When Jeannie first began volunteering with LivableStreets, she didn’t see much of a connection between her years working in AIDS/HIV prevention in Dorchester and transportation advocacy. But her “AHA!” moment recognizing the link between public health, social justice and advocating for safer streets came about quickly. “I love being able to address this intersection through my volunteer work,” she says. “It’s exciting to see that many funders are beginning to recognize that transportation planning is connected to improving equity and public health outcomes.”
Through her travels in the U.S. and Canada (she’s completed two cross-country bike tours) Jeannie has seen what is possible in other cities, and has a strong desire for Boston to do better. She says: “Living in a city that is consistently voted as having the worst drivers in the U.S. makes everyday getting around, whether you're walking, biking or driving, difficult and scary. We need more funding and more focus on these issues from the city -- not just when there is a terrible accident.”
As she’s gotten older, Jeannie has found herself increasingly cautious and less comfortable competing with traffic. These days she increasingly plans her city routes more around low-stress bike paths. She looks forward to seeing the Emerald Network help others stay active and healthy as they age.
When Jeannie’s not tackling grant research and writing at LivableStreets, she lives in Jamaica Plain with her partner Lorna and their dog Maddie. This year will be Jeannie’s third Tour de Streets and she is hoping to break her personal fundraising record. She encourages others to participate too --- “If you want safer streets, connected pedestrian and bike paths, more green space and better access to reliable transit, donate or start a team!”