April 9th, 2020
As the situation continues to evolve, our response and actions must evolve with it. In the weeks since we sent out our first statement below, we have been lending a lot of thought to how the current public health and economic crisis impacts our work, along with all of the longstanding inequities that it illuminates. We’re launching a blog series to explore the challenges facing mobility right now and the variety of situations that make this time especially challenging for some people. Please join us as we create space for staff to think out loud during the difficult time we are facing - while we can’t have all the answers, we want to explore this conversation with you.
Check out the first blog post: OUR STREETS CAN WAIT -- FOR NOW, STAY HOME
March 18th, 2020
For the next few weeks, and possibly longer, LivableStreets is operating remotely for the wellbeing of our staff, families, and community.
As most community meetings have been postponed indefinitely and city and state agencies work out how to best keep community processes moving, we are doing our best to keep our calendar updated with these changes. We encourage you to check city and state websites directly to learn more about each agency's approach.
During this time of uncertainty and social distancing, here are some resources and opportunities to build community:
- Donate to Union Capital Boston's fundraiser: UCB is a close partner, and they are working to provide direct and immediate financial assistance to those who are most affected due to lost wages or school closures. If you are in a position to provide monetary support, we encourage you to do so via their Go Fund Me page.
Say "Thank you!": There are numerous public services that continue to operate thanks to hard-working individuals, and we encourage you to share gratitude by sending a message or posting on social media.
- The MBTA has taken numerous steps to protect their riders and employees while continuing to operate at sustainable levels to get people to where they need to go.
- Public works departments, elected officials, and government staff are hard at work keeping things moving for our communities. Be sure to thank your mail carrier, garbage collector, and everyone else who is working hard to make sure essential services continue to run.
Contact your elected officials: This pandemic exacerbates social justice issues that affect people across the country every day. See below for some issues that are rising to the top due to this crisis.
- Advocate for reduced or free transit fares during the state of emergency. Free or reduced fares will help alleviate the financial burden for people, and free fares will allow for all-door boarding which can help protect bus operators and passengers from overcrowding. Reach out to the Governor to immediately enact free or reduced fares while the Statewide State of Emergency is in effect. And reach out to your State Senator to encourage them to include longer-term funding for free and reduced transit fares as part of any transportation finance package.
- Ask your senator to support federal policies to protect people who are most vulnerable to current impacts of the pandemic. Read more on these issues from PolicyLink.
- Advocate for emergency assistance for transit authorities. Read more on this issue from Transportation for America.
Travel responsibly: At this time, if you must travel, we encourage you to solo travel as much as possible, and travel as infrequently as you can. We also know that essential workers are relying on public transportation options and there are certain actions people who are traveling can take to ensure our community remains as safe as possible:
- If it is possible for you to bike or walk to your destination, this helps to reduce the crowds on trains and buses, making them safer to ride for those who need to.
- If you do need to ride public transit, please do your best to leave six feet of distance between you and other riders at stations and on vehicles, per the CDC's recommendation.
- The Bluebikes system is still running. We encourage you to wipe down or sanitize touch points like handlebars and keypads and your hands before/after use.
- Keep your distance: We strongly encourage social distancing as a way to flatten the curve and protect our community.
- List of Mutual Aid Networks throughout Metro Boston
- Response Funds and Advice from The Boston Foundation
- Resources from Massachusetts Immigration & Refugee Advocacy Coalition
- Samaritans' 24/7 Crisis Hotline remains open
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline remains open
We know how challenging this time is and how important it is to stay connected to community. We encourage you to stay involved through any of the ways above, and to safely check in on your friends, family, and neighbors. Sign up for a weekly dose of walking positivity from WalkBoston, and share any bike travel stories with Boston Cyclists Union on social media using the hashtag #BostonBikeStory.