Foot traffic up as downtown Boston reopens

The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District’s pedestrian-traffic sensors have clocked a 95 percent increase in foot traffic since December 2020, and a March 2021 survey by the district found that around 85 percent of ground-floor retailers and 60 percent of restaurants open pre-pandemic are once again serving the public.

Those two data points, according to the business improvement district, “show a healthy reopening for downtown.”

The BID said it has been working to support downtown Boston’s businesses in their reopening efforts, through efforts including power-washing, creating parklet spaces by setting off sidewalks or parking spaces, facilitating early morning deliveries of things like umbrellas and barricades, and providing guidance on permit applications and outdoor seating plans.

While the usual downtown crowds have been lighter, the district said its BID ambassadors have undertaken a deep-cleaning of the area, including power-washing sidewalks, painting and shining street furniture and removing graffiti and stickers.

“The past year, with its scarcity of people, traffic, and activity, has provided a unique opportunity to take our focus on safety, cleanliness and beautification to a new level,” Nojdar Aga, operations director for the Downtown Boston BID, said in a statement. “We are ready, more now than ever before, to welcome back the thousands of familiar faces that make Downtown Boston so special.”

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