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Tag: Complete Streets

Chelsea Complete Streets Support Letter

Chelsea Complete Streets Support Letter

December 4, 2017

Chelsea City Council
500 Broadway
Chelsea, MA 02150

RE: WalkBoston support for Chelsea Complete Streets Resolution and Policy

Dear Councilors:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Chelsea’s Complete Streets Resolution and Policy. As a statewide pedestrian advocacy organization working to make Massachusetts more walkable, WalkBoston enthusiastically supports this policy and encourages the Subcommittee and then the full City Council to pass it.

WalkBoston is deeply committed to safer streets in Chelsea, where we have had the privilege of working for several years now. In the past year we have conducted walk assessments in the Sector 4 and Park Square neighborhoods, working collaboratively with city departments, local residents, community organizations, and state agencies to recommend pedestrian safety improvements. (Copies of these walk assessment reports are included with this letter.) Such Complete Streets concepts are already informing the City’s Re-imagining Broadway initiative, and formalizing the policy order will ensure that this great progress continues.

The needs and opportunities around Complete Streets in Chelsea are great. The City was ranked as the top pedestrian crash cluster in the entire state for 2005-2014, highlighting the urgent need for safety improvements. The Re-imagining Broadway initiative, the forthcoming Silver Line Gateway, and ongoing urban revitalization efforts all present opportunities to create safe walking, biking and transit connections. More Complete Streets that accommodate all road users will bring substantial health, safety and economic benefits to Chelsea residents. The City Council has already taken a great step towards increased safety by reducing the default speed limit in Chelsea to 25 miles per hour, and adopting a Complete Streets framework will ensure that roadway designs help accomplish this objective.

To date 142 cities and towns all over Massachusetts have adopted Complete Streets policies, including dense urban municipalities near Chelsea like Cambridge, Somerville and Everett. These communities are pursuing innovative measures like protected bike lanes, painted curb extensions, and dedicated bus lanes to enhance mobility and connectivity for their residents.
WalkBoston encourages the City of Chelsea to follow suit, and we look forward to our continued work here to help advance Complete Streets that work for everyone.

Sincerely,

Adi Nochur
Project Manager

Town of Lenox on the move

Town of Lenox on the move

Lenox, in the Berkshires, has just over 5,000 residents.
It is largely rural with a small downtown, parks, public
art, great restaurants, Tanglewood, and The Mount/Edith
Wharton’s Home. In Lenox, you get the small-town vibe
but big-city culture.

Residents want to stay in Lenox as they age. Millennials
across the country are opting to live in traditionally
dense, accessible neighborhoods. So in the past year, Lenox has embraced walkability and adopted
a Complete Streets policy. The process started by
conducting two walk audits with WalkBoston and
working with local partners to install “pop-up” Complete
Street interventions. Working with Age Friendly
Berkshires, the town installed two temporary curb
extensions on Main Street and ordered “WalkYourCity”
signs directing residents and visitors to destinations
such as Tanglewood, Shakespeare and Co., restaurants, and playgrounds.

Getting decision makers and stakeholders into the neighborhood has been a
big “win.” Seeing is believing. The “pop-up” curb extensions were a low-cost
and very effective tool to demonstrate how to slow down car traffic and give
walkers better visibility and more ability to be seen.

During one walk audit, a Board of Selectmen member joined us. Noting an
inaccessible curb ramp, the group stopped to take a look. The Selectmen
asked the Department of Public Works Superintendent and Town Planner to
fix the ramp before the current repaving project ended. It got fixed that week.

Partnerships, walk audits, temporary, low-cost installations all make what
often seem like lofty or challenging goals and solutions, seem doable. You
leverage resources and expertise, and get feedback immediately.

We plan to submit our curb extension project as part of our Complete Streets
Tier III funding request. This project makes the street safer for all users and we
know we have support after testing and educating people about the benefits.

This effort has been positive due to the many partnerships including
WalkBoston, Mass in Motion, Be Well Berkshires, MassDOT Complete Streets
Program, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Age Friendly Berkshires,
the Department of Public Works, and members of the Board of Selectmen.

Gwen Miller is the Land Use Director and Town Planner for Lenox, MA.
This article was featured in WalkBoston’s October 2017 newsletter.

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Town of Lenox on the move

Town of Lenox on the move

By Gwen Miller/Land Use Director & Town Planner, Lenox 

Lenox, in the Berkshires, has just over 5,000 residents. It is largely rural with a small downtown, parks, public art, great restaurants, Tanglewood, The Mount/Edith Wharton’s Home. In Lenox, you get the small-town vibe but big-city culture.

Residents want to stay in Lenox as they age. Millennials across the country are opting to live in traditionally dense, accessible neighborhoods. So in the past year, Lenox has embraced walkability and adopted a Complete Streets policy. The process started by conducting two walk audits with WalkBoston and working with local partners to install “pop-up” Complete Street interventions. Working with Age Friendly Berkshires, the town installed two temporary curb extensions on Main Street and ordered “WalkYourCity” signs directing residents and visitors to destinations such as Tanglewood, Shakespeare and Co., restaurants, and playgrounds.

Getting decision makers and stakeholders into the neighborhood has been a big “win.” Seeing is believing. The “pop-up” curb extensions were a low-cost and very effective tool to demonstrate how to slow down car traffic and give walkers better visibility and more ability to be seen.

During one Walk Audit, a Board of Selectmen member joined us. Noting an inaccessible curb ramp, the group stopped to took stock. The Selectmen asked the Department of Public Works Superintendent and Town Planner to fix the ramp before the current repaving project ended. It got fixed that week.

Partnerships, walk audits, temporary, low-cost installations all make what often seem like lofty or challenging goals and solutions, seem doable. You leverage resources and expertise, and get feedback immediately.

We plan to submit our curb extension project as part of our Complete Streets Tier III funding request. This project makes the street safer for all users and we know we have support after testing and educating people about the benefits.

This effort has been positive due to the many partnerships including WalkBoston, Mass in Motion, Be Well Berkshires, MassDOT Complete Streets Program, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Age Friendly Berkshires, the Department of Public Works, and members of the Board of Selectmen.

This article was featured in WalkBoston’s October 2017 newsletter.
————————————————————————————————
Join WalkBoston’s Mailing List to keep up to date on advocacy issues.
Like our work? Support WalkBoston – Donate Now!
Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook

Lenox Dale Walk Audit

Lenox Dale Walk Audit

Lenox is participating in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Complete Streets Funding Program to secure funds for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects in town. Lenox has completed the first two steps to receive funding by passing a Complete Streets policy and submitting a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. WalkBoston completed a walk audit in Lenox Center in the summer of 2016. Many of the infrastructure recommendations made in that audit were included in the Prioritization Plan. The Town of Lenox staff wanted to give Lenox Dale residents the same opportunity to participate in a walk audit to identify needed infrastructure improvements in the Dale.

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-WalkAudit-LenoxDale

Downtown Fitchburg Walk Audit

Downtown Fitchburg Walk Audit

As part of its efforts to improve traffic safety and revitalize its economy, the Gateway City of Fitchburg, Massachusetts (population 40,000) is pursuing Complete Streets as a framework to address the needs of all road users (people walking, biking, driving and taking transit). Through this initiative as well as others, the City aims to generate more activity in its post – industrial downtown and surrounding areas. Fitchburg started implementing Complete Streets in September 2016 by replacing one of the two travel lanes along Main Street downtown with a bike lane and wooden and concrete planter boxes. These changes, which will be piloted for a year, have reduced traffic speeds on Main Street and beautified the neighborhood , creating a safer, more attractive and more comfortable environment for residents and visitors alike.

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-DowtonWalkAssessment-Fitchburg