At LivableStreets, 2022 was a year full of new beginnings and opportunities. We quickly mobilized our team to work side by side with City and State officials to ensure there were safe and efficient biking and transit alternatives during the Orange and Green Line shutdown. We deployed a month-long Street Ambassador campaign to aid riders in their commute and provide real-time feedback from riders of the MBTA about the Orange Line diversion. We hosted the first in-person Tour de Streets and StreetTalk events in over two years, welcomed new staff members to our team, and so much more!
The Emerald Network
The Emerald Network is a vision for over 200 miles of seamless greenways throughout Boston that connects people to where they want to go. The Emerald Network is an extension of Fredrick Law Olmstead’s Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks, greenways, and waterways throughout Boston. Here’s what the Emerald Network team accomplished in 2022:
- In partnership with Culture House and TransitMatters, LivableStreets hosted an event at Boston Open Streets in September. This community engagement reintroduced the DOT Greenway to the public and made sure the project is still desired by the community.
- Facilitated a workshop / charrette session to address a lack of integration with projects along the Charles River.
- Submitted comments pertaining to the potential reopening of Memorial Drive to cars on Saturdays. LivableStreets’ letter added a deeper nuance about equity and historic injustice.
Great Neighborhoods Network
Photo by City of Boston Mayor's Office
Through Great Neighborhoods, we organize a statewide network of advocates who focus on the intersections of housing, transportation, and climate change, and leverage policy, research, and messaging campaigns to build communities that are happier, healthier, and more just. In 2022, the Great Neighborhoods Network:
- Continued to organize around and support the Boston City Council’s amendment to remove parking minimums for affordable housing developments. LivableStreets and other advocacy partners were invited to join Mayor Wu at the signing of the amendment into law shortly before the end of the year.
- Advocated for, and submitted comments in support of, the MBTA Communities law, which sets requirements for the 175 communities served by the MBTA to set guidelines that each community shall have at least one zoning district specifically for multi-family housing.
- Met with James (Arthur) Jemison, Chief of Planning for the City of Boston and Director of the Boston Planning and Development Agency to discuss shared priorities and vision for planning and development in the City of Boston. specifically in the areas of housing + land use, transportation/transit, and climate change and sustainability.
The transit program works with the MBTA, Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs), coalition and community partners on initiatives that prioritize people riding the bus resulting in improvements in transit frequency, access, and reliability, and more efficient and equitable streets. LivableStreets is a member of the Transit is Essential Coalition which began as a movement to prevent permanent MBTA service cuts proposed by MBTA management due to COVID-19. In 2022:
- Free buses proliferated across the state - from fare-free MBTA bus routes in Boston, to every RTA in the state being fare-free during November + December. And the legislature allocated nearly $7 million dollars for free bus pilots statewide in their Transportation Bond Bill. Though we don't have blanket free bus fares yet, we're going to continue fighting in the new year!
Outreach focuses on meeting people where they are — on the street! Through our Street Ambassador program we aim to gain helpful insights for our project areas and bring more people into public processes in the Greater Boston area.In 2022, our outreach efforts included:
- 6 street ambassador deployments who participated in:
- Over 100 hours of direct outreach to commuters
- Street Ambassadors were most notably used to:
- Conduct on the ground outreach to provide direct feedback to the MBTA about how the Orange Line Shutdown was going.
- Collect opinions about bus priority and streetscape changes along Mass Ave in Cambridge and shift community conversation around shared road space.
- Support the LivableStreets' "Keeping Pace" report to provide context around how riders are feeling about the future of the MBTA and their transportation needs.
Our Vision Zero program promotes a statewide “safe systems” approach to traffic safety that is rooted in prevention, not policing and punishment, and centers mode shift (shifting people’s method of transportation) and the perspectives of vulnerable road users, through policy- and project-based work, as well as accountability through regular progress reports. In 2022:
- We released our report, “Dismantling Law Enforcement’s Role in Traffic Safety: A Roadmap for Massachusetts”, which details many of the ways we can improve road safety, while moving away from police enforcement, and offers a framework to do so.
- In December, after years of advocacy, the state legislature passed An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, a crucial piece of legislation that will improve safety for vulnerable road users by requiring safety improvements for large trucks, setting safe passing distances, and more (and which, at the time of this posting, has been signed into law by former Governor Baker in January 2023).
2022 By The Numbers
FUNDERS + DONORS
American Endowment Foundation *
Barr Foundation *
Boyce Family Fund *
Ciccolo Family Foundation *
City of Boston
City of Cambridge
City of Somerville
Compass, Inc. **
Conine Family Foundation *
Conservation Law Foundation *
Cummings Foundation *
David Nalven & Jill Goldman
Grace and Walter Bird
Julia Sharpe & Nate Sharpe
Kresge Foundation *
Landry's Bicycles Boston **
Livingston Moss Fund Livingston *
Mass. Budget & Policy Center
Mel King Institute
Solomon Foundation *
The Boston Foundation *
Transportation for Massachusetts
Transit + Streets Program Manager
Community Engagement Manager
Content + Culture Manager
Public Policy Manager
Director of the Emerald Network
Director of Transit + Outreach
Greenways + Policies Analyst