Boston is and has always been considered a pedestrian-friendly walking city in the European tradition. Taking its cue from European cities, and in response to the growing civic concern about the lack of sufficient public amenities, Mayor Thomas M. Menino called for the city to develop a street furniture program for Boston.
The Coordinated Street Furniture Program's primary goal is to augment and significantly improve the appearance, quality and coordination of street furniture amenities for the public, such as bus shelters, telephone and information kiosks, public toilets, newspaper vending machines, and newsstands. Comparable programs have been implemented mostly in European cities, but have been more recently introduced to San Francisco and St. Louis. The City of Boston has begun by installing public toilets in and around Downtown, and bus shelters, telephone and information kiosks throughout the city.
Wall USA, Inc. is the street furniture company chosen to implement this program. Wall is responsible for the design, manufacturing, installation and on-going maintenance of the program at no cost to the City. The program is funded by Wall through the sale of high quality advertising that is integrated into the design of the street furniture structures. In addition, Wall makes space available for free public service announcements to the arts community and various non-profits, along with maps for locating visitor destinations. Wall has a fleet of maintenance crews that monitor and maintain their products on a regularly scheduled basis, subject to oversight and enforcement by appropriate City agencies.
The Coordinated Street Furniture Program is being implemented out of Boston’s Basic City Services Department. The BRA oversaw the initial comprehensive planning of the program and continues to review placement of the amenities and monitor the program’s process.