Blue Hill Avenue runs through the heart of Mattapan and Roxbury. It connects thousands of people each day to work, school, shopping, worship, and more. However, the current state of the corridor discourages those same people from feeling safe and comfortable. People walking and biking have to constantly navigate in fear and frustration, and the 20,000+ daily bus riders who travel along this corridor are stuck in traffic and deal with unreliable and slow buses. This crucial corridor could work better with a little help from you!
- The City of Boston is in the midst of planning improvements along Blue Hill Ave. Based on outreach that both LivableStreets and the city did, some quick improvements have been or are soon to be completed, including repaving blue hill ave and increasing the time for people crossing the streets; see more here. There will be upcoming meetings this spring, so keep an ear out and make sure to show up to share your point of view.
What We've Heard
The top improvements requested are the ability to see bus arrival times, improved bike lanes, better street lights, and the creation of additional street art.
Here are a few stories from people street ambassadors spoke with:
- "The buses don't run frequently, lot of overcrowding, don't run on time... Need to start early and end later due to people and their odd working schedules."
- "I don't agree with the bus hike. Why should we pay more when we don't have good service, especially during the winter months, when it is cold and freezing, and not on time?"
- "Not everyone has access to bikes and credit cards and the MBTA should be a more reasonable price."
- "A lot of new bus transportation [is being given] for the tourist areas and Brookline Ave."
- "They should know that the decisions they take must always be for the good of the people who use public transportation every day, and that ... their duty is to maintain super service, since in their hands are every passengers' life."
- The City of Boston is repaving Blue Hill Ave from Dudley Street to the Milton border. They're also adding street art, painting electric boxes, and planting trees. Click here to learn more about what's going on.
- Several previous studies of this corridor have supported the same conclusion: it is simply not working effectively for those who use it.
- We will again be recruiting Street Ambassadors in the spring to engage community members in conversation about their street by providing information, listening to people’s needs, and gathering feedback that will inform our advocacy goals.
- Our goal is to engage as many people as possible, both to hear directly from them about how changes have affected them and to communicate to them what's happening so that they can be part of the process.
- With a number of plans (listed below) proposing transportation and land use changes along this corridor, this is an important time for community members to advocate for their needs.
- There are many bus routes along Blue Hill Ave: the 28 along carries 20,000 people every weekday. An average of 51% of riders on these routes are transit dependent, meaning they have limited choices about how to get around.
- Based on MBTA data, 7 miles of streets are holding back a whopping 92,000 riders, 15% of all bus passengers. One of these key bottlenecks is Blue Hill Ave.
How can you get involved?
- Do you want to advocate for improvements on your street? Sign up to be a Street Ambassador!
Street Ambassadors are members of the community who receive training in transportation advocacy. They bring the planning process into the community, talk with community members to understand their needs, concerns, and questions, and share that information with the City and the MBTA.