Following the attack in New York City, there has been new focus on security surrounding public pathways and parks around Boston.
"Memorial Drive, the Esplanade, we are always concerned for the safety of people that use those. We patrol those routinely," said Major Richard Ball of Massachusetts State Police.
On a regular basis, they provide patrols on foot, bike, motorcycle and on the water by Memorial Drive, where cars move right alongside pedestrians. However, after Tuesday’s attack in New York, Ball said they reallocated patrols to better address concerns.
"That was a terrible, terrible incident," Ball said. "But these are public spaces."
Striking a balance between public access and safety is a constant challenge. While special events typically receive heightened security and barricades, preventing everyday attacks can be difficult.
"No city can prevent a vehicular attack," said Max Abrahms, assistant professor of political science at Northeastern University.
Given the many places crowds gather in major cities, Abrahms argues it is impossible to guard against all threats. Rather than focus on the venues, he believes more attention should be put on the individuals and organizations behind the attacks.
"These perpetrators don’t care what they strike, so they’re not picky at all. They’re completely indiscriminate in their target selection," Abrahms explained. "And so, given that criteria, there isn’t a whole lot we can do."