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Issue #140 - June 2019
Image: TDM Photography
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tour de Streets with us on Saturday, September 7th -- less than three months away! This annual, family-friendly event features a 10-mile urban bike ride, a 4-mile family bike ride, and a 3-mile walk. It's the perfect opportunity to experience some of our work on the ground, and celebrate our wins together! Join an existing team or start your own!
Massachusetts Senate Passes Ban on Hand-Held Phones While Driving
Distracted driving legislation is moving quickly on Beacon Hill! In May, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of legislation that would ban the hand-held use of cell phones while driving. The legislation also includes a data collection requirement to help detect whether law enforcement officers are racially profiling drivers.
Earlier in June, the Senate unanimously voted in favor of passing its own hands-free legislation, which has an even stronger data collection component, requiring data to be reported on all traffic stops, even if a citation is not issued.
The next step is for the legislation from the House and Senate to be taken up in a Conference Committee, in order to reconcile the differences between the two bills. We are excited to see this bill so close to being passed!
Celebrating Buses With Multiple Awards This Month
Andrew McFarland and Sarah Kurpiel Lee
We are very honored to receive a Greenovate Award from Mayor Walsh for our work last year with MAPC on the Roslindale bus lane. The Mayor's Greenovate Awards recognize those with outstanding achievement in climate action and environmental sustainability in the Boston community. Big congratulations to our staffer Andrew McFarland and to Sarah Kurpiel Lee from MAPC for their hard work on organizing community support for the bus lane, which has reduced travel times for bus riders along the Washington Street corridor by up to 25% during the morning commute! Learn more about our #KeepRozzieMoving campaign and our other Better Buses projects.
In addition, the Barr Foundation's BostonBRT initiative was selected by the Boston Chapter of Advancing Women in Transportation (WTS-Boston) for their 2019 Innovative Transportation Solutions Award. We celebrated this achievement with the largely women-led BostonBRT team at an awards ceremony last week.
Join Us at a Two-Part Advocacy Committee Meeting: Learn About the MPO and How to Connect With Your Neighbors
Have you heard of the Boston Region MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization)? Not sure what they do? Curious about how they contribute to funding projects? Join us at our next Advocacy Committee meeting on June 26th to hear from several staff members about how you can get involved.
And that's not all! Are you looking to build skills and get support in building a movement in your community? Hoping to get your neighbors on board with a local street project? We'll also be hearing from Mark Chase, founder of Neighborways Design, and Arah Schuur, a Somerville resident and community organizer.
PHOTO CREDIT: www.boston.gov
After many Street Ambassador hours in Allston, we are thrilled to see the City start putting paint down for Boston's newest bus lane on Brighton Ave in Allston. This key corridor now has a bus-and-bike lane that runs between Cambridge Street and Commonwealth Ave, which will improve the commutes of over 14,000 bus riders and 1,300 bike riders each day. Unlike the Washington Street lane in Roslindale, this bus-and-bike lane will be in effect all hours, not just during the morning commute.
We need help with the next phase of outreach around this project! We are seeking Street Ambassadors to survey bus and bike riders and collect information about their experience with the new lane. Email Kristiana if you are interested in getting involved in these evaluation efforts in July.
To learn more about this project, click here. Sending a big shout out to our advocacy partners, Allston Village Main Streets and the Allston-Brighton Health Collaborative!
New Bluebikes Stations in Everett and Boston
Everett is the newest city to join the Bluebikes network! A dozen new Bluebikes stations are opening in Everett, adding to the regional network currently existing in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. In addition to the expansion in Everett, new stations will be installed in Dorchester, Roslindale, and West Roxbury this fall.
Want more Bluebikes stations in your neighborhood? Click here to learn more about where new stations are being installed in Boston, and how you can weigh in on station placement.
MBTA to Consider Low Income Fares
Image: Streetsblog Mass
The MBTA has committed to a feasibility study to explore the creation of fare subsidies for low income riders. This announcement comes in the wake of an MIT analysis which found that low-income riders who received a 50% fare subsidy took about 30% more MBTA trips, including more trips to health care and social services.
In addition, MBTA staff has recommended to the Fiscal & Management Control Board that fare inspection should not be performed by the MBTA Transit Police. This is in line with our recommendations that proof of payment should be conducted by unarmed inspectors, who do not have the authority to arrest or detain riders who fail to pay.
These are great first steps towards implementing a new fare collection system that is equitable for all riders. To learn more about fair fare policies we are fighting for, click here.
- Town of Brookline, Pedestrian Advisory Committee and Public Transportation Advisory Committee: The Brookline Transportation Board is looking for residents to serve as members of the Pedestrian Advisory and Public Transportation Advisory committees. Interested? Send a resume and introduction letter to Todd Kirrane at [email protected] no later than July 8.
Check out the following resources to learn more about what we've been up to lately!
- Press: Read local and national press featuring LivableStreets and our work.
- StreetFilms: Watch videos highlighting our advocacy and events.
- The Public Way: Transportation, Health, and Livable Communities Blog: Join Steve Miller, one of our founding board members, as he explores how our transportation system and built environment can be better structured to improve our lives, health, and the planet.