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Tag: Lowell

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.

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 Walkers 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.

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

 

 

 

 

WalkBoston/EOPSS Pedestrian Safety Initiative

WalkBoston/EOPSS Pedestrian Safety Initiative

The WalkBoston/EOPSS Pedestrian Safety Planning Initiative builds municipal staff understanding and awareness of the components of a safe walking environment. The initiative addresses walking safety concerns in Massachusetts communities with high pedestrian crash rates, with the goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries in the Commonwealth. Communities selected for participation in the initiative include: Barnstable, Chelsea, Chicopee, Framingham, Leominster, Lowell, Peabody, Randolph, Saugus, Springfield, and Yarmouth.

Cities and towns participating in the Pedestrian Safety Planning Initiative have used the results to prioritize pedestrian improvements, negotiate infrastructure fixes into development approvals, and apply for funding sources, such as from the MassDOT’s Complete Streets Funding Program.

WalkBoston conducts a walk audit focused on high pedestrian crash locations.  A walk audit provides on-street, tangible learning opportunities for diverse groups of municipal staff, including police, as well as residents and other community-based groups. During the audit, we assess pedestrian infrastructure conditions and recommend built environment improvements that promote safety. Walk audits are also an effective means to build local constituencies for pedestrian safety efforts that include increased education and awareness opportunities for all road users, and greater attention to safety in local roadway design and maintenance efforts.

Participation in this EOPSS/WalkBoston Initiative has increased the awareness and readiness of municipal staff to adopt and implement complete streets policies and designs that will reduce fatal and injury crashes for all road users (including pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists) as called for under MassDOT’s Complete Streets Funding Program.