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Orange Line shutdown an opportunity for Boston to redesign streets

Mayor Michelle Wu said the disruptive Orange Line shutdown is also opportunity to pilot a new vision for city infrastructure that places less emphasis on car-focused streets and more on community spaces connected by fast, free and reliable transit.

“Public transit is our connection to everything: work, school, fun, community,” Wu said Wednesday at the 10th annual National Association of City Transportation Officials “Designing Cities” conference in Boston.

“Accessible, affordable, reliable transit doesn’t just tear down barriers built by ineffective transportation systems,” she said. “It creates opportunity and fosters community — actively, intentionally.”

Changes implemented during the 30-day shutdown, such as rejiggered streets built for buses, bikes, and pedestrians rather than personal vehicles, and free commuter rail service, are ideas that Boston would like to explore in the longterm, said Wu.

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