Category: Announcement

Great Day of Action for Road Safety on Beacon Hill

Great Day of Action for Road Safety on Beacon Hill

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us at the Statehouse for the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition’s Road Safety Day of Action! Thank you to Governor Baker & Lt. Governor Polito for also filing legislation focused on road safety and getting the conversation started.

A packed room heard from Governor Baker, Text Less Live More, Children’s Hospital, AAA, SADD, and co-sponsors of three important bills:

  1. The Hands-Free Bill(s)

    • Chairman Wagner & Representative Donato are sponsoring HD1534
    • Chairman Straus is sponsoring HD1420
    • Representative Provost is sponsoring HD1346
    • Senator Montigny is sponsoring SD1383
    • Senators Creem & Brownsberger are sponsoring SD897
  2. Automated Enforcement Bill

    • Senator William Brownsberger is sponsoring SD1461
  3. An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

    • Senator William Brownsberger is sponsoring SD847
    • Representative Hecht and Representative Rogers are sponsoring HD1653
WalkBoston Executive Director Wendy Landman explains an aspect of the bill.

The morning was organized by the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition (WalkBoston, Safe Roads Alliance, MassBike, LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Cyclists Union, Transportation for Massachusetts & more) & Text Less Live More. After info packets were distributed, people were off to meet with their legislators and talk about why these efforts would make MA roads safer in their own communities. Thank you to everyone who came together today to work towards safer streets, and thank you to all of the legislators and staff that attended and listened throughout the day!


Were you unable to make it to Beacon Hill, but want to get involved with WalkBoston’s efforts?

Unchoked: Dual Paths included in MassDOT’s plans for massive Allston I90 Project!

Unchoked: Dual Paths included in MassDOT’s plans for massive Allston I90 Project!

“Unchoke the Throat!” – the rallying cry to improve the Charles River park and river edge in the I-90 Allston Interchange project – grew out of WalkBoston’s call for separate paths for people walking and biking along the river within a landscaped park. Joined by the Charles River Conservancy and community residents, the idea came to life when Sasaki produced drawings showing a vision of how it could be done. WalkBoston produced a video showing how the massive highway project could be an opportunity to create a better place for people running, biking, and walking along the Charles River.

People from around the region wrote letters to MassDOT expressing their support for dual paths and a better park in the Throat. Of the 500 letters MassDOT received during the FEIR public comment period, over 150 referenced our “#UnchokeTheThroat” video proposal.

MassDOT listened! The notion of dual paths, nonexistent in most of the planning prior to #UnchokeTheThroat, is now in nearly every paragraph of Transportation Secretary Pollack’s explanation of her January 10th decision to pursue a new concept for the Throat (see today’s Boston Globe Mass. Pike in Allston, Soldiers Field Road are set for a major overhaul”).

The chosen plan makes dual paths and a wider park possible with an at-grade Turnpike and placement of Soldiers Field Road on a new, smaller viaduct above the Turnpike. A more generous, straightened park is also included as part of the plan that extends commuter rail to Cambridge via the Grand Junction line across the Charles River. Each of these improvements will help to reduce noise and visual intrusions into the riverside park.

What’s next?

WalkBoston’s advocacy is not done! We have tracked this project since its beginning in 2014, and we will continue our efforts to make it better.

Our focus, along with other advocates and community partners, is to convince MassDOT of the need to prepare for the traffic disruption during construction by enhancing transit access to and from the west and protecting Allston and Brookline neighborhoods from cut through traffic. Maximizing express bus and commuter rail services in the corridor served by the Turnpike and the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line will be critical. New service should include West Station to enhance public transportation options that provide additional capacity when vehicle lanes on the Turnpike are removed from service during the years of construction. Local bus connections are needed to provide a web of services that get commuters to final destinations; the stations further out, too, will need to be considered, as they will likely see an influx of new riders hoping to avoid driving delays in the construction area. Pedestrian connections to all new or supplemented services are essential.

Work on the project – some call it “the biggest highway project since the Big Dig” – goes on. It is, of course, much more than a highway project. It is a major development with public transportation components that lead outward from West Station, with repercussions that stretch all the way to Worcester – encompassing the Western Corridor and the major employment centers of Harvard Square, the Longwood Medical Area, Kendall Square, Back Bay and Downtown. Boston will gain a whole new neighborhood that will add over 10 million square feet of new employment and residential buildings that will make the area another of the region’s most important destinations over the next few decades.

The Allston I-90 Project is a once in a generation project that Massachusetts needs to get right. It is our move to call attention to everyday issues that can be improved to make it safer and easier to get around now and in the future.

Event: Save the Date for Annual Party, March 18th 5-8pm

Event: Save the Date for Annual Party, March 18th 5-8pm

Come join us on March 18th from 5-8PM for our annual party! This year’s keynote speaker is Eric Fleegler, MD, MPH, a pediatric emergency physician and health services researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital. His research includes articles that identify pedestrian road safety as a public health priority and ways to address racial/ethnic health disparities in pediatric asthma outcomes.

This year’s celebration will recognize Walking Champions from Fall River & Springfield with Golden Shoe Awards. Learn more about all of our previous award winners.

What: WalkBoston Annual Party
When: March 18, 2019 5-8PM
Where: Fort Point Room / Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St, Boston, MA (same venue as last year!)
Cost: $30 – Beer, wine + food included with your ticket

Hope to see you on March 18th!

Join us on Jan 23rd for a Day of Action at the State House

Join us on Jan 23rd for a Day of Action at the State House

Please join us and other members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition for a Day of Action at the State House on the morning of WednesdayJanuary 23rd.

We’ll go door-to-door and ask our representatives and senators to support traffic safety legislation around three key issues. This legislation will save lives, reduce injuries, and bring us closer to Vision Zero. Read more about these issues below.

Event Details:
Day of Action at the State House
WednesdayJanuary 23, 2019, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm
@ Massachusetts State House, Room 437
24 Beacon Street, Boston

Schedule:
9:30 – 10:00 am | Arrive, check in, enjoy coffee + light breakfast
10:00 – 10:30 am | Program (speakers TBA)
10:30 am – 12 pm | Meetings with legislative offices

Training materials and talking points will be provided day of. Even if you can’t commit to the full morning, you are welcome to join us for any part of the schedule! Please RSVP here.

Priorities for Traffic Safety Legislation:

  1. Hands-free — improve the current law against texting-while-driving, which is difficult for officers to enforce, by requiring any use of mobile devices while driving to be hands-free.
  2. Automated enforcement — allow red light cameras and speed cameras to be placed in certain locations in the Commonwealth. When enacted in other states, automated enforcement has reduced speeding and serious crashes.
  3. Truck safety — equip state-contracted trucks with safety side-guards, mirrors, and back-up cameras to reduce the number of fatalities of people walking and biking.

Traffic fatalities are unacceptably high in Massachusetts, and we know that crashes are not accidents – they’re the tragic, preventable results of inadequate planning, policy, and unsafe behavior.

Help us spread the word about the Day of Action to your contacts by sharing this post, and via social media before and during the event using these hashtags: #crashnotaccident #visionzero #textlesslivemore

Please RSVP here. For more information, contact Emily Stein at emily@saferoadsalliance.org.

We hope to see you there!

BU School of Public Health students create WalkMassachusetts Network video

BU School of Public Health students create WalkMassachusetts Network video

This past semester, Boston University School of Public Health students in Professor Kim Kronenberg’s class SB833: “Designing and Implementing a Health Communication Campaign,” engaged WalkBoston as a client to create a video to promote the WalkMassachusetts Network. The goal of the course is to give students health communication background and hands-on experience. The video was the tool they used to learn about the health communication process.

Thanks to MPH students Sharon, Shweta, TraciAnn & Benji for their work on this effort, Professor Kronenberg for inviting us to participate — and thanks to everyone who contributed constructive feedback to their questions along the way!

Check out the video they produced below with the help of Lynn Weissman, Videography and technology instructor, and get involved with the WalkMassachusetts Network.