New York City-Style 'Don't Block the Box' Campaign Comes to Boston

It's a $150 fine to clog up an intersection by moving into it when you can't get all the way across. The city has targeted 18 intersections for special enforcement.

Anyone who has been to New York City will have seen the "Don't Block the Box" signs. Now Boston has picked up the campaign.

It was already illegal under state law to drive into an intersection when you can't get all the way across. But starting Thursday, Boston will be handing out tickets to motorists who clog intersections — even if they edged in while the light was green.

Brookline already has a few "Don't Block the Box" zones, like the one at Cypress Street and Brington Road in Brookline Village. Boston is getting similar ones, mostly around the Longwood Medical area and along Brookline's border with the city. 

The city is targeting 18 intersections so far with signage and pavement markings. Most of them are in the Longwood Medical Area. They are listed below and shown on the map accompanying this post:

  1. Brookline Avenue and Francis Street
  2. Brookline Avenue and Deaconess Road/Jimmy Fund Way
  3. Brookline Avenue and Longwood Avenue
  4. Longwood Avenue and Binney Street
  5. Longwood Avenue and Blackfan Street
  6. Evans Way and Fenway/Louis Prang Street
  7. Huntington Avenue and Longwood Avenue
  8. Huntington Avenue and St. Albans Road/Mission Street
  9. Huntington Avenue and Fenwood Road
  10. Brigham Circle
  11. Huntington Avenue and Ruggles Street/Louis Prang Street
  12. Atlantic Avenue and Congress Street
  13. Atlantic Avenue and Seaport Boulevard
  14. Congress Street and Purchase Street
  15. Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street
  16. Massachusetts Avenue and St. Botolph Street
  17. Boardman Street and Leyden Street
  18. Meridian Street and Monmouth Street

The city said it will add more intersections as needed.

Here is some of the text of the state law against blocking the box:

The driver of a motor vehicle shall not cross or enter an intersection, which it is unable to proceed through, without stopping and thereby blocking vehicles from travelling in a free direction.  A green light is no defense to blocking the intersection. The driver must wait another cycle of the signal light, if necessary.

The crackdown is being done in partnership with MASCO, a non-profit that works for the interests of the Longwood Medical Area.

Noel Alvarez August 31, 2012 at 03:18 AM
longwood and kent please
Grahame Turner August 31, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Perhaps with Boston stepping it up, the Brookline Transportation board will start looking at some new places to install them. I think that is an intersection that could use one...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »