Outdoor Dining is Back

Published by Chris Wangler- April 29, 2021.

Starting on Saturday, Moody Street from Pine to High Streets will be closed to vehicular traffic.
The 24-7 shutdown, called Moody Street Marketplace, will run from May 1 until October 31 to allow for outdoor dining and retail. Crews were preparing the street this week.
Pedestrians walked near a vehicle in a small section of Moody Street that was opened to traffic for crossovers and parking. Summer 2020 photo.
 
 
The lively scene last year drew diners and pedestrians in large numbers, becoming a model for other communities coping with indoor COVID restrictions.
Restaurants owners led efforts to repeat the plan.
 
 
This year’s plan is basically the same as last year’s, with a small section of the street open for crossovers and parking between Chestnut and Cushing Streets.
City of Waltham graphic showing the 2021 outdoor dining and retail plan. The Moody Street Marketplace will run from May 1 to October 31.
 
 
Businesses had to apply for free permits to operate outside, with 34 submitting applications. Those businesses needed to secure approvals from various city agencies.
Last year, the overwhelming majority of participating outdoor businesses on Moody were restaurants, not other retail.
The decision to repeat last year’s plan, while popular, did not sit well with objecting small businesses or surrounding residents, who complained of frustrating traffic conditions on their streets during the 24-7 shutdown.
The Moody closure was also unpopular with some abutting residents. Visiting diners took on-street spaces from residents, and some residents expressed frustration with impolite drivers. City officials have approved new signage to ensure better flow.
 
 
Opposing voices were heard at a series of special traffic commission meetings in recent months.
But after months of discussion and alternate proposals to appease objectors, traffic commission members voted to repeat last year’s plan on April 9.
 
 
City of Waltham outdoor dining and retail graphic