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Tag: coalition for a better acre

University Avenue: Where UMass Lowell and the Acre meet

University Avenue: Where UMass Lowell and the Acre meet

WalkBoston participated in a MassDOT road safety audit on University Avenue in Lowell where city staff, MassDOT engineers, UMassLowell representative, Lowell police officers and others looked for ways to improve road safety along this main campus thoroughfare. The Pawtucket Street/University Avenue intersection is at the edge of Lowell’s Acre neighborhood. WalkBoston has been working in The Acre with a group of residents and the Coalition for a Better Acre as part of the Streets for Healthy and Connected Lives program funded by the Cummings Foundation.

The RSA was well attended, and solutions were proposed to decrease wait times for pedestrians at traffic signals, clarify travel lanes, and reduce the occurrence of “double threat” conditions — where one car waits for a pedestrian, while a second car in an adjacent travel lane continues without seeing the person crossing. We look forward to seeing these changes implemented to improve the safety of UMass Lowell students and Acre residents alike.

One Minute, One Slide: Safe Walking for Healthy and Connected Lives

One Minute, One Slide: Safe Walking for Healthy and Connected Lives

Below is a “One Minute, One Slide” presentation shared by a member of the WalkBoston staff.
Text provided is as prepared at this year’s annual event on March 18, 2019.

Dorothea Hass

WalkBoston has partnered with the Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell through a Cummings Foundation grant to train residents of the Acre to become walking advocates. Shown here are residents who are pressing the City to make temporary changes to a complicated five-way intersection with fast-moving traffic and very long crosswalks. At a recent meeting with City Councilor Nuon, residents presented their concerns and proposed solutions to which the Councilor shown here, second from right, was very receptive. A next step will be to persuade the city’s traffic engineer to take the temporary measures which if proved successful could be more permanently installed. The training is also promoting civic engagement. One of the trainees has taken the initiative to gain signatures to support the re-design of the five-way intersection and is also planning to run for city council.

The Third Session of Streets for People in Lowell

The Third Session of Streets for People in Lowell

WalkBoston conducted its third Streets for People training session in Lowell with the Coalition for a Better Acre and Acre neighborhood residents on Thursday, July 31. City Transportation staff joined us and presented three street-redesign projects near our study area in the Acre neighborhood that will make walking safer. The designs include enhanced crosswalks, dedicated green buffers for sidewalks, and pedestrian signals. It was great to hear about the City’s commitment to walkability and interest in resident concerns regarding safer streets. The group then visited the two most dangerous intersections based on WalkBoston’s pedestrian crash data analysis, and measured vehicle speed and pedestrian signal timing. We already came up with recommendations that the City will consider. We look forward to continuing our conversations with the City as our training program continues. Streets for People is funded by the Cummings Foundation.

A group of participants measuring the pedestrian signal timing

 

 

 

 

Check out WalkBoston funder Bill Cummings’ new book “Starting Small and Making It Big”

Check out WalkBoston funder Bill Cummings’ new book “Starting Small and Making It Big”

Last summer, WalkBoston was fortunate enough to receive a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation to fund our work to train and empower residents to be change agents for safe streets. Earlier this month, we kicked things off with a Ped101 Training Session and neighborhood walk audit in Lowell with the Coalition for A Better Acre. We’re excited to engage with people that want to make their communities more walkable!

The Cummings Foundation’s $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are not only based in but also primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties – the area where the Foundation owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Want to know more about the people behind the Foundation? We’d encourage you to check out Bill Cummings’ newly published autobiography, “Starting Small and Making It Big,” in which he shares his story and the dedication to giving back to the communities and institutions so vital to his success.