Join us for the 8th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1 as we invite 10 innovative transportation and community thinkers to take the stage and share their big ideas. Enjoy 10 rapid-fire "TED"-style talks, with plenty of inspiration to be had! Topics include: Weird Advocacy That Worked and Didn't with Transit Alliance Miami, Designing Playful Cities, Bringing Autonomous Vehicles to Boston's Streets, Evaluating Boston's Bike Network in Terms of Low-Stress Accessibility and Access to Jobs and Other Destinations, Lessons from Mexico City, and more. One of our most popular events of the year - don't miss it!
Registration is now closed, but we will be accepting some walk-ins on the day of the event! Meet our featured speakers.
8th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1
December 04, 2018 at 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Evaluating Boston’s Bike Network in terms of Low-Stress Accessibility to Jobs and Other Destinations
Peter Furth, Northeastern University
Peter is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, specializing in traffic engineering, public transportation planning, and bicycle transportation. He teaches regularly in the Netherlands and is familiar with Dutch practices in sustainable transportation including transit priority, Vision Zero traffic safety, and cycle track design. His research team has been mapped and analyzed the low-stress bike networks of several US cities including Boston. This presentation will address the questions, How many people have a low-stress bike route from home to work? How about home to a supermarket, or to high schools? How does accessibility differ by neighborhood? What bike network improvements will it take so that every neighborhood has good bike accessibility to destinations like work, school, shopping, and regional parks?
Theja Putta, Northeastern University
Theja is a Ph.D. candidate in Transportation Engineering at Northeastern University. Bicycling has been his primary mode of travel since he moved to Boston in 2012. In 2015, he started studying bicycle networks as a part of his graduate studies and has extensive experience in developing GIS-based tools to analyze bicycle networks. Theja also enjoys adventuring in the mountains and riding his bike to far off places.
Transit Alliance Miami: Weird Advocacy That Worked, And Didn't
Marta Viciedo, Transit Alliance Miami
Marta Viciedo is the Founder and Chair of Transit Alliance Miami — the only non-profit in South Florida focused on data-driven advocacy and policy action for public transit and mobility improvements. Marta has helped the exceptionally talented Transit Alliance team put transit issues center stage, build critical relationships locally and nationally and gain momentum on actionable improvements. Marta is a native Miamian and social impact entrepreneur with a background in urban planning.
Azhar Chougle, Transit Alliance Miami
Azhar Chougle is the Director of Transit Alliance Miami. Since joining the organization, Transit Alliance has reversed $15 million in transit budget cuts through grassroots advocacy, created the world's first real-time transit audit for Miami's rail system, and launched a campaign designed to fix Miami's ailing bus system. Azhar comes from a creative background with expertise in branding, design, and coding and moved to Miami from New York City.
Bike Places in Funky Spaces
Noah De Amor founded a popup bicycle repair clinic, Bowdoin Bike School, in a 8' X 10' shed in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester where he was born, raised, and lives with his partner Jay. Having honed his mechanical skills through professional and volunteer experiences at Ashmont Cycles, The Boston Cyclists Union, Boston Bikes, and countless other community organizations, De Amor saw that humble shed as a launching pad to get "more butts on bikes", eventually converting a two car garage in nearby Codman Square into a brick and mortar recycled bike shop to serve the community's needs. The De Amors' propensity for converting underutilized spaces to use for the active transit community doesn't stop there. In the spring of 2019, the long-abandoned Upham's Corner Comfort Station streetcar stop will be reborn as The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen, a community bicycle café.
Older and Bolder: Where art, community, and activism come together
Nicole Chandler, City of Boston
Nicole Chandler is the Staff Assistant on the Age-Friendly Boston plan at the City of Boston. Age-Friendly Boston is a citywide initiative that looks at how we design a city for people to age in place through the lens of policy, programs, and services. Nicole has a background in community development working at Urban Edge and MACDC with a focus on resident services and housing stabilization, community engagement, and racial equity. Nicole moved to Boston in 2011 serving two years with AmeriCorps at City Year and New Sector Alliance and later working for the YMCA. Nicole is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas and graduated with a degree in Politics from Hendrix College.
Karen Young, Boston Artist in Residence
Cultural artist and organizer, Karen Young uses Japanese taiko drums and community organizing strategies to empower, engage, and inspire people into action. In 2018, she was selected as one of seven Boston AIRs (Artists in Residence) and in partnership with BCYF Grove Hall senior center, chose to strategically elevate and activate elders of color in one of Boston’s most resilient communities. She is the founder and artistic director of The Genki Spark and co-founder of the Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival. Prior to making her social practice art her key focus, Karen founded the leading youth advocacy organization, Youth on Board. She is a principal author of: Youth on Board’s 15 Points to Successfully Involving Youth in Decision Making, and Your Guide to Youth Involvement and the Law, and a contributing author of Asian Voices from Beantown.
Designing Playful Cities: Creating Spaces for Interaction and Fun
Tony Lechuga, LivableStreets Alliance
Tony Lechuga is the Program Manager for the Emerald Network at LivableStreets Alliance, managing all aspects of the program including advocacy, project oversight, and technical assistance. As someone who often uses multiple modes to travel Boston's streets and greenways, Tony tries to recognize the lived experience of spaces from all angles. Previously, Tony worked with the Boston pedestrian advocacy group WalkBoston, while completing a Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. Before that he worked as a public school teacher for five years in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. Teaching middle school social studies taught Tony the value of patience, creativity, and varied perspectives, which he sees as necessary to work with and across diverse groups.
A Pick-up Game with Lebron James: Bringing autonomous vehicles to Boston's streets
Kris Carter, Co-Chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics
Kris Carter, Co-Chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston, is a non-practicing engineer, an optimistic urban planner, and a self-taught filmmaker. New Urban Mechanics is the City of Boston's human-centered civic R&D lab, working collaboratively with research institutions, civic entrepreneurs, and government agencies to explore and prototype what's new and next in cities. With the Mechanics, Kris oversees a wide portfolio of prototypes while also leading the City's mobility and public realm work, including the management of Boston’s autonomous vehicle research efforts. Prior to leading the Mechanics, Kris ran the City's bicycle program, served as an advisor to Mayor on the creation of the Innovation District, and helped operationalize One Fund Boston in response to the Marathon bombings. He has won awards from the Federal Labs Consortium, American Planning Association, and was recognized as one of Boston’s ‘50 on Fire for his work. He is a two-time AmeriCorps alum, amateur filmmaker, firmly believes in bagging his own groceries, and has yet to find a role more rewarding and exhausting than raising twins.
Who Rules Transit?
Julia Ehrman, TransitCenter
Julia Ehrman is a Program Associate at TransitCenter, where she does research, runs workshops, and administers grants research to help advocates, transit agencies and city staff make public transit better for the people who use it. She supports advocates fighting locally for change, and connects practitioners doing similar work nationally. Previous to TransitCenter, Julia worked to improve transportation options for youth and families in San Francisco as a fellow at Francisco Unified School District, while completing masters’ degrees in city planning at public health at UC Berkeley. She got interested in city government through bicycle advocacy in New York and Oakland.
Bus Rapid Transit: What We Learned from Mexico City
Jesse Mermell, The Alliance for Business Leadership
Jesse Mermell joined the Alliance for Business Leadership as President in January of 2015, having previously served as a member of Governor Deval L. Patrick’s senior staff. As Governor Patrick’s Communications Director, Mermell was responsible for communications strategy and for overseeing the press operations of the Governor’s office. Mermell is the former State Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
She has also held positions as the Vice President for External Affairs at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, and as the Executive Director of FairTest and of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Mermell is an active community member, having been elected to the Brookline Board of Selectmen in 2007 and serving until 2013. Upon her election she became the youngest Selectman in the history of Brookline, and created a female majority on the Board for the first time since the Town’s founding in 1705. Mermell is also a former Brookline Library Trustee and Town Meeting Member.
Rebecca Leventhal focuses on mobilizing capital to drive social progress. Rebecca is a Senior Advisor at Higher Ground Labs, a progressive political technology incubator. Higher Ground Labs invests in and advises early-stage technology companies that endeavor to help Democrats win electoral and policy victories. Rebecca was on the founding team of Social Finance, an impact investing firm that structures Pay for Success and other outcome-based financings. Currently, she is in the early stages of building a philanthropic advising platform. Rebecca began her career in finance and was involved in Hillary Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 campaigns. Rebecca is engaged in civic and political initiatives locally and nationally. Rebecca is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
By the Bootstraps in Somerville: Low-Cost Traffic Calming Experiments and Results
Brad Rawson, Director of Transportation & Infrastructure
Brad serves the City of Somerville as Director of Transportation & Infrastructure. He is a community planner and eleven-year veteran of Mayor Joe Curtatone’s administration, leading a team of eight staff responsible for the City’s mobility, public space, and urban forestry practice areas. Brad’s team handles community engagement, data analytics, policy development, street design, transit coordination, signal timing, project financing, construction oversight, and more (and that’s just on the mobility side of the portfolio!). Brad is a Somerville resident who takes great pride in helping articulate and implement his community’s vision for safety, equity and sustainability in the public realm.
Stay Tuned-- More Speakers Will Be Added Soon!