“The drop in fatalities is a promising shift, but it’s important to acknowledge that any crash can be a life-altering experience, so we must continue to focus on strategies that reduce the overall number of injury crashes on our streets,” said Stacy Thompson, executive director of LivableStreets. “We believe that the City can achieve their stated goal of having zero traffic fatalities by 2030, and set an example for other cities in the United States.”
While giving the city “tremendous credit,” Stacy Thompson, executive director of LivableStreets Alliance, said the overall increase in accidents demonstrates the city has to be more assertive in introducing measures such as extended curbs and traffic pylons at crosswalks and protected bike lanes. In particular, she said, the city should focus on major arterial roads that carry heavy through traffic, such as Massachusetts and Blue Hill avenues, and that also see heavy use from pedestrians and cyclists. “We really need to do more robust work on our corridors,” said Thompson. For example, Thompson and others said analysis of city data shows that fatal accidents were eight to nine times more common on arterial roads.
The number of bicyclists, pedestrians and people in cars injured stood at 4,367 in 2018 versus to 4,355 two years before. “It’s a public health crisis,” said Stacy Thompson of LivableStreets Alliance, one of the main organizations in the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition, which is part of a national initiative to reduce injuries and deaths from crashes. “Four thousand people annually is not insignificant.”
Stacy Thompson, executive director of the nonprofit Livable Streets Alliance, welcomed the increase, celebrating the plan to have the money fund better pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure. She said the new rates better match the value of on-street parking. “In cities that are really seriously tackling congestion, they’re making the difference between free and cheap parking being an incentive to drive into the city,” she said.
I think that it's a true statement that the T is more accessible than it has been previously, but it doesn't mean it is accessible, and I think that's a key difference," says Stacy Thompson, the executive director of LivableStreets, a transit advocacy group.
Thompson says she understands that a fully accessible T is years away. But she would like the MBTA to speed up the process with smaller projects — like installing shelters at bus stops. Those improvements should be integrated into other new initiatives, she says, such as a project that has crews working day and night to clean and repaint dingy T stops.
Stacy Thompson, executive director of LivableStreets Alliance, said the highway incident over the weekend was scary but rare. Officials should focus on dangers like drivers speeding, as well as adding more bike lanes to city streets. “Let’s not let this one incident distract us from the real problems,” Thompson said.
Tommy Vitolo said when he realized the folks who use the station haven't had a chance to weigh in, he decided to put together a meeting to present what the town and the MBTA have come up with and allow folks the opportunity to have their say.Vitolo is sponsoring the chat with LivableStreets Alliance, an advocacy group for better biking, walking and public transportation in the metro area to get people's initial reactions. "We've got folks from LivableStreets out at the station this morning handing out fliers," said Vitolo.
Stacy Thompson of LivableStreets Alliance pushed another potential solution that council members and the mayor have so far balked at: Red light cameras. “Given the number of crashes in Boston, we can’t ask our police to be superheroes. There is no number of police officers we can put on every corner to address this problem meaningfully,” Thompson said.
But Stacy Thompson, executive director of LivableStreets Alliance, said voters may change their tune in the name of solving transportation issues. “Taxpayers are going to be much more interested in paying into solutions that will meaningfully impact this problem.” Thompson also pointed to the need for other “creative and comprehensive solutions” in addition to gas tax indexing.
If you want people to take the T, they’ll have to want to ride, advocates say, encouraging the MBTA simply to make the stations, stops and vehicles less grungy and more appealing. “Those pieces are critical to convincing people to take the T and continue to ride,” said Kristiana Lachiusa of LivableStreets Alliance, talking about some of the dirty stations and bus stops in disrepair. “If you want people to want to ride the system, you have to make them feel like they’re valued customers and valued people.”
Stacy Thompson, executive director of LivableStreets, said the MBTA should “take the complaints and use the experience of T riders and use their own data to help the city and state agencies that are tasked with working with people who are homeless do their jobs better.”
The state is slowly extending the Green Line, replacing trains, and overhauling dangerously decrepit bridges; meanwhile, municipalities are piloting exclusive bus lanes. But according to Stacy Thompson, executive director of the advocacy group LivableStreets Alliance, “We can’t just do the big project that will be completed a decade from now, and we can’t just do the low-hanging fruit.” Part of what’s missing is a visionary plan to dramatically improve the infrastructure that’s already here.
“One of the biggest challenges we’ve seen with buses is the challenge of them being held back by highly congested streets. Approximately seven miles of streets are holding back about 90,000 riders,” said Kristiana Lachiusa, who works for the LivableStreets Alliance, a Cambridge-based transportation advocacy group. “The frequency and reliability of buses is really the strong theme that comes up when we speak with bus riders and really needs to be addressed in order for people to have access to opportunity, get to affordable housing and do whatever they need to do.”
“This is a public good, like health care, like education, and we should treat it like such,” said Stacy Thompson, Executive Director of the LivableStreets advocacy group. “It’s not about getting a few cents from the riders. What we need is for the administration to work with the great elected officials who came here and said they’re ready to fund the T.”
February 16, 2019
The intersection where the crash took place has been a dangerous spot according to neighborhood groups who have been pushing for change to make it safer. “We would recommend an overhaul of the intersection to include protected bike lanes, safer crossings for pedestrians, which includes new and different signals” says Stacy Thompson of LivableStreets Alliance.
“I feel horribly for this family,” said Stacy Thompson, Executive Director of LivableStreets. “I also feel deeply frustrated. This is an area of the city that the city and activists have known for a while is unsafe and needs improvements. It’s not moving fast enough.”
Stacy Thompson of LivableStreets said the T should be focusing more on programs that help expand access, such as discounts for minors and low-income riders. "The structure is the most important thing to be thinking about," Thompson said. “The relative amount of money the T might get for a minor increase isn’t much compared to enabling more people to get on the T.”
"What [Stacy Thompson] said is... There's so much information that can be collected from a traffic crash, and also from looking at crashes over time to see if there is a reason that traffic crashes are happening at a particular intersection. Is there something about that intersection, the way the street is designed? One of the things she really emphasized is that any given crash could just be a freak accident, but when you begin to see patterns, that's no longer an accident. That's a real safety issue that can be addressed."
“We don’t call plane crashes, plane accidents,” notes Stacy Thompson, executive director of the nonprofit Livable Streets Alliance. When a plane crashes, Thompson says, “A tremendous amount of effort goes into accessing data and being able to collect data, so that someone can access that data and figure out what went wrong, and then likely make some sort of structural change. And you can use that process when you're thinking about traffic data.”
Previous efforts to prohibit hand-held use of phones have failed to become law several times in recent years — even though public opinion polling shows widespread support for banning hand-held phones... Stacy Thompson, director of the Livable Streets Alliance, a transportation advocacy group, said the effort this time might succeed because Baker is pushing for it. “The governor is setting the goal post. We’re starting the session saying safety should be a top priority in our transportation legislative agenda,” she said. “I think the tone is different this year.”
Stacy Thompson, executive director of Livable Streets, praised the governor for compiling a number of sensible, life-saving measures in a single bill. She singled out the governor’s call for mandatory lower speed limits in construction zones and his truck guard legislation for state vehicles, which she described as a “good first step.”
January 11, 2019
Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote a column slamming the practice of putting public money into bicycle infrastructure, saying bicycles don't belong in urban traffic and narrowing streets for the benefits of cyclists is "a terrible idea". Cycling advocates immediately pushed back. Jacoby and Stacy Thompson, Executive Director of Livable Streets, which advocates for innovative transportation solutions in Metro Boston join Sue to debate.
"Right now I-90 serves as a barrier and we believe this project will become a gateway. If we're going to mitigate the impacts of this multiyear construction project, we need to bolster our regional rail service first. We're hoping MASSDOT and the MBTA will commit to building West Station as the first phase of this project. This is a generational opportunity, we're going to be talking about this 50 years from now." - Stacy Thompson
Stacy Thompson of the LivableStreets advocacy organization previously told the Herald “Today in Greater Boston, there is not a mode of transportation that gives you a bigger bang for your buck. Buses have been sort of the ignored middle child of the transit system.”
Another study, by Livable Streets Alliance, a transportation advocacy group, found that Boston could improve the commutes of nearly 100,000 bus riders if the city would create dedicated lanes and prioritize traffic signals along seven miles of city streets, such as in parts of Blue Hill Avenue, Brighton Avenue, and Massachusetts Avenue.
Stacy Thompson of the LivableStreets advocacy organization said, “Today in Greater Boston, there is not a mode of transportation that gives you a bigger bang for your buck. Buses have been sort of the ignored middle child of the transit system. … But if we’re talking about short-term solutions that can make a difference, you cannot beat it.”
January 2nd, 2019
Three leading transportation advocates – Jim Aloisi of TransitMatters, Chris Dempsey of Transportation for Massachusetts, and Stacy Thompson of the Livable Streets Alliance – ring in the new year on The Codcast with a discussion about priorities.