Authorities prepare for large crowds for Boston events

June 29, 2012|

State and local authorities plan to maintain a heavy presence in Boston through next week to manage crowds and direct traffic when visitors fill the city for celebrations of the War of 1812 bicentennial and the Fourth of July.

During a press conference at Carson Beach in South Boston Thursday, State Police and representatives from other agencies, including the US Navy, the MBTA, and Boston police urged visitors to take public transportation during the ceremonies.

Twenty US Navy and coalition ships are expected Friday in Boston Harbor, and authorities will ban parking on Shore Road and William J. Day Boulevard in South Boston from Castle Island to the East Broadway Extension and from L Street to G Street. The same restrictions will apply for the streets Saturday and Wednesday.

In the Seaport District, there will be no parking on parts of Congress Street and Northern Avenue from Friday afternoon until the morning of July 6, and State Police will monitor pedestrian traffic in the area, closing roadways as needed.

The MBTA will run shuttle buses Friday and Saturday between the JFK/UMass Station and Castle Island. Riders can use the buses for a $3 round-trip fare, said Sean McCarthy, the MBTA’s chief operating officer. The same shuttle will operate on Wednesday, the Fourth of July, along with another bus service, running from the Bayside Exposition Center.

During Independence Day celebrations Tuesday and Wednesday, parking will be banned on Storrow Drive and sections of the road will be closed both nights. A section of Memorial Drive in Cambridge will also be closed for fireworks and festivities Wednesday night.

Jack Murray, deputy commissioner for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, said extra lifeguards will be staffing beaches as part of the interagency effort.

Preparations for this year’s enhanced celebration began a couple of years ago when the idea for the War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration was introduced, said US Navy Commander Tommy Hacker.

“There’s going to be over 20 ships from the Navy and coalition ships coming in, over 3,000 sailors here in the city,” Hacker said.

Boston police Superintendent William Evans said Thursday that the department will increase patrols to direct and manage crowds during the festivities.

A lifelong resident of South Boston, Evans said, “All I’m asking for is when people come to this community, they respect the neighbors.”

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