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Tag: Worcester

where we’ve been lately – May 2021 update

where we’ve been lately – May 2021 update

As summer approaches, we’ve been ramping up our work all over the Commonwealth!

Here are a few places we’ve been working with people lately, either in person or virtually, to help make their community more walkable:

  1. Blandford
  2. Boston
  3. Brockton
  4. Cambridge
  5. Chelsea
  6. Concord
  7. Cummington
  8. Egremont
  9. Haverhill
  10. Huntington
  11. Medford
  12. New Bedford
  13. Quincy
  14. Springfield
  15. Worcester
Streetsblog MASS: “A Walk Audit of Worcester”

Streetsblog MASS: “A Walk Audit of Worcester”

Streetsblog MASS: “A Walk Audit in Worcester

These photographs were all taken last December, for a virtual “walk audit” for the Indian Lake neighborhood that was hosted by WalkBoston, a statewide pedestrian advocacy organization, and WalkBike Worcester, a local advocacy group.

WalkBoston hosts walk audits all over the Commonwealth. Typically, they bring groups of people together to identify hazards and obstacles to foot traffic in a specific street of neighborhood. Since the pandemic began, WalkBoston has been conducting audits virtually, by sending advocates out to evaluate areas individually, collecting their findings via online forms, and discussing the results in group Zoom meetings.

“Even if what you’re seeing is depressing, the process is a tool to bring people together and build capacity and community assets to produce positive outcomes over the long run,” said LeighAnne Taylor, WalkBoston’s Program Manager and organizer of the Indian Lake event, in a phone conversation with Streetsblog after the walk audit. “Taking an inventory of all the issues is tedious, but it gives people an opportunity to make things happen when grants become available.”

Posted May 5, 2021

 

New Virtual Walk Audits: Worcester and Framingham

New Virtual Walk Audits: Worcester and Framingham

BY LEIGHANNE TAYLOR / WALKBOSTON PROGRAM MANAGER

Walk audits—one of WalkBoston’s most effective tools to change the built environment and build a constituency of walking advocates—face an obvious hurdle during the pandemic: we can’t meet in person. With more people walking than ever before, we could not hit pause and wait until it is safe to gather again. We adapted our walk audit process to be virtual to continue improving walking conditions. We have conducted four virtual walk audits since the pandemic began: in Salem, Springfield, Fitchburg, and Worcester—we wrapped up the latter two in January and discuss them below.

Fitchburg’s Intermodal Center Virtual Walk Audit is the second walk audit in a statewide project examining the connections between social infrastructure and walkability within transportation-oriented development (TOD) areas. Neighborhood data and resident perspectives will be captured in virtual conversations and self-led walk audits in five Gateway Cities in Massachusetts. This project is co-hosted by WalkBoston and MassINC, with support from the Solomon Foundation.

The Worcester Virtual Walk Audit was conducted by WalkBoston, WalkBike Worcester, and the Worcester Department of Public Health Mass in Motion Program. Residents requested the virtual audit, which is serving as a pilot program for Worcester’s upcoming Complete Streets Prioritization process.

How We Made Our Walk Audits Virtual

  • Session 1: Participants convene on Zoom for a Ped101 workshop to share their walking concerns, learn about walkability basics, and review the self-led walk audit process.
  • Self-led walk audit: Participants have two weeks to walk the specified route, and document photos and written observations about the walking environment.
  • Session 2: Post-walk, participants reconvene on Zoom to discuss and set plans for next steps.

We use Google Sites to share recordings of our Zoom meetings so those unable to attend the first session can watch and provide feedback on their neighborhood’s walkability. The recommendations made during the second session are summarized into a PowerPoint report and memo for participants to use and turn into actions.

Virtual walk audits have served as a valuable tool for conducting our community-partnered work in a socially- distanced world. While we look forward to resuming our in-person walk audits, we plan to leverage these digital engagement strategies in the future to hear from those unable to attend in-person. If you’re having success with virtual community engagement, we’d love to trade notes —get in touch!

This article was featured in WalkBoston’s January/February 2021 newsletter.
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Walk Audit In Worcester’s Green Hill Neighborhood – Report

Walk Audit In Worcester’s Green Hill Neighborhood – Report

On November 2, 2019, WalkBoston conducted a walk audit in the Green Hill Neighborhood of Worcester, MA. The Green Hill Neighborhood association was awarded a Transportation Justice grant from Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) to “reimagine” Lincoln Street from Brittan Square to the Nativity School. As a part of this grant project, Green Hill residents hope to improve the safety and comfort of the walking environment in their neighborhood. The neighborhood association has been working with students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to develop a re-design of Lincoln Street that makes this street a better place for all road users with enhancements that support people walking, biking, and using transit.

The goal of the walk audit was to provide recommendations to
make the Lincoln Street corridor of the Green Hill neighborhood a
safe, comfortable place to walk. The Green Hill Neighborhood
walk audit was conducted along Lincoln Street from Harlow Street
to Catharine Street. This route was selected by the group for the
focus of this walk audit due to recent pedestrian-involved crashes
on this section of the corridor. Future plans of the Green Hill
Neighborhood Association may include additional walk audits
north on Lincoln Street to Brittan Square and around the Nativity
School.

To learn more about this walk audit you can read the report here:

WalkBoston – Worcester Green Hill walk audit report FINAL

Walk Audit in Worcester’s Green Hill Neighborhood

Walk Audit in Worcester’s Green Hill Neighborhood

On Saturday November 2nd, WalkBoston conducted a walk audit along Lincoln Street in Worcester with the Green Hill Neighborhood Association and WalkBike Worcester. The Green Hill Neighborhood Association was awarded a Transportation Justice grant from Transportation for Massachusetts to “reimagine” Lincoln Street from Brittan Square to the Nativity School. Walk audit participants included residents of the Green Hill neighborhood, members of WalkBike Worcester, Worcester Division of Public Health – Mass in Motion staff, Central Mass Regional Planning Commission, and students from WPI. Following three recent pedestrian fatalities in the neighborhood, Green Hill residents have been organizing to make Lincoln Street a safe place to walk. The Green Hill neighborhood is a diverse, vibrant community with a 480 acre public park and many local businesses along Lincoln Street. WalkBoston was excited to conduct this walk audit to support the residents’ efforts to improve the walkability of their neighborhood.

For more information follow the links below:
T4MA Transportation Justice
WalkBike Worcester
Telegram & Gazette news article about the walk audit