Tag: WalkMassachusetts Network

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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WalkMassachusetts Network at StreetTalks 10-in-1

WalkMassachusetts Network at StreetTalks 10-in-1

Stacey Beuttell recently promoted the WalkBoston’s newest statewide program, the WalkMassachusetts Network, at the Livable Streets Alliance StreetTalk 10-in-1 event. Launched at last year’s WalkBoston annual meeting, the Network aims to connect advocacy organizations, municipal committees, and community groups working on walking. Stacey summarizes the benefits of joining the Network and shares the results of our first Network forum held in December 2018  in this video.


Great Day of Action for Road Safety on Beacon Hill

Great Day of Action for Road Safety on Beacon Hill

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us at the Statehouse for the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition’s Road Safety Day of Action! Thank you to Governor Baker & Lt. Governor Polito for also filing legislation focused on road safety and getting the conversation started.

A packed room heard from Governor Baker, Text Less Live More, Children’s Hospital, AAA, SADD, and co-sponsors of three important bills:

  1. The Hands-Free Bill(s)

    • Chairman Wagner & Representative Donato are sponsoring HD1534
    • Chairman Straus is sponsoring HD1420
    • Representative Provost is sponsoring HD1346
    • Senator Montigny is sponsoring SD1383
    • Senators Creem & Brownsberger are sponsoring SD897
  2. Automated Enforcement Bill

    • Senator William Brownsberger is sponsoring SD1461
  3. An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

    • Senator William Brownsberger is sponsoring SD847
    • Representative Hecht and Representative Rogers are sponsoring HD1653
WalkBoston Executive Director Wendy Landman explains an aspect of the bill.

The morning was organized by the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition (WalkBoston, Safe Roads Alliance, MassBike, LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Cyclists Union, Transportation for Massachusetts & more) & Text Less Live More. After info packets were distributed, people were off to meet with their legislators and talk about why these efforts would make MA roads safer in their own communities. Thank you to everyone who came together today to work towards safer streets, and thank you to all of the legislators and staff that attended and listened throughout the day!

Were you unable to make it to Beacon Hill, but want to get involved with WalkBoston’s efforts?

BU School of Public Health students create WalkMassachusetts Network video

BU School of Public Health students create WalkMassachusetts Network video

This past semester, Boston University School of Public Health students in Professor Kim Kronenberg’s class SB833: “Designing and Implementing a Health Communication Campaign,” engaged WalkBoston as a client to create a video to promote the WalkMassachusetts Network. The goal of the course is to give students health communication background and hands-on experience. The video was the tool they used to learn about the health communication process.

Thanks to MPH students Sharon, Shweta, TraciAnn & Benji for their work on this effort, Professor Kronenberg for inviting us to participate — and thanks to everyone who contributed constructive feedback to their questions along the way!

Check out the video they produced below with the help of Lynn Weissman, Videography and technology instructor, and get involved with the WalkMassachusetts Network.