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Pedestrians to take over parkways in Boston and Watertown while parking spots are cut at Arboretum

With the region operating under social distancing restrictions, several new parking and traffic restrictions will kick in Friday in Greater Boston to increase park access for pedestrians, state officials said Friday.

Beginning Friday at dusk, three roads will be closed to vehicular traffic and opened for pedestrian use, according to a statement from the Baker administration. Recreational use on the following roads will begin Saturday at dawn:

  • William J. Day Boulevard between Farragut Road and Shore Drive in South Boston
  • Francis Parkman Drive between Perkins Street and the Arborway in Jamaica Plain
  • Greenough Boulevard between Arsenal Street and North Beacon Street in Watertown

“Importantly, the measures will reduce close contact of park users, and aid in the reduction of large concentrations of people on adjacent sidewalks and paths,” officials said.

Also, state and city officials announced reduced public parking along the perimeter of the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain to only marked handicap parking spaces. All non-handicap street parking along the Arborway and Bussey Street will be temporarily eliminated.


Visitors are urged to avoid peak hours while visiting the Arboretum, which are 4 p.m. to 7 p.m on weekdays and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Pedestrians are strongly encouraged to wear a facial covering while in the landscape.

“While in the Arboretum landscape, all pedestrians, runners, and cyclists need to wear a mask or other facial covering,” officials said. “Help us all support the Commonwealth’s and City’s efforts to reduce overcrowding and encourage social distancing.”

After the weekend, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will reevaluate whether the measures were effective, officials said. Also, the DCR will indefinitely reduce parking capacity at state parks beginning Saturday.

Matt Berg can be reached at matthew.berg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.