In The News

Salem Patch   |  Sep 30, 2016   |  By Joe Lipovich
Salem to Hold Group Walks for Elementary Students WalkBoston, a nonprofit pedestrian advocacy organization that has conducted walking audits of the downtown and South Salem neighborhoods, offers a walking map of the City... Read More
Boston Globe   |  Sep 30, 2016   |  By Meghan E. Irons
Bike, pedestrian advocates to press mayor on road safety At least 13 people have died in traffic crashes this year, said Brendan Kearney, spokesman for the pedestrian advocacy organization WalkBoston. Last year, there were 23 fatalities, according to data on the Vision Zero website. Kearney said the city needs to devote more funding for improvements and hire additional staff to make them happen. “They have a great staff right now,’’ he said. “But they don’t have the capacity to tackle all of the needs.” Read More
Beacon Hill Times   |  Sep 29, 2016   |  By Beacon Hill Times Report
MassDOT installs two pedestrian hybrid beacons to improve pedestrian safety Brendan Kearney of WalkBoston added, “WalkBoston is pleased that walking and running safety measures have now been added in the project area, instead of waiting until the end of the construction process.” Read More
Dorchester Reporter   |  Sep 22, 2016   |  By Brianne Garrett
‘Vision Zero’ to outline traffic calming plans for Talbot-Norfolk “People are looking forward to being part of this pilot,” said Seskin. “They want to be able to feel comfortable going outside and walking with their kids or their pets, no matter what age they are.” According to the City of Boston’s Vision Zero crash map, Boston had a total of 512 bicyclist injuries and three bicyclist fatalities in 2015. Two of these three fatalities occurred in Dorchester. The TNT neighborhood has already made efforts to reduce this number. Activists have previously worked with local non-profits such as WalkBoston and have even developed their own report based on “a walking audit of the neighborhood,” says Seskin. Read More
Boston Globe   |  Sep 2, 2016   |  Letter to the Editor
Leaders must make safer streets a priority We desperately need the state, cities, and towns to invest in infrastructure. The status quo is not working. Leaders must prioritize safer options for people to walk, bike, and take transit. Read More
Boston Magazine   |  Aug 18, 2016   |  By Spencer Buell
Car Strikes Pedestrians on Freedom Trail in Downtown Crossing Witnesses say the suspect, a woman, tried to leave the scene of the crash, according to Brendan Kearney, communications director for the nonprofit advocacy group WalkBoston, who rushed over to the intersection when he saw reports about it on Twitter. He didn’t see it himself, he says, but witnesses told him a crowd of people, including a man in a Minuteman costume, helped subdue the driver and came to the aid of the victims. “It’s scary. I’m still a little stunned that something like this can happen,” Kearney says. “It happened at, like, noon. This place is slammed with people on a normal day and this is August, midweek. This is the height of tourist season on the Freedom Trail.” Read More
Metro Boston   |  Aug 2, 2016   |  By Chris Caesar
Jaywalkers have little to fear in Boston — at least from the law Brendan Kearney, a spokesperson for WalkBoston, said the concept of jaywalking and laws prohibiting the practice first emerged in the early 20th century, as the automobile industry engaged in a widespread marketing campaign to redefine the public road as the domain of vehicles — not walkers. “If you look at the term ‘jay,’ [in the early 20th century] it meant kind of like a hick, a country bumpkin that doesn’t know what’s going on,” Kearney said. “There was a lot of marketing ... to make this a real [patriotic] sort of thing: ‘Don’t be a jaywalker.’” Kearney said lawmakers have more effective means at their disposal to cut back on pedestrian deaths, rather than punishing pedestrians: increase fines and enforcement for speeding, paint more crosswalks in the city, and employ shorter times for light signal changes to cut down on the time pedestrians wait at the curb. Read More
Wicked Local Weymouth   |  Jul 22, 2016   |  By Ed Baker
Weymouth planners look to improve Columbian Square's village appeal Columbian Square could be a marquee attraction in South Weymouth for visitors to dine at a sidewalk café or shop at an open air market if traffic can be slowed down at the busy intersection, says Wendy Landman, executive director of WalkBoston, a non-profit pedestrian advocacy organization. Read More
Boston Globe   |  May 18, 2016   |  By Steve Annear
"Would closing Newbury Street to cars be a good idea?" WalkBoston, a pedestrian advocacy group, tweeted that “we’re certainly in favor of trying things out!” In a follow up e-mail, Brendan Kearney, the group’s spokesman, said sections of the Back Bay near Newbury Street could be a great choice. “WalkBoston is supportive of open streets programs to allow people to be more active and engaged in their community, while also giving residents and visitors the opportunity to safely use one of the city’s largest assets, our streets, in a way they normally are unable to,” he said. “The City of Boston has mentioned that they’re considering pilot locations; we’d love to see this done!” Read More
CBS Boston   |  May 18, 2016   |  By Louisa Moller
"Boston Considering Pedestrian Only Streets During Summer" Is Boston making strides towards walking-only streets? Watch this interview with WalkBoston board president Matt Lawlor from CBS Boston. Read More
Scout Somerville   |  Mar 17, 2016   |  By Emily Cassel
Somerville Road Runners Make A Plea For The Community Path Extension Ultimately, Kearney says that extending the Community Path and making the city safer for runners and pedestrians actually makes this a better, safer place for all of Somerville’s residents—whether or not they’ve ever strapped on a pair of running shoes. Read More
PRI's The World   |  Feb 23, 2016   |  By Jason Margolis
Many Americans want to behave more Swedish on the road (audio at link) I spoke with Thompson and Kearney at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street, a notoriously dangerous spot. A young surgeon was killed on a bicycle here last year when a truck turned into her. The city made some quick changes like placing flexible posts in the ground to mark off the bike lane. Kearney says the city can do more, like changing the timing on traffic signals. “There are no leading pedestrian indicators, meaning the walk signal comes on in advance of the traffic, which would basically let people walking and biking be halfway out in the intersection, give more visibility to any turning vehicles,” said Kearney, who was frustrated it hasn’t happened yet. Read More
Boston Globe   |  Nov 2, 2015   |  By Elizabeth Cooney
Survival Guide for running and biking in the dark With so many users sharing the roads in the dark, drivers and exercisers can each be tempted to blame the other. Like the vision scientists, Brendan Kearney, communications manager for the nonprofit WalkBoston, takes no sides, but he offers practical advice to runners as they leave the relative safety of sidewalks. “Just make sure as you approach the crosswalk that you see that [drivers] acknowledge you have the right of way,” he said. “You have much more to lose than the cars. They have airbags and you don’t.” Read More
The Herald News   |  Oct 2, 2015   |  By Eric Andrade
Guest Opinion: The importance of pedestrian advocacy in Fall River One of the main components of the grant was to recruit senior “champions.” These champions would go out, and, with training from WalkBoston, a statewide pedestrian advocacy group, conduct walk audits of various areas of the city. Six walk audits were conducted, and through this effort, the city started painting more noticeable striped crosswalks. They also installed in-street crosswalk signs, many of them specifically requested at dangerous intersections. Read More
Universal Hub   |  Jul 21, 2015   |  By Shelagh Dolan
Imagine a Boston with just a fifth as many cars WalkBoston representative Wendy Landman made the case for humanity's oldest form of transportation: our feet. Boston is already extremely walkable, she said. It has the highest walk to work score in the United States, as well as one of the lowest pedestrian fatality rates. The area for opportunity, she said, is connecting walkable places like Newbury Street and Mass Ave to less walk-friendly neighborhoods like the proposed tennis venue at Harambee Park. "We need to create corridors in parts of the city that may not have corridors that feel lively and engaged," she said. With regards to the Boston 2024 Olympics, Landman emphasized the importance of improving areas away from the venues, such as where passengers initially get on a train to go to an event. "A lot of the excitement of the venues will be because you're with other people and it's a celebratory event," she said. "What we can leave behind is what [else] is along those routes." Read More
BostInno   |  Jul 6, 2015   |  By Nick DeLuca
Redesigning This Somerville Highway Underpass Is More About Function Than Fashion "Incorporating an arts project while creating safe transportation connections between neighborhoods is a win-win. We're hopeful that improving the street crossing on the approach to the underpass would be a priority as part of the project, too," said Brendan Kearney, Communications Manager at WalkBoston. "Drivers treat this section of the road as an extended acceleration zone before the 93 on-ramp, and don't expect people walking or biking here; re-painted lane lines and a raised crosswalk would go a long way to improving safety for everyone." Read More
ArchitectureBoston Magazine   |  Jul 1, 2015   |  By Wendy Landman
Letters - On "Public/Private" (responses to Spring 2015) The “Public/Private” issue captured ideas about many of the boundaries and mixing zones that exist in modern cities and raised some provocative questions about how we should govern and regulate space to meet the diverse needs of city dwellers. However, I hope a future issue will focus on that most significant and largest element of our communities’ shared space, comprising more than 30 percent of total land area: streets and sidewalks. Read More
BostInno   |  May 14, 2015   |  By Nick DeLuca
The Case For More Car-Free Zones in Downtown Boston "A unifying theme is slowing things down so it is safer for all users, reclaiming/opening alleys to connect the city more and eliminating large blocks," said Brendan Kearney, spokesperson for pedestrian advocacy group WalkBoston. Read More
Boston City Council Minutes   |  May 13, 2015   |  By City Councilor Michelle Wu
Boston City Council Official Resolution - Ann Hershfang Day Official Resolution OFFERED BY CITY COUNCILOR Michelle Wu WHEREAS: Ann Hershfang was born on May 1, 1935; and Ann and her husband Herbert purchased their home on West Rutland Square in the South End in 1965 and have been fixtures in the local community ever since; and WHEREAS: Ann and Herbert raised their two daughters, Rachel and Jennifer, in the South End and contributed greatly to the Boston Public Schools as active parents at the Rice-Bancroft School; and WHEREAS: In the 1970’s Ann became the first woman appointed to the Board of the Massachusetts Port Authority because of her transportation policy work as a member of the League of Women Voters, Ann was instrumental in defeating the proposed South-End By-Pass Road, and, while Massachusetts under-Secretary of Transportation and Construction, in causing the substituted railroad tracks to be placed underground and the creation over it of the Southwest Corridor Park; and WHEREAS: Ann has shown lifelong dedication to her neighborhood of the South End, the Southwest Corridor and the City of Boston as a community advocate, volunteer and founder and board member of WalkBoston, among many other endeavors; Be it Therefore RESOLVED: That the Boston City Council hereby expresses its congratulations and best wishes for continued success, that this Resolution be duly signed by the President of the City Council and attested to and a copy thereof transmitted by the Clerk of City of Boston; and Be It Further RESOLVED: That the Boston City Council, in meeting assembled, hereby declares May 1, 2015 ANN HERSHFANG DAY IN THE CITY OF BOSTON Read More
Belchertown Sentinel   |  May 7, 2015   |  By Aimee M. Henderson
A walking audit Senior citizens leant a helping hand – actually feet – last week as they participated in a walk audit of the corridor from the Town Common to the courthouse through Healthy Hampshire and funding through the Mass Councils on Aging and Mass in Motion. A group of 19 adults, aged 55+, gathered at the Belchertown Council on Aging on Friday morning to hear from Sarah Bankert, coordinator at Healthy Hampshire, and Stacey Beuttell, program director at WalkBoston. Bankert, who has now appeared in front of the Planning Board, Board of Selectmen and Health Board in town to talk about Healthy Hampshire, talked with the volunteer walkers about why the audit was being done, as well as answered questions regarding her organization. She told them the focus group is part of a longer process focused on creating a community vision and recommendations for increasing pedestrian accessibility in the State Street/Route 202 corridor. Read More