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Tag: Carol Steinberg

WBUR: “Advocates Say MBTA Riders Need Accessibility Now, Not Later”

WBUR: “Advocates Say MBTA Riders Need Accessibility Now, Not Later”

WBUR: “Advocates Say MBTA Riders Need Accessibility Now, Not Later

Wendy Landman, the executive director of WalkBoston and a consultant on PATI, praises the MBTA’s progress but acknowledges the project has barriers.

“Like everything else that we think about with public transportation in Massachusetts, the money is short and issues to solve are big,” Landman says.

In the meantime, those big issues continue to affect people with disabilities, advocates say.

Carol Steinberg, an attorney, writer and disability activist, lives near the Forest Hills stop on the Orange Line. Although she stresses that service has improved, she says she avoids the T. She worries that elevators will be out of service, or that no employees will be around to put down the ramp that helps her wheelchair cross the gap between the train and the platform.

“When I take it, I’m happy I took it. It works,” she says. “But I’m nervous about it, so I drive.”

To get her to use the T more often, she says the MBTA must keep getting better.

“Keep doing what they’re doing, but speed it up,” says Steinberg.

Aired April 3, 2019

Carol Steinberg is a WalkBoston Board member.

Re: Comments on H3073/S2049 An Act relative to micro-mobility and motorized scooters

Re: Comments on H3073/S2049 An Act relative to micro-mobility and motorized scooters

March 28, 2019

Joint Committee on Transportation
Joseph A. Boncore, Senate Chair
State House, Room 112
Boston, MA 02133

Joint Committee on Transportation
William Straus, House Chair
State House, Room 134
Boston, MA 02133

Re: Comments on H3073/S2049 An Act relative to micro-mobility and motorized scooters

Dear Chairman Boncore and Chairman Straus,

WalkBoston is Massachusetts’ main pedestrian advocacy organization, working to make walking safer and easier in Massachusetts to encourage better health, a cleaner environment and more vibrant communities. We write to provide the Committee with our comments on H3073/S2049 An Act relative to micro-mobility and motorized scooters.

We understand the need for state legislation to guide the roll out of scooters in Massachusetts and support the efforts of MassDOT, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), and a number of the state’s municipalities to provide a statewide framework for these new mobility devices. We also believe that scooters may positively add to mobility options for Massachusetts’ residents.

  • At the most fundamental level, we believe that in areas of the Commonwealth where there is more than occasional sidewalk use by pedestrians, motorized scooters should be accommodated on-street or in separated bike/scooter lanes where they will not conflict with people who are walking on the sidewalk.
  • As reporting is beginning to emerge from cities where scooters have been operating the number of pedestrian injuries attributed to scooters on sidewalks is significant, with 8% of “scooter” injuries in Los Angeles being pedestrians who were hit by scooters or tripped over scooters on sidewalks.
  • After many years of work to meet the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) we are only beginning to approach an accessible sidewalk system. WalkBoston is very concerned that allowing the use of scooters on sidewalks will result in scooters blocking sidewalks and curb ramps. We recommend that municipal regulations require scooters to be locked to appropriate bike racks or corrals, as other communities around the country have started to consider.

Our comments are focused on H3073/S2049 because this is a comprehensive bill that has been drawn up with the active participation of the agencies noted above.

  1. We are pleased that the bill limits scooters to a speed of 15 miles per hour, although this will be very fast if it is happening on a sidewalk where pedestrians are walking at 2-3 miles per hour.
  2. We are pleased that the bill requires scooters to have front and rear lights and turn signals.
  3. As currently drafted the act would allow motorized scooters on all shared use paths operated by MassDOT or the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) including such places as the Southwest Corridor, the Esplanade, the Mass Ave and Longfellow Bridge sidewalks, and the Cape Cod Rail Trail. We do not believe that these heavily used paths that double as linear parks with significant numbers of young children, people with disabilities and seniors should be used by motorized scooters unless they are operated at a significantly lower speed (5 mph).

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important piece of transportation safety legislation.

Best regards,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

Carol Steinberg
WalkBoston Board Member
Wheelchair user and 9-year member of the MA Architectural Access Board

March 2018 Newsletter

March 2018 Newsletter

Building on nearly 30 years of advocacy in more than 100 cities and towns across the Commonwealth, WalkBoston has adopted a framework on how to make Massachusetts more walkable. This framework is guided by a set of principles that will challenge us to evaluate new technologies, continue to create evidence-based best practices, and address equity and inclusion more specifically in our community engagement. This newsletter edition is the second in a two-part series designed to share our goals with the larger WalkBoston community and encourage each of you to lace up your shoes and get involved. Click here to read the first newsletter in this series.

Age-Friendly Walking – better walking for all ages
By Adi Nochur/Project Manager, WalkBoston
The pedestrian/transit connection—walking to transit
By Erik Scheier/Project Manager, MBTA
#ClearCurbCuts Letter to the Globe
By Carol Steinberg/Board Member, WalkBoston

Download the March 2018 Newsletter PDF

#ClearCurbCuts Letter to the Globe

#ClearCurbCuts Letter to the Globe

To highlight challenges pedestrians face daily, WalkBoston produced a short video showcasing Amy Corcoran Hunt, who uses a wheelchair, navigating curb cuts 5 days after a snowstorm. In just 3 blocks Amy encountered 6 impassable curb cuts. The video was posted on Twitter and Facebook and viewed 55,000 times. WBUR then interviewed Amy, Channel 5/WCVB did a piece on the video, and the South End News featured it on its front cover. A letter to the editor by WalkBoston Board member Carol Steinberg followed:

During these snowy, icy days, we want to remind everybody to keep curb cuts completely cleared at all times so that wheelchair users are able to cross the streets like everybody else. I have often rolled to the end of a shoveled sidewalk, only to find the curb cut blocked with snow.

When my path is blocked and I stop, looking desperate, kind strangers will sometimes attempt to hoist my power wheelchair over the piles or stop traffic to help me cross at a driveway. We certainly cannot rely on the kindness, availability, and possible muscle power of strangers.

We must handle the snow so that everybody can get around.

Excerpt of Boston Globe letter 1/12/2018 WalkBoston Board member Carol Steinberg

This article was featured in WalkBoston’s March 2018 newsletter.
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