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Tag: Lowell

GoLowell Walks!

GoLowell Walks!

On a beautiful Monday morning, close to 20 of us walked the Acre neighborhood with Lowell City staff, Toole Design Group and other interested stakeholders and residents as part of the Community Walks phase of GoLowell – a year-long process to plan for safer, healthier, and more enjoyable ways to get around our city. The goal was to identify infrastructure gaps and barriers to walking in the neighborhood. We saw intersections without crosswalks and broken sidewalks, but we also found these artists at work.

Positive Street Art, a New Hampshire-based company with a mission “to INSPIRE passion for urban arts in a productive way, and to build stronger communities through educational workshops, community events, and artistic services” was painting their latest mural to brighten the facade of a new business. Love to see how walkability and art can enliven city streets. Go Lowell!

 

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.

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 People 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.

Lowell residents met with Councilor Nuon to talk pedestrian safety

Lowell residents met with Councilor Nuon to talk pedestrian safety

Lowell residents participating in our Streets for People advocacy sessions met with Lowell City Councilor Vesna Nuon on Monday night at Coalition for a Better Acre to voice their concerns and propose intersection improvements in the Acre Neighborhood. The residents focused on the intersection of Salem/Cabot/Market streets where children cross to reach their school bus stop and fast-moving traffic disregards stop signs. Councilor Nuon, impressed with the residents’ presentations, said he would walk the site with the City’s traffic engineer and schedule another meeting with the residents to discuss next steps to making needed changes at this intersection. WalkBoston’s Streets for People advocacy sessions are funded by the Cummings Foundation.