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Tag: Mass in Motion

Lowell – Drum Hill Walk Audit

Lowell – Drum Hill Walk Audit

On Friday, July 19, 2019, WalkBoston conducted a walk audit starting at the Greater Health Alliance office on Technology Drive in Lowell, MA and continued down Drum Hill Road/Westford Street to the intersection at the entrance of the Walmart retail plaza in Chelmsford, MA. This walk audit was completed through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion program, which provides grant funding and technical assistance to help communities eat better and be more active.

Read the full report here:

WalkBoston-DrumHillWalkAuditReport-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.

Walking in Manchester by the Sea

Walking in Manchester by the Sea

Photo credit: Dan Watkins

On one of the few beautiful days this spring, WalkBoston led a walk audit in Manchester by the Sea (MBTS) to evaluate the walking routes students use to reach Manchester Memorial Elementary School and Manchester Essex Regional Middle and High Schools. Walk audit participants included the elementary and middle/high school principals, the Town Administrator, the Cape Ann Mass in Motion Coordinator, and representatives from the police department, town departments of public works and planning, and the MBTS Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee. Together, we identified areas where pedestrian safety can be improved using low-cost traffic calming strategies.

It is worth noting that MBTS instituted a 20 mph speed safety zone within 1 mile of the MBTA commuter rail station in September 2017. While we did not record speeds on our audit, it was clear that not all drivers were respecting the 20 mph limit. Setting lower speed limits and redesigning our streets are critical to safer, more walkable communities.

Walnut Street is transformed for a day in Springfield

Walnut Street is transformed for a day in Springfield

WalkBoston participated in Springfield’s second Complete Streets Demonstration Day on Saturday, May 11 held in Barrows Park along Walnut Street. Hosted by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, WalkBoston and our partners (WalkBike Springfield and Wayfinders) provided visitors with information on the benefits of complete streets and walkable communities. MassBike provided free bike tune-ups and ValleyBike Share provided opportunities to test out the electric-assist ValleyBikes.

PVPC staff and volunteers were out early on Saturday morning taping down bike lanes, painting crosswalks, and using plants and cones to designate curb bump-outs – all strategies to calm vehicular traffic and make a complete street. They painted a crosswalk at the intersection of Walnut and Oak Street to provide a protected crossing for residents of the nearby senior housing complex to reach Barrows Park. Organizers hope that the demonstrated positive impacts of redesigning Walnut Street as a complete street will encourage the City to prioritize this corridor for needed safety improvements.

Herald News: “Fall River wins Golden Shoe award for improving walkability”

Herald News: “Fall River wins Golden Shoe award for improving walkability”

Herald News: “Fall River wins Golden Shoe award for improving walkability

Fall River is now running the walking game.

On March 18, WalkBoston held its 29th annual meeting in Boston to present Fall River with an award for its progress in the city’s walkability.

This is the first time Fall River has won the Golden Shoe Award from WalkBoston. The honor recognizes the city’s improvements in walkability, including a change in the city’s policy.

“It says that there’s real dedication. … People really love their city and they’re willing to put work into the city,” said Coordinator of Mass in Motion Fall River and award-winner Julianne Kelly. She said the award is a great recognition of the partnership between city employees and volunteers, and inspires them to keep making a difference.

WalkBoston is a nonprofit organization that works as consultants for communities around the state to improve the city’s walkability and create a healthier and cleaner environment. It also recognized Springfield with an award this year.

Posted April 3, 2019