Issue #146 - December

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Issue #146 - December 2019



Massachusetts Hands-Free Bill Signed into Law

LivableStreets advocates and partners holding the Hands-Free Bill, accompanied by Governor Baker

Photo credit: Michael Blanchard

A hands-free driving law was passed in Massachusetts! The passage of this bill aligned with World Day of Remembrance, held on November 17th. With our Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition partners, we were joined by over 100 people who turned out for a Memorial Vigil to remember loved ones and to recognize the hundreds of people killed in traffic crashes across the state each year.

Thanks to the many of you who submitted comments, lobbied your legislators, posted on social media, and otherwise worked over the years to get this bill passed! Now is the time to thank leaders for passing this bill. Send a message to Governor Charlie Baker and to the Chairs of the Transportation Committee, Senator Joseph Boncore and Representative William Straus, thanking them for their leadership in passing a hands-free bill.

To see photos and press coverage from the powerful World Day of Remembrance Memorial Vigil, click here.

Recap of our StreetTalk 10-in-1 on December 10

A line of people sit in pews looking to the right (where the speaker is giving their presentation)

Photo credit: Rebecca Slocum

We welcomed over 150 people to our 9th annual StreetTalk 10-in-1 last week - thank you to everyone who made it such a great success, from the enthusiastic attendees, to board members who worked the bar, to all of our fascinating speakers!

If you weren't able to attend, check out a recording of the livestream of the event, compliments of the WGBH Forum Network, and be on the lookout for photos soon. A very special thanks to our host and supporters: the Old South Meeting House, StreetsblogMASS, Harpoon Brewery, and Iggy’s Bread!

MBTA to Procure Additional Buses in Line with LivableStreets Recommendations

Two buses drive down the street, the 66 to Dudley Station followed by the 57.

Last week, the Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) approved a recommendation from MBTA staff to procure an additional 60 buses, which will allow the MBTA to increase peak bus service by approximately 5%. As we highlighted in our recent 64 Hours: Closing the Bus Equity Gap report, improving peak service through additional bus capacity is critical as the MBTA is not currently meeting their service delivery standards.

As stated in our report, the MBTA would need to procure an additional 200 buses (and develop two additional garage facilities to store them) to fully meet the transit demands of Metro Boston. However, their decision to complete the purchase and delivery of 60 buses by November 2020 is an important start, and we’re excited by the relatively fast timeline! Read the 64 Hours report here, or learn more about the procurement recommendation approved by the FMCB here.

A People-First Northern Ave Bridge

A rendering of the Double Arch concept for the Northern Avenue Bridge

Image credit: Boston Public Works

Last week, the City of Boston unveiled updated conceptual designs to replace the Northern Ave Bridge over Fort Point Channel, committing to a “people first” design that does not allow access for single occupancy vehicles. The designs provide public gathering space, safe infrastructure for people walking and biking, and will accommodate emergency vehicles when needed. This is a huge win for advocates who have been fighting for a bridge that prioritizes people over cars. It’s important that we continue pushing for the bridge to remain closed to private shuttles. Our executive director Stacy Thompson was quoted in the Boston Globe as saying, “It’s a very, very different place than we were six months ago...I think this concept is fantastic, there’s a lot to like.”

CharlieCard Win for the Fairmount Line

A commuter rail train on the Fairmount Line at a station

Photo credit: Wikipedia

While MBTA news last week was dominated by the Safety Review Panel’s scathing report and major delays for the rollout of Automated Fare Collection (AFC 2.0), there were some bright spots worth celebrating. In the updated timeline for implementation of AFC 2.0, the MBTA announced that the ability to tap on to the Fairmount Line using a CharlieCard will be available in 2020! The Fairmount Indigo Network has been fighting for this for years, and it will make it easier for more people to ride the Fairmount Line and receive free transfers to the bus. A huge thanks to our partners on this issue: the Green Justice Coalition, Conservation Law Foundation, ACLU, ACE, Mass Senior Action Coalition, and others. 

In addition, the T has stated that they will work to expand the number of locations in the community where CharlieCards are available as a short-term mitigation goal for 2020. To learn more about the T’s fare transformation update, click here.

Make it your New Year’s Resolution to Become a LivableStreets Member

Catherine and Kristiana stand behind a table with an orange tablecloth. Kristiana holds a clipboard up; both are smiling

'Tis the season for giving: help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 by December 31st!

Take one or more of these actions today:

  1. Make your year-end gift: Give a one-time, monetary donation here.
  2. Support LivableStreets while you shop: Check out our Other Ways to Donate page.
  3. Join a great community of passionate advocates: Become a member!

Will you support us today? Your gift will help us close out the year on a strong note and tackle an ambitious agenda for 2020. Check out our newly released impact report to see what we’ve been up to in 2019!

If you've already given, thank you! Please help us spread the word and share this email with a friend.


  • T4MA, Policy Director: Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) is seeking an experienced Policy Director to promote our statewide coalition’s policy priorities to address the Commonwealth’s transportation crisis. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • Boston Cyclists Union, Development and Events Coordinator: The Membership and Events Coordinator manages the Boston Cyclists Union’s rapidly growing membership, events, and volunteer programs. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization, Activities Manager: The Manager of MPO Activities will lead the nine-member Certification Activities group that provides technical, administrative, and logistical support to the MPO board as it develops a vision for transportation in the Boston region and decides how to allocate federal and state transportation funds to programs, projects, and studies that improve roadway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • City of Cambridge, NACTO Conference Walkshop Manager: The Walkshop Manager will work closely with staff from Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville to develop walkshops that cover a wide range of projects and present opportunities for attendees to learn directly from the people behind the projects. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • Net Impact, Leadership Team: Join Net Impact Boston, a dynamic team engaging Greater Boston area impact professionals that tackle sustainability, social and human rights, fair trade, renewable energy, and much more in their careers! Applications open until 01/12 - to learn more and apply, click here.

Thank you!

Check out the following resources to learn more about what we've been up to lately!

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