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Tag: sidewalks

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

Barnstable Route 132 Walk Audit

Barnstable Route 132 Walk Audit

On Thursday, August 9, 2018, WalkBoston conducted a walk audit along Route 132 in Hyannis (a village in the Town of Barnstable) as part of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s (EOPSS) Pedestrian Safety Planning Initiative for High-Fatality Communities. According to pedestrian crash data provided to WalkBoston from EOPSS, there have been 3 pedestrian fatalities and 122 pedestrian injuries in Barnstable between 2012-2017. These data qualified Barnstable for this initiative. The EOPSS Pedestrian Safety Planning Initiative builds municipal staff understanding and awareness of the components of a safe walking environment.

Read the full report here:

WalkBoston-WalkAudit-Route132-Final

“Keep it clear” – WalkBoston’s Snow Removal Report

“Keep it clear” – WalkBoston’s Snow Removal Report

Sidewalks are key to Massachusetts’ transportation infrastructure. Walking is an integral part of virtually all journeys and has health, environmental and community benefits. Year-round walkable sidewalks deserve the attention and encouragement of all levels of government and all members of the community. Improving the pedestrian realm serves us all. Snowy and icy sidewalks pose a challenge to Massachusetts pedestrians.

Most cities and towns hold property owners responsible for clearing sidewalks abutting their property, yet sidewalks often remain impassable days after a storm. Even in municipalities with adequate snow removal ordinances, enforcement does not keep up with those who do not clear, and current state law limits fines to no more than $10 per day in towns or $50 per day in cities. In response to many comments from Massachusetts pedestrians and observations by our staff, WalkBoston has developed basic recommendations to improve sidewalk snow and ice clearance.

Download WalkBoston’s Snow Removal Report (PDF)

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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Ashley Park Walk Audit

Ashley Park Walk Audit

The City of New Bedford was awarded a Safe Routes to Parks (SRTP) technical assistance grant from the National Parks and Recreation Association. The goal of the SRTP program is to increase safe access to parks and improve health outcomes in underserved areas. Using Ashley Park in New Bedford’s South End Neighborhood as a pilot park, WalkBoston worked with New Bedford City staff to develop a process of assessing the walking routes to the park. Lessons learned from this walk audit and pilot project will inform future park evaluations in New Bedford.

 

Read the full report here:
WalkBoston-AshleyParkWalkAudit-NewBedford