Tag: Vision Zero

WGBH News – “Pressure Mounts For Walsh to Deliver On Safer Streets”

WGBH News – “Pressure Mounts For Walsh to Deliver On Safer Streets”

WGBH News: “Pressure Mounts For Walsh to Deliver On Safer Streets

Brendan Kearney, spokesperson for the pedestrian advocacy group Walk Boston, echoed that point: “We know where the problems are,” said Kearney. “We now need to make changes to the streets.”

Council members, meanwhile, attested to the enormous volume of calls they get from residents concerned about dangerous streets and intersections in their neighborhoods – an issue Councilor Michael Flaherty recently called the “single greatest issue” facing the city’s residents.

“No one likes to receive these complaints over and over again over the course of years and not have an adequate response, it’s really unsettleing,” said Council President Andrea Campbell. “At the top of our list, even higher sometimes than our housing constituent cases … are traffic and speeding concerns.”

May 9, 2019

Sampan News: “Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition Releases Third Boston Vision Zero Progress Report”

Sampan News: “Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition Releases Third Boston Vision Zero Progress Report”

Sampan News: “Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition Releases Third Boston Vision Zero Progress Report

“The investments made last year were a significant first step. However, in order for these resources to be used as effectively as possible, we would like to see increased cohesion across and within all departments relevant to Vision Zero,” said WalkBoston Executive Director Wendy Landman. “With the impending departure of the Transportation Commissioner and the Public Works commissioner position still vacant, now is the time to more fully integrate the operations and policies of the Public Works and Transportation Departments.”

Posted April 18, 2019

Boston Herald: “Report: Traffic crashes in Boston resulting in less fatalities, but not injuries”

Boston Herald: “Report: Traffic crashes in Boston resulting in less fatalities, but not injuries”

Boston Herald: “Report: Traffic crashes in Boston resulting in less fatalities, but not injuries

Advocates took issue with the fact that Boston doesn’t report its crash statistics to the Department of Transportation as most other municipalities do. The current system the police department uses for crash reports isn’t able to submit data to MassDOT, according to the city. The police department is working with a vendor to fix that, a spokeswoman said, though no information was available. Brendan Kearney of WalkBoston, a nonprofit involved with Vision Zero, said fixing that should be a top priority. “If they’re not able to report this data, they are potentially missing out on funding for safety efforts,” Kearney said.

Posted April 17, 2019

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.

Adi Nochur
Project Manager

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

WalkMA Network connects towns

WalkMA Network connects towns

By Brendan Kearney/Communications Director, WalkBoston

At our WalkBoston annual meeting in March 2018, we announced that we were building a statewide WalkMassachusetts network. It would consist of advocacy organizations, municipal committees, and community groups working on walking.
The Network aims to connect and support new, emerging, and existing local organizations. Key Network features include community and statewide sharing of advocacy techniques, member recruitment strategies, and approaches for securing improvements to the built environment.

Many organizations and committees have questions about how to build constituencies for improving local walking, and we see great opportunities to learn from each other and to work together. Early interest came from points all over the state, including Western and Central Massachusetts, the North Shore, Greater Boston, Metrowest, the South Coast, and the Cape. To maximize statewide participation, we gathered at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, December 1, for our initial in-person meeting.

After introductions to let everyone learn a little bit about each person and group in the room, participants suggested topic areas to create the agenda in an “unconference” format. Each person proposed a topic they wanted
to discuss by writing it on an index card. Cards were then exchanged, and everyone ranked the new card’s topic by writing a number between 1 and 5 at the top — and then trading for another card. Once a card had five ratings, each card was totaled for a score. These were the six highest-ranked topics used for breakout sessions:

  1. Low-cost infrastructure improvements
  2. Outreach. Emails. Social media. How to do it. Resources to use.
  3. Content accessibility, navigation, mobility, features [sensory input]
  4. Tools to incentivize behavior change
  5. Vision Zero – enforcement of lower speed limits
  6. Best practices for reaching out and gaining support from people not involved in bike/ped advocacy

We’re thankful to everyone who took part for their lively conversations, questions, and suggestions. At the end of the day, we launched an email listserv/online discourse forum to continue the connections that were made in Worcester. We also added notes from each of the breakout sessions and the full list of topic suggestions to the forum so that additional resources can be shared.

We’re excited that participation in the Network is growing to include so many groups working on walking throughout the Commonwealth—and we’re gearing up for more throughout 2019. Visit walkMAnetwork.org to see participating groups and learn more about how you can get involved.

This article was featured in WalkBoston’s February 2019 newsletter.
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