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Tag: speed limit

WalkBoston testimony on traffic calming in Somerville

WalkBoston testimony on traffic calming in Somerville

Below is a written version of WalkBoston’s comments on traffic calming in Somerville, which Adi Nochur delivered verbally at the Council hearing on Wednesday, April 3.

April 3, 2019
Somerville City Council
City Hall
93 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143

RE: WalkBoston comments on traffic calming in Somerville

To the Somerville City Council,

My name is Adi Nochur and I am testifying before you as an East Somerville resident and a member of Somerville’s Vision Zero Task Force. I am also commenting as a Project Manager at WalkBoston, a statewide pedestrian advocacy organization. WalkBoston is a signatory to the traffic calming petition that spurred today’s Council hearing.

I want to briefly comment on three issues, as follows:

  1. Speed Limits: WalkBoston supports efforts to reduce speed limits on residential streets in Somerville to 20 miles per hour. Achieving this goal is a fundamental issue of roadway design. WalkBoston also supports state legislative efforts to align speed limits on MassDOT and DCR roadways with local speed limits (H.3092/S.2042). As an illustrative example, we know high traffic speeds are an ongoing concern on Route 16/Alewife Brook Parkway.
  2. Equitable Enforcement: Data gathering is critical to ensure equity in traffic enforcement. Concerns over racial profiling are front and center in the current state legislative debate over hands-free/distracted driving legislation and local enforcement efforts also need to demonstrate sensitivity to these issues. State legislation that would enable automated enforcement (S.1376) can be part of a potential solution here.
  3. Concurrent Signalization: WalkBoston supports concurrent pedestrian signalization with a leading pedestrian interval at most signalized intersections. Our stance on this issue is further detailed in a letter we submitted to Mayor Curtatone on March 29, which is included as an attachment to these comments.

Thank you for your consideration of these issues. WalkBoston looks forward to continuing to work with the City Council to help Somerville achieve its Vision Zero goals.

Sincerely,
Adi Nochur
Project Manager

Cc: Mayor Joe Curtatone
Brad Rawson, Director of Transportation and Infrastructure

Wicked Local – “Board drops speed limit to 25 mph on three main Saugus streets”

Wicked Local – “Board drops speed limit to 25 mph on three main Saugus streets”

Wicked Local: “Board drops speed limit to 25 mph on three main Saugus streets

Additionally, Panetta said the town has partnered with WalkBoston to conduct an assessment of the community’s roadways and crossings. WalkBoston put together a report that outlines recommendations based on its observations.

Posted January 10, 2019

Wicked Local – “Crabtree announces comprehensive town-wide speed limit analysis underway in Saugus”

Wicked Local – “Crabtree announces comprehensive town-wide speed limit analysis underway in Saugus”

Wicked Local: “Crabtree announces comprehensive town-wide speed limit analysis underway in Saugus

The Town of Saugus then partnered with WalkBoston, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to improving walking conditions in cities and towns across Massachusetts, to conduct an initial assessment of the community’s roadways and crossings. Residents’ concerns and comments were also shared with WalkBoston, and the organization recently completed a comprehensive report of their findings with recommended improvements for the town.

The Town of Saugus also recently received a shared grant of $1.5 million from the Baker-Polito Administration to fund trail designs for the Northern Strand Community Trail project in Saugus, Everett, Lynn, Malden and Revere. The town has requested that safer crossings, wayfinding, and landscape amenities be major components of the improvement project. The town distributed a copy of WalkBoston’s report to the architectural firm working with the town on the design for the Northern Strand Community Trail project, Brown, Richardson + Rowe, so that it will be taken into consideration for the project’s final design.

Posted January 8, 2019

Boston.com – “Should the Boston speed limit be 20 mph? Some say things need to change to make the city’s streets safer.”

Boston.com – “Should the Boston speed limit be 20 mph? Some say things need to change to make the city’s streets safer.”

Boston dot com: “Should the Boston speed limit be 20 mph? Some say things need to change to make the city’s streets safer.”

Among several residents and associations who spoke before councilors, Adi Nochur, project manager for WalkBoston, which works to make walking easier and safer in the state, said the proposed speed limit change is essentially about street design.

“It is about traffic calming, and it’s a fundamental matter of equity as well — how do we make sure all neighborhoods get traffic calming and how are we prioritizing areas that have been historically underinvested?” he said.

Posted November 13, 2018

Boston Globe – “Some city councilors want a 20 mph speed limit in Boston”

Boston Globe – “Some city councilors want a 20 mph speed limit in Boston”

Boston Globe: “Some city councilors want a 20 mph speed limit in Boston

Even supporters of a change to 20 miles per hour argue a speed limit change is not by itself enough to protect pedestrians. Cities and towns must also design streets to encourage slower driving, said Wendy Landman, executive director of the pedestrian advocacy group WalkBoston.

“Simply changing the speed limit without doing anything about the built environment does a little, but not nearly enough,” she said.

Bike lanes, raised crosswalks, streetside landscaping, and thinner travel lanes are among the traffic-calming measures that actually influence drivers to go slower, Landman said.

Posted August 28, 2018