Outreach Projects (archive)

We have many outreach programs happening right now. Our Street Ambassadors & outreach team are on the street several days a week, talking to bus riders, people using sidewalks, and people on bicycles to hear more about their experiences, frustrations, and safety priorities. We bring these stories directly to municipal leaders and public meetings, so that the future of these streets places a high value on the safety and accessibility for those who are not in cars.

Click on the map to see where our outreach projects are, or choose any of the buttons below to be brought directly to information about that project.

Columbus Ave

In December 2021, Street Ambassadors spoke with people riding the new center-running bus lanes at the new stops on Columbus Ave in Boston. We heard:

  • 81% of people felt safer and more comfortable crossing the street, including when they weren’t going to ride the bus.
  • 78% of riders are satisfied with the bus lanes that have already improved travel times
  • Riders told us that their trips became faster and more consistent with almost 3/4 of people experiencing improvements in these categories.
  • The new bus lanes and stops made people riding the bus feel valued, with one rider sharing, “I feel like I’m the mayor getting an escort”
  • What’s the favorite new bus stop feature? Overwhelmingly, people loved the real-time arrival signs. These signs make it much easier to know when the next bus will be arriving and how crowded, allowing people to better plan their trips and expectations.

See more of our results on the City of Boston’s website page

Overwhelmingly, people loved the real-time arrival signs

People’s experience is critical for understanding how new infrastructure is working. However, the actual numbers also matter. Thanks to our partners at Transit Matters, who created a data dashboard, we can see the actual time saved for people riding the bus on the new center-running bus lanes:

  • During the morning peak, heading towards Jackson Sq: travel times went from an average of 15 min to <11 minutes, a 20-30% improvement.
  • In the evening peak, heading towards Walnut Ave: travel times decreased from 12 minutes to just 7 minutes, a 40% improvement in travel times.
  • These bus lanes are so important because these minutes add up! Saving 4 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening means 45 minutes a week, 3 hours a month, 36 hours a year! That’s a day and half saved for riders who ride 5 days per week.

Highland Ave, Somerville

  • Parking issues are a common complaint made by business owners. However, many of these parking requests for were bike parking.
  • Larger vehicles (box trucks, and 48’ tractor trailers) complete a majority of the deliveries meaning adequate length for delivery spaces will be important to consider in the design.
  • It is notable that 57% of delivery vehicles for businesses surveyed park on Highland St in front of or near the business. While currently only 18% of businesses park in bus stops or double-park, if there is not easily accessible loading zones this could increase with negative implications for other road users.
  • 75% of businesses find their customers needing to walk 5+ minutes acceptable. 29% of businesses find their customers walking 10+ minutes acceptable.
  • Interestingly, business owners are significantly more concerned about the walking distance of their employees. With 46% of businesses surveyed finding a walk of more than 5 minutes acceptable. Which may be challenging as 33% of surveyed employees park on Highland Ave.
    • There were some employees who were unaware of the Somerville business parking permit program
    • Also of note, 48% of businesses surveyed have employees who drive to work

For more survey results, check out our slide deck

Warren St