Coleman Street in Dorchester will host a special event Saturday, as the community and the city unveils its first-ever “Playway”.
The block party was born in New York city as a way to engage youths and their communities, connecting residents to their neighbors and encouraging resource sharing and communication.
Boston organizers hope to create the same atmosphere found on some of the streets in New York.
“The city is trying to find ways to make it easier for residents to connect,” said Jhana Senxian, a member of the Coleman Street Neighbors Association. “Basically, we’re trying to make it a one stop shop.”
On Saturday from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. the street will be closed to traffic and residents will come out onto the block to enjoy music, healthy activities, Boston Centers for Youth and Families' "fit kits" and a community potluck.
“Coleman Street was a challenging street,” said Senxian. “It used to have a lot of trash and other problems and this is a celebration that gives us an opportunity to celebrate the work on the street and get the families out.”
The city is also excited for the project, streamlining the process of street closures and permitting, in the hopes of making it easier for residents to put on these types of events.
“This is something we want the community to know is available to them” said Thomas J. Tinlin, commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department, a major backer of the program. “We want to keep it a true community event. We’re trying to cut the bureaucracy. We’ll take care of the permitting and shut down the streets for you.”
Tinlin also noted that a major goal of the city is to make it easier for residents to get out and enjoy their neighborhood, creating community and connections.
“We want the community to come together, skip some rope, use some chalk and have fun...it's what neighborhoods are all about,” said Tinlin. “We’ll take what we learn [Saturday] and that will help us expand and move the project forward. We want to streamline it and make it less about cars and traffic and more about meeting your neighbors.”
The “Playway” will take place Saturday from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Quincy and Colemen Streets. The event is free and those interested in finding out more can contact Jhana Senxian at firstname.lastname@example.org.