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Category: Walk Audit

Downtown Boston “signals walk” with Boston Transportation Department

Downtown Boston “signals walk” with Boston Transportation Department

WalkBoston took a downtown Boston “signals walk” with Boston Chief of Streets Chris Osgood, Acting Transportation Commissioner Greg Rooney and Boston Transportation Department Chief Planner Vineet Gupta on August 1st. We looked at several pedestrian-filled downtown Boston intersections and discussed the many ways in which Boston’s traffic signals are not yet fulfilling the policies outlined in GoBoston 2030 such as: making “walk-signals intuitive and giving people walking a head start,” or “shortening wait times at crossings and make signals adapt in real time to pedestrian behavior and flows.” (Check out page 140 for Pedestrian-First Traffic Signals.)

At 9 AM, during heavy commuting hours for walkers and T riders, the crosswalk across Cambridge Street in front of the Government Center T Station required pedestrians to wait 90 seconds to get a WALK signal. We also looked at several intersections where STOP signs would provide better service for both walkers and drivers – such as at Milk Street/Washington Street in front of the Old South Meeting House.

As we have for many years, WalkBoston will continue urging the Boston Transportation Department to fulfill the City’s motto of being “America’s Walking City” by making traffic signals in Boston work better for walkers.

Looking for a place to cross in Lowell

Looking for a place to cross in Lowell

At the Lowell/Chelmsford line, a group of 15 of us walked for more than 1/4 mile to cross Westford Street. As part of WalkBoston’s Mass in Motion technical assistance, we conducted a walk audit with members of the Greater Lowell Health Alliance’s Healthy Eating and Active Living Task Force, Lowell city staff, and other concerned residents in Lowell’s Drum Hill neighborhood.

“It’s very threatening. I certainly wouldn’t choose to go for a stroll along Westford Street,” said one walk audit participant. Traffic noise and narrow, disconnected sidewalks make people walking feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Residents in nearby apartment buildings and employees in office buildings along Technology Drive cannot safely walk to the shops and restaurants across Westford Street. Stay tuned for WalkBoston’s recommendations on how to make this auto-dominated environment safer and more welcoming to people walking.

Manchester By The Sea Village Walk Audit

Manchester By The Sea Village Walk Audit

On Monday, June 3, 2019, WalkBoston conducted a walk audit in Manchester-by-the-Sea in the area between Manchester Memorial Elementary School and the village center. This walk audit was completed through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion program, which grants funding and provides technical assistance to help communities eat better and be more active. WalkBoston has been providing technical assistance to Mass in Motion projects throughout the state, and has previously conducted a walk audit along Manchester’s School Street in 2015 through Mass in Motion.

The area covered in this walk audit includes Manchester Memorial Elementary School, Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School, and Tara Montessori School. The southern portion of the audit cuts through the village center, which houses several restaurants, cafes and shops, and is proximate to the Manchester commuter rail station and Singing Beach. Though the area is well-frequented, most access is by car. Sidewalks are typically narrow and only on one side of the street, and several crosswalks have low visibility and insufficient signage.

To access the complete report, please click the link below.

WalkBoston-MBTSVillageWalkAudit

Can we help make crossing Route 2 in Concord safer?

Can we help make crossing Route 2 in Concord safer?

That’s the question the Town of Concord, Emerson Hospital, MassDOT District 4 and WalkBoston were asking on Tuesday at the Route 2/Old Road to 9 Acre Corner intersection. Currently, Emerson Hospital runs a shuttle across Route 2 to get their staff safely back and forth – a distance of less than a 1/4 of a mile. While there are no easy answers, the group discussed adjusting signal phasing, exploring the pros/cons of Right-Turn-On-Red, and educating Emerson staff about how pedestrian signals work. Some improvements are already in process – new sidewalks, curb ramps and countdown signals. We look forward to hearing back from all involved to see what additional safety improvements are made.

Beachmont Neighborhood, Revere – Cummings Square Walk Audit

Beachmont Neighborhood, Revere – Cummings Square Walk Audit

The Beachmont Improvement Committee (BIC) and City of Revere Staff identified Cummings Square as an area in need of improved walking infrastructure given the number of pedestrians moving through the square, its proximity to Beachmont Veterans Memorial School, and the fast-moving traffic experienced by neighborhood residents. The City Department of Public Works (DPW) is in the process of repaving several of the roads surrounding the square (Crescent Avenue and Orchard Street), which will allow some of the short-term recommendations described in this memorandum to be put in place quickly. The long-term recommendations should be considered as priority projects to be named in the Revere Complete Streets Prioritization Plan or other infrastructure planning document.

To access the complete report, please click the link below.

WalkBostonBeachmontCummingsSqAudit