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Tag: MassDOT

Poll: 64 percent consider making streets safer for walking “very important”

Poll: 64 percent consider making streets safer for walking “very important”

Poll: Boston-area voters support changes to local streets, 64% consider making streets safer for walking “very important”

Good news! The MassINC polling group found that voters support changes to local streets, even if it means less space for cars. On top of that, 64% of people surveyed think it is VERY IMPORTANT to make streets safer for walking, while 39% of people surveyed said they will walk MORE than they did before the pandemic. Read more about it on Streetsblog MASS.

What’s this mean?

Today’s MassINC poll shows that voters love these efforts, and want to see more. The poll results reflect what we’ve been hearing as we’ve with people across Massachusetts over the last year: people want to be able to walk in their neighborhoods, but need to be able to cross the street safely. 

What can you do today to help? Comment on the CIP 

Communities big and small across the Commonwealth have re-examined how their streets can be used over the last year thanks to the MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces program, and we’ve got good news: there is funding in the 2022 Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for it to continue.

Send in a quick note of support for the Public Realm Improvements Grant Program. That is the 2022 CIP name for MassDOT’s Shared Streets and Spaces program that was launched as a pilot this past year and has been WILDLY successful. (Check out our list of all the projects that cities and towns committed to implementing through Shared Streets and Spaces so far.) MassDOT extended the deadline for public comments on its draft FY2022 CIP to next Monday June 14th.

Here’s how to comment:

  • View a StopyMap of the CIP here, click “Public Comment” from the Table of Contents to send a message through the comment form. Click the big blue “General Comment” button to write your message.
  • Prefer to comment another way? You can email MassCIP@state.ma.us, or send a letter to: Capital Investment Plan, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160, Boston, MA 02116

More about the Public Realm Improvements (aka Shared Streets and Spaces)* This program will continue a successful initiative launched in FY 21 to provide grants for cities and towns to launch or expand improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street and off street parking in support of public health, safe mobility, and commerce in their communities. $20 million has been authorized in the transportation bond bill, with $4 million in 2022 capital funding. *The authorization for Public Realm is reflected in the 2022 CIP as a new Shared Streets and Spaces program. (Source: DRAFT 2022 Capital Investment Plan, page 22)

Thanks for your support of safe walking and safe streets!

Statewide Fatal Crashes In MA, March 2021

Statewide Fatal Crashes In MA, March 2021

Each month in 2021, we plan to post about the fatal crashes in Massachusetts from the previous month, and share any trends that we see. Last month, we took a look at the 4 fatal crashes listed in the MassDOT Crash Portal in February. In this post, we’ll look at crashes in MA in March 2021. The information in the chart below is compiled from news reports, and was checked against the MassDOT Crash Portal Dashboard “Fatal Information by Year.” The Google Street View images included below use the address listed in the crash portal.

  • Of the 23 fatal crashes in Massachusetts in March in the MassDOT Crash portal, 7 were people walking. We’ve identified 1 additional fatal incident during March covered in the news media:
    • 1 person lost their life in Malden when a mechanic with a suspended license crashed an SUV through the door of an auto body shop and struck her as she was walking on the sidewalk. View a segment from WCVB about 86-year-old Athena Hartwell, who walked this section of sidewalk almost every day with her walker: “Neighborhood mourns woman killed in SUV crash.
    • Updated 4/29/2021: We listed a crash that occurred in Sterling as not being in the portal for March, but this crash occurred in April and is listed. We apologize for the error. We’ve updated this post accordingly.
  • The crash portal does not include names. The names of 7 of the people walking who died have not been made public yet; unlike previous months in 2021, news articles were more difficult to find for many of these crashes.
  • The average age of pedestrians hit & killed in March was 59.6.
  • 3 of the crashes all have 12:00AM listed as the time; it is possible data was incomplete when initially submitted.
  • At least 4 of the crashes were hit & runs (as referenced in news articles).
  • The name of the person driving was not identified in any of the crashes in news articles that we found.

Date3/3/2021, 12:00 AM
Location800 Morrissey Blvd.
TownBoston
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age56
SexM

A 56-year old man was hit and killed on Morrissey Boulevard in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Morrissey Boulevard is under MassDCR jurisdiction. We have not been able to find additional information about this crash.


Date3/7/2021, 12:00 AM
Location232 Stafford Rd.
TownMonson
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age94
SexF

A 94-year old woman was hit and killed on Stafford Road. According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Stafford Rd/Rt 32 is under MassDOT jurisdiction. There are no sidewalks on this road. We have not been able to find additional information about this crash.


Date3/7/2021, 12:40 AM
LocationAuburn St. + Summer St.
TownBridgewater
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age34
SexM

Ian Dalgliesh, a 34-year old man, was found unconscious in the roadway at the intersection of Auburn and Summer streets in Bridgewater around 12:40 a.m. on Sunday, March 7. WCVB reported three weeks after that crash that police were still seeking help to find the driver who left the scene. The article noted that the intersection is located in a residential neighborhood, with stop signs located at all four corners.

Google Streetview shows a sidewalk on one side of the street for one leg of the intersection. It also shows a house on the corner with guardrails at the intersection, possibly indicating that drivers have driven recklessly in this area before.


Date3/10/2021, 7:00 PM
LocationMeadow St. + Chicopee St.
TownChicopee
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age53
SexM

A Chicopee man was hit & seriously injured in a hit & run crash on March 10th near Rivers Park. He died later in the month from his injuries. The Chicopee Police released photos of a dark colored SUV on March 25th as part of the investigation to track down the driver. While there is a signalized crosswalk near the Meadow/Chicopee PVTA bus stop at one corner of Rivers Park, there are no crosswalks at the intersection of Meadow & Chicopee Streets.

According to Streetview, a crosswalk across Chicopee Street nearby that did not have curb ramps was removed between 2016 & 2017 during street & sidewalk reconstruction at the corner of Chicopee, Margaret & Whitman Streets.


Date3/12/2021, 9:40 PM
Location189 Chestnut Hill Ave.
TownBoston
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age77
SexM

A 77 year old man was hit and killed on Chestnut Hill Ave in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood. We have not been able to find additional information about this crash.


Date3/17/2021, 12:00 AM
Location511 Broadway
TownEverett
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age67
SexM

A 67-year-old man was hit and killed on Broadway in Everett. We have not been able to find additional information about this crash.


Date3/25/2021, 8:10 PM
LocationParker St. + Ellery St.
TownSpringfield
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age40
SexM

A 40-year old man was hit and killed on March 25th at Parker Street & Ellery Street in Springfield. Ellery Street is a private way. Parker Street has 2 travel lanes in each direction, and is at least 48 feet wide curb to curb. While WWLP reported breaking news on March 25th that a crash may have involved a motorcycle at this location, we have not been able to find additional information about this crash.


Updates

If you have an update about a community member who was killed in one of these crashes, please contact Brendan so we can update our 2021 list. WalkBoston has maintained a list each year since 2016, pulling the information from news reports, social media, and from people like you that share the information with us.

Yearly trackers: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021


Reminder about the data from the MassDOT portal

DISCLAIMER:  The compilation of data is based on preliminary data we receive from a variety of local sources.  Some of the data may differ slightly from information provided by NHTSA as this dashboard does not use imputation methods.  Information is subject to change when/if updated information becomes available. Data updated daily as reported by police departments.


*Updated 4/29/2021: We listed a crash that occurred in Sterling as not being in the database for March, but this crash occurred in April and is listed. We apologize for the error. We’ve updated the post accordingly.

Advocates letter re Allston I-90: Next Steps (March 2021)

Advocates letter re Allston I-90: Next Steps (March 2021)

March 30, 2021

Jonathan Gulliver
Highway Administrator
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116

Subject:  Allston Multimodal Project Recommended Next Steps Regarding Upcoming Notice of Project Change

Dear Administrator Gulliver:

Thank you for convening the recent Allston Multimodal Project Task Force meeting, and for your request for ideas to make Task Force meetings and the environmental review process more productive moving forward.

As evidenced by the voluminous formal comments made to MassDOT last October, as well as the letters from our coalition, there is a demonstrably strong consensus for the Modified All At-Grade option from stakeholders across the region. Based on that strong consensus and in response to your request for ideas to improve the public process associated with this transformative project, we write today with a few specific suggestions requesting they be incorporated now into the upcoming Notice of Project Change (NPC):

  1. Please refine the Modified All At-Grade to ensure no roadway in the river—and include that version in the NPC. MassDOT’s most recent drawings (shared in the fall of 2020) showed about 4-feet of roadway intrusion. Members of the coalition have worked collaboratively and individually, on numerous occasions, to offer design modifications that avoid unnecessary incursion into the river. Refining your current design will allow for continued productive collaboration with stakeholders and ensure that the NPC begins with a refined, improved, and community-supported design.
  2. Please develop a list of issues requiring further analysis to be included in the NPC. Despite several years of hard work by both the project team and the public, this coalition and other stakeholders strongly believe that a number of key issues have yet to be fully developed or presented to the Task Force. We suggest the top three issues on such a list should include:
    1. Constructability and maintenance for all Build and No-Build options, as well as the Substantial Repair Option to temporarily repair the highway viaduct in its current location initially introduced by MassDOT in November 2020;
    2. Methods of mitigating construction and traffic impacts; and
    3. Details for the remediation of the degraded riverbank, infrastructure upgrades needed to address untreated storm drainage, details about ecosystem services, such as constructed wetlands, and the integration of the improved river edge and the Paul Dudley White Path with the Agganis Connector, Cambridge Street South promenade, and River Street into a unified high quality urban design, as well as broader corridor-area analysis to minimize impacts on the Charles River and optimize mobility and open space access.

We know you and the team have a lot on your plate and are up against important and fast approaching deadlines. We are happy to work with MassDOT to identify a more comprehensive list of issues needing further analysis so that the MassDOT project team can maintain its ambitious schedule, while also continuing to resolve outstanding questions to keep us on a positive path to improved communication.

In short, we believe that advancing an improved All At-Grade Option as well as a list of issues requiring further analysis in the NPC will lead to a productive process—and the most ideal outcome for the project.

We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure the success of the project.

Sincerely,

A Better City
Allston Brighton CDC
Allston Civic Association
Boston Society for Architecture
Charles River Conservancy
Conservation Law Foundation
LivableStreets Alliance
MassBike
Sierra Club of Massachusetts
WalkBoston
Kendall Square Association
Anthony D’Isidoro, Allston resident and Task Force member
Harry Mattison, Allston resident and Task Force member
Jessica Robertson, Allston resident and Task Force member
Fred Yalouris, Cambridge community representative on the Task Force

CC: Secretary Tesler, Project Manager Davidson, Secretary Theohardes, Ken Miller, Commissioner Rooney

 

Golden Shoe Award Winners For March 2021 Annual Meeting

Golden Shoe Award Winners For March 2021 Annual Meeting

As presented at this year’s annual event on Zoom, March 24, 2021. 

Karen Cord Taylor for her long term service as a committed Board member and fierce advocate for better walkability in her Beacon Hill neighborhood and the greater Boston community. Karen has devoted thirteen years to WalkBoston and has been part of so many wins as a WalkBoston Board member. Her dedication to clearing sidewalks and curb ramps of snow is particularly top of mind this winter. In addition to her advocacy work, Karen, a former newspaper owner and publisher, often used her editing skills to ensure our written communications were top notch. Karen was also instrumental in attracting and nominating wonderful new Board members, including our former Board President Emma Yashar. Your impact continues far beyond your 13-year Board tenure!

The MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces Program provided funds to municipalities that allowed them to quickly respond to the many mobility challenges highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the need for more sidewalk space to walk safely 6’ apart, to dine outdoors in unused parking lanes, and to reimagine streets as low speed, safe spaces for people walking and biking. The popularity of this program demonstrated the desire, need and capabilities of municipalities to implement quick build projects to make streets safer and more enjoyable for all. WalkBoston is a huge fan of this program and we would love to see the program continue beyond the pandemic! In fact, we have a call to action for all of you to help make this happen later in our programKate Fichter, MassDOT’s Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination and Project Lead for the Shared Streets and Spaces Program will be accepting the Golden Shoe Award on behalf of the group. We also want to thank the Barr Foundation and the Solomon Foundation for not only funding technical assistance to municipalities, but also for truly leading program outreach to ensure that all municipalities had capacity to apply regardless of local resources or expertise. Help us say THANKS for Shared Streets and Spaces so these types of projects happen more often.

Finally, our last Golden Shoe Award goes to Frank Caro. Frank died unexpectedly in October of 2020. He was an extremely dedicated Brookline resident determined to make streets and spaces more hospitable to older adults. As the founder and co-chair of the BrookLINE Community Aging Network (CAN), Frank ensured that the needs of older adults were more integrated into the life of the town. His work earned BrookLINEan Age-Friendly town designation by the World Health Organization, the first town to do so in New England. In addition to Frank’s Age-Friendly work, he founded the BrookLINE Pedestrian Advisory Board, which continues to conduct research on pedestrian activities and needs. Some of the Board’s projects included sidewalks on Longwood Avenue, audible signals along Beacon Street, and an inventory of hedges interfering with pedestrian space on sidewalks. Carol Caro, Frank’s widow, will be accepting the Golden Shoe Award on Frank’s behalf. Read a post about Frank Caro by WalkBoston board member Anita Johnson.

How to tune in to the annual meeting

How to tune in to the annual meeting

Missed the event? You can watch the recording here.

Today’s the day! The WalkBoston 31st Annual Celebration is tonight, 3/24 at 5pm ET.

Our board had pledged to match $5,000 worth of donations from tonight’s event (both donations made through Eventbrite RSVPs & this GoFundMe page this evening). If you’re tweeting about the event, tag us @walkboston and use the hashtag #WalkBoston31st

Our 2020 Annual Report was released in conjunction with our 31st Annual Meeting on March 24, 2021. Click the cover to read the report.

How to tune in:

  • Sign up on Eventbrite! If you RSVP’d on Eventbrite prior to this week, an email went out Monday night with the Zoom link.
  • Registered more recently? The Zoom link was included in your confirmation email. If you can’t find that email, two more automated Eventbrite reminders with the Zoom link will go out this afternoon: 2 hours before & 10 minutes before the event starts.
  • Not sure if you registered? If you are logged in to Eventbrite, this online event page will include the Zoom link.
  • Not able to make it? A recording of the event will be available after the event.

Golden Shoes will be awarded to:

Our panelists: 

  • Tracy A. Corley, PhD – Director of Research and Partnerships at the Conservation Law Foundation
  • Mike McGinn – Executive Director at America Walks
  • Jodie Medeiros – Executive Director at Walk San Francisco
  • Alexander Train, AICP – Director, Department of Housing and Community Development for the City of Chelsea

We’re rolling out a “Thank You” effort, and want you to take part!

  • Contact your local elected officials & public works/planning staff. Let them know you like the creative use of public space shown possible through the MassDOT “Shared Streets & Spaces” and “Shared Winter Streets & Places” programs (that you’ll hear more about during the event), and that you want to see more! You can see a full list of projects funded on this page, along with project descriptions.
  • Copy us on your message: comments@walkboston.org
  • Not sure what to say? You can keep it simple:

Thank you, _____, for [insert the part of the project description in your city/town that you like]. 

I really like these programs and want to see continued creative use of street space and a focus on walking safety with MassDOT funding support.

Thanks, Your name & address