Since 1990, WalkBoston has been working to improve the built environment – the sidewalks, crosswalks and signals – that runners use every day. We work with local advocates and community organizations to help people across Massachusetts push for improvements in their own neighborhoods and path systems.

Core elements of our work that are especially important to runners’ safety include improving safe connections between paths and across streets and expanding trails and running/walking networks.

Weekly Run/Walk Groups Across Massachusetts

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Examples of WalkBoston’s work that has special significance for runners include the following:

  • Pushing to “Unchoke the Throat” as part of the Allston I-90 Interchange Project, that would create a wider parkland and separate paths for people biking and people walking/running on the Boston side of the Charles River between the BU Bridge and Western Avenue. Over 150 people (!) weighed in and shared their stories about how wider paths are important to them during an open comment period. 
  • The Longfellow Bridge renovations include significantly wider sidewalks, a new pedestrian bridge from Charles Circle to the Esplanade and safer street crossings on the Cambridge side of the river that connect the Bridge to the river paths. WalkBoston was a key advocate in winning all these improvements. Even before the renovations started, in 2010 we helped to lead the campaign that secured a sidewalk all the way to Charles Circle on the upstream (inbound) side of the bridge – after many, many years with no sidewalk for the last 80’ of the bridge!

  • Working with the Esplanade Association to develop a framework for creating separate path systems for walkers/runners and bicyclists throughout the Esplanade. A separated system would improve safety and comfort for the many thousands of people who use this path system every day.
  • Supporting Underpasses with the Charles River Conservancy, and helping to win approval for an underpass at the Anderson Bridge that we hope will set the stage for more progress.
  • WalkBoston spurred the state to build the North Bank Pedestrian Bridge and fulfill the commitments to the park and path system that were made during the Big Dig.
  • Supported Somerville’s successful application as a Runner Friendly Community and co-presented a Runner Safety panel with the Somerville Road Runners
  • Urged & advised DCR to make a plan for what they shovel on all their trails & set priority routes.
  • Made recommendations for unpaved running trails alongside the future Mass Central Rail Trail, which will be created by the DCR and use former MBTA right of way through Berlin – Bolton – Hudson – Stow – Sudbury – Wayland – Weston – Waltham. This is one of the many multi-use trails in the works throughout the state.
  • Our comment letters can be searched by a keyword; check out “running”
  • Supported the Greenough Greenway project which dedicates half of the mile-long Greenough Boulevard to recreational use and completes a 2½ mile Herter-Greenough loop path linking three cities together (Boston, Cambridge, Watertown). See a handout of why this is important for runners.