Not on a Shelf: Reporting on the City of Boston's Progress on Go Boston 2030

Not on a Shelf: Reporting on the City of Boston's Progress on Go Boston 2030

We launched our new progress report on March 11, 2020 with a livestream of a review of the key findings in the report and a Q&A with the audience. 

Watch the recorded livestream now!

In March of 2017, the City of Boston released Go Boston 2030, their long-term mobility plan. Informed by an extensive two-year community engagement process, the plan envisions a city where all residents have better and more equitable travel choices, and aims to create economic opportunity and prepare for climate change. In order to ensure Go Boston 2030 doesn't sit on a shelf, LivableStreets has committed to independently assessing the City's progress on their goals regularly until 2030.

Checking the construction plans for the Connect Historic Boston's Complete Street design

Source: Howard Stein Hudson

Our report found that since Go Boston 2030 was released three years ago, the City of Boston has made important structural changes to their mobility-related departments, budgets, and priorities, including adding millions of dollars and 20 new staff to the transportation department. These changes provide a strong foundation for the progress they are making on implementing several Go Boston 2030 projects and policies. However, implementation of these projects and policies has not yet demonstrated significant progress toward most of Go Boston 2030's goals and targets. It will be important for the City to increase the scale and pace of its projects to stay on track and begin to see more meaningful progress toward its goals and targets.

The report includes key findings, recommendations, and deep dives into key projects, including Better Bike Corridors. One section of the report focuses on providing updates on aspirational targets the City laid out in Go Boston 2030, including eliminating traffic fatalities and decreasing commute to work times. In addition, the report includes a project scorecard that provides status updates, evaluations, and recommended next steps for all 33 Go Boston 2030 early action projects and policies, including Walk- and Bike-Friendly Main Streets and Smart Signals Corridors. The report is intended to assess not only the quality and extent of work the City has done, but its overall impact.

Read some of our key findings below. You can download the full report here.


KEY FINDINGS

Based on a process involving stakeholder engagement, evaluation of the City of Boston's actions, and analysis of Go Boston 2030 goals and targets, we arrived at the following key findings:

Early Action Projects Summary

  • The City has significantly increased staff and budgets, made fundamental changes to the structure of their operations, and ensures Go Boston 2030 principles and goals are prioritized throughout project delivery.
  • The City has made significant progress on several aspirational targets related to safety and access but is off track on aspirational targets related to reliability and mode shift for Bostonian commuters.
  • The City has found success implementing smaller pilot projects, but has been slow to scale up system-wide.
  • While some progress has been made on many of the state-led transit projects, without more partnership and coordination between the City and the State, they are at risk of going off track.
  • Specific projects that are supported by adequate funding and staffing are progressing at a faster pace, receive more community support, and are of higher quality.
  • Strong leadership is needed from City Hall when controversial projects face pushback.
  • The public does not have a clear sense that progress on Go Boston 2030 has been made, but when they are made aware they are excited by the potential of the plan.

RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS FOR THE CITY OF BOSTON

  • Collect more data 
  • Ensure Go Boston 2030 evolves
  • Communicate with the public about progress
  • Scale up + move beyond pilots
  • Show leadership + better coordination with the state on transit projects
  • Ensure Go Boston 2030 goals are prioritized across transportation projects

Read the details of our recommended next steps -- download the full report here.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Spread the word -- Take part in the conversation on social media using these hashtags: #NotOnAShelf #GoBoston2030
  • Amplify the report -- Boston is kicking off its Fiscal Year 2021 budget cycle soon. Share the report with your city councilors and ask them to support #GoBoston2030 projects in the FY21 budget cycle.
  • Volunteer with LivableStreets as a Street Ambassador to engage bus riders and build public support for a bus priority pilot. Sign up here or contact kristiana@livablestreets.info to learn more about this unique opportunity to influence how people move around Metro Boston.