charles Street,” which will close the street to vehicular traffic and transform it into a pedestrian-only walkway on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to coincide with the Beacon Hill Civic Association’s annual FallFest, City Councilor at-Large Michelle Wu is encouraged to see the city’s streets creatively repurposed to accommodate special events such as this.

“I am always excited when there’s an opportunity to rethink public space, in particular to reclaim our streets,” Councilor Wu said. “We’re very much centered around cars, and one of the top issues, I hear about knocking on doors is how unsafe it feel with cars moving down formerly quiet residential streets.”

The event is modeled after the highly successful “Open Newbury Street,” which transforms Newbury Street, along with some adjacent side streets, into a car-free zone and just wrapped up it season with the final of three events this year on Sunday, Sept. 15. For these events, some restaurants in the neighborhood receive one-day license extensions that allow them to temporarily transform the sidewalk outside their storefronts into outdoor patio space.

            “‘Open Newbury’ has been a great success from the standpoint of residents, businesses and the city as a whole,” Councilor Wu said. “I look forward to seeing just as many people come out to bring Charles Street to life on Sunday.”

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