Tag: walking and transit

January/February 2020 Newsletter

January/February 2020 Newsletter


Snow clearance: my view (and queries) from my wheelchair
By Amy Hunt/South End resident
Newton’s snow evolution
By Andreae Downs/Newton city councilor
Digging in on snow
By Wendy Landman/WalkBoston senior policy advisor

snow quotes

Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person.
—Sylvia Plath (born in Jamaica Plain)

Snowflakes are one of nature’smost fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.
—Vista M. Kelly

A lot of people like snow.
I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.
—Carl Reiner

When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.


Registration or info for other events and public meetings can be found at walkboston.org/events

February 12, 2020 1-5PM
WalkMassachusetts Network 2020
South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc., 7 Bishop St, Framingham, MA 01702, USA (within a short walk of Framingham/ Worcester line.)

Our second in-person gathering of the WalkMassachusetts Network, at South Middlesex Opportunity Council in Framingham, MA (we will meet in their Cafe). This event is open to any local organizations working on walking! Free with RSVP. Please register by Wednesday, February 5th so we can plan for food.

March 25, 2020, 5-8PM
WalkBoston’s 30th Annual Party & Golden Shoe Awards
Boston Society of Architects
Fort Point Room / Atlantic Wharf 290 Congress Street, Boston
5:00 Eat, drink, schmooze
6:00 Program and Golden Shoes
Keynote Speaker: Mark Fenton
Tickets: $30 includes beer, wine and food.

Download the January/February 2020 Newsletter PDF

dollars & sense

dollars & sense

Dollars & sense 
Walking costs cities very little, unlike driving and even public transit. A resident’s bus ride may cost $1, but costs the city $1.50 in bus operation. If a resident decides to drive, it costs the city $9.20 in services like policing and ambulances. When a resident walks, the cost to the city is a penny. — Jeff Speck, Walkability City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places

Gas taxes and other fees paid by drivers cover less than half of road construction and maintenance costs nationally. Regardless of the amount driven, the average American household bears a burden of over $1,100 annually in taxes and indirect costs from driving, over and above gas taxes or other driving fees paid.
— MassPIRG/Frontier Group, Who Pays for Roads?

This article was featured in WalkBoston’s February 2019 newsletter.
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Small change has big impact: The Quincy Adams gate

Small change has big impact: The Quincy Adams gate

By Michelle Deng/Quincy-Penn’s Hill Neighborhood Association Gate Committee Member

Michelle is a Transportation Engineering graduate student with a background in traffic safety and a transportation advocate.

For three decades, residents of South Quincy could not access the nearby Quincy Adams MBTA station due to a locked pedestrian gate. Penn’s Hill neighborhood residents faced a 1.2-mile walk along busy streets to get to the station, instead of a 120-foot path connection. Thanks to the advocacy of the Penn’s Hill Neighborhood Association [PHNA], the gate is now opened. Residents have a short and pleasant walk to the station, reinforcing the walking-transit connection that is so important to walkable communities.

The PHNA was founded in 2015 with the mission to enhance the quality of life in the neighborhood by bringing residents and businesses together. In early 2016, after the MBTA announced the South Shore Red Line stations renovation project, the debate of reopening the gate escalated within the surrounding neighborhoods. The PHNA Gate Committee was formed in early 2017 to create a platform to discuss opening the gate.

The Committee conducted a neighborhood-wide survey in summer 2017 to obtain feedback from the residents. The survey was set up as a Google form and distributed via a neighbor email listserv, an online newspaper article, and Facebook. Over one month, 504 people responded, with the majority of feedback in favor of opening the gate.

Following the survey, the Committee hosted two neighborhood public meetings to discuss survey results and hear public opinion. Approximately 90 neighbors attend- ed each meeting. The survey results and neighborhood concerns were shared with the Quincy mayor soon after the first two public meetings. In April 2018, the mayor granted approval to reopen the gate and stated that the city would work with the MBTA to develop mitigation plans to address the residents’ concerns about parking and traffic impacts on their street.

The gate was finally reopened in December 2018. This simple action has reduced pedestrian travel time to Quincy Adams station from 35-45 minutes to 2-10 minutes, making walking a more viable option. The City of Quincy also upgraded the nearby intersection with new crosswalks, ADA compliant ramps, and a push button-activated traffic signal.

The PHNA Gate Committee continues to work closely with the city and the neighbors to ensure that negative impacts are minimized, and benefits to the surrounding neighborhoods are maximized.

Related Press:

The Boston Globe, 4/26/18: “A decades long transit debate in Quincy is settled with the simple crack of a gate

The Patriot Ledger, 4/25/18 “City to open controversial Quincy Adams pedestrian gate

This article was featured in WalkBoston’s February 2019 newsletter.
Join WalkBoston’s Mailing List to keep up to date on advocacy issues.
Like our work? Support WalkBoston – Donate Now!
Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook

Commonwealth – For walkers, the last six inches are important

Commonwealth – For walkers, the last six inches are important

MassINC/Commonwealth: “For walkers, the last six inches are important
By Wendy Landman and Brendan Kearney

WalkBoston has been talking about transit as the middle leg of a walking trip for many years. We understand that even the most avid walker or walking advocate knows that many trips are too long to make a single-mode-walk trip possible. Now, the transit and active transportation worlds have become more attuned to the facts that buses serve the broadest network of transit riders, are often the transit mode that serves low-income riders, and are the transit mode that can be modified most easily. For American communities – urban, suburban, and rural – to become truly walkable, they must also be served by transit. Understanding how the bus and walking networks must be linked is critical to shaping investments in transit and the built environment.

Posted June 25, 2018