Businesses Petition City Council for Changes to Harvard Square

The Harvard Square Business Association has submitted a policy order to the City Council that it says would increase foot traffic and help businesses in the square.

The policy order explains that despite the vibrancy of Harvard Square, many businesses have found it impossible to stay in business—Fire + Ice, Schoenhof’s Foreign Books, wagamama, and several other establishments have closed their doors.

Walkers, bicyclists, and drivers would all see changes under the proposal. The association asks that the speed limit for drivers and bicyclists be lowered to 15 miles per hour, that more bike lanes are installed, and that three walking officers are stationed in the square to help with traffic.

Tour buses and companies like Lyft and Uber would be given designated drop-off and pick up locations. The business association asks that the city work with the MBTA to improve existing transit in the square.

Under the policy order, restaurants with outdoor seating would be able to use propane heating units so that patios could be used for a greater part of the year. The business association also proposes that more public plazas are developed in the square, with more tables, chairs, and trash cans.

The business association also asks for the City Council’s help in further supporting the square’s homeless population this winter.

Mayor Denise Simmons submitted the policy order for the business association. The City Council will discuss the matter on Oct. 2.