"Nidhi Gulati, the Emerald Network Program Manager, said that she hopes to see 70 new miles of greenway over the next 15 years, noting that building such a system offers flexibility, with a number of ways to connect them. “What we can do is build safe connections so that you can hop from green to green,” she said. Those leading the walk encouraged the re-imagining of the landscape, and as they passed the bike lanes along Columbia Road, there was agreement that more could be done to make the route aesthetically pleasing."
"We should commend the city staff for taking a good strong effort in their first year to reduce fatalities on our streets, but it's apparent ... that we aren’t going to reach our goal of zero fatalities by 2030 if the mayor and city councilors don't provide more resources — whether that's in terms of capital funding or additional staff," said Stacy Thompson, the executive director of the LivableStreets Alliance."
"LivableStreets Alliance executive director Stacy Thompson said the city has done a "great job" with its online, interactive crash data site, but needs to set interim benchmarks along the path to zero fatalities by 2030. The progress report, which will recommend more capital funding and staffing, will be posted online on Wednesday afternoon prior to a formal unveiling at 5:30 p.m. during the LivableStreets Alliance's StreetTalk 10-in-1 event at the Old South Meeting House."
"At 20 mph there is a 17 percent likelihood of a fatality or severe injury occurring, and that number jumps to 79 percent at 40 mph. 'The 30-mile-per-hour benchmark really does make a difference. It can literally be the difference between life and death for a lot of people — especially for vulnerable people like children and elderly,' said Andrew McFarland, community engagement manager with the Boston-based safe streets advocacy group Livable Streets Alliance."
"The vigil was one of many held across the globe on World Remembrance Day. 'Each cut-out represents a person who was killed,' Andrew McFarland, of Livable Streets Alliance, said. Silhouettes pepper Boston streets to call attention to the locations of fatal crashes. One silhouette was placed beside a Washington Street crosswalk in Roslindale in memory of Silvia Acosta, a 78-year-old woman who was killed trying to cross the street."
“Crashes are not accidents — they’re the tragic, preventable results of inadequate planning and policy. People make mistakes; our streets must be designed so those mistakes are not fatal,” according to a statement from the LivableStreets Alliance, which advocates for safer, multi-modal roadways.
“If parking is filling up today, instead of building more garages, Massport should raise the price to reduce the demand, and use the additional funds raised to improve transit to and from the airport. People who are willing to pay the higher price would be guaranteed to find a space, and those who are not would have improved transit options for their trip." - Charlie Denison, LivableStreets Alliance Advocacy Committee Member
"City Council President Michelle Wu framed parking availability as an “environmental justice” issue, since cars that cannot find spots spew harmful emissions as they circle. Some activists at the hearing asked the council not to focus on parking, but on creating incentives for residents to not drive at all. Stacy Thompson, the executive director of the community group LivableStreets Alliance, said councilors should not forget Boston’s pledge to improve open space and health by 2030."
"Watertown's Senior Planner Gideon Schriber said work would extend an existing spur of the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway from where it empties onto Arsenal Street, next to the Watertown Mall Best Buy location, through Arsenal Park to the North Beacon Street Bridge.
The LivableStreets Alliance is helping the Town of Watertown Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee design the path over the next year."
"The group organizing Thursday's rally, the Vision Zero Coalition, wants the city to spend more money on redesigning roads; hire more staff to deal with the issue; and deliver on goals laid out last year, including lowering the speed limit on Boston streets. Mayor Marty Walsh's office said he is committed to all of that. A member of his staff will attend the City Hall rally, promising a significant update on plans."
"Hundreds of advocates and survivors of traffic crashes will converge on Boston City Hall Thursday to press Mayor Martin J. Walsh on his plan to improve traffic safety. Advocates from the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition, which is holding the rally, say they will urge Walsh to move swiftly to devote more money for capital projects, hire additional staff, and finalize goals outlined in a traffic safety plan released in December . . . “We want everything promised, and the 2015 goals to be completed,” said Stacy Thompson, executive director at LivableStreets Alliance, one of the groups spearheading the rally."
"Beatman said that the American Legion corridor study grant was one of six projects selected. The MHMC membership agreed that the grant will be a great help to getting the improvements that they have been pushing for over many years."
"Municipalities have shown they can coordinate. (Witness Metropolitan Area Planning Council's single-vendor Hubway bikeshare program and planning for the Urban Ring transit project.) Can Massachusetts Department of Transportation serve as a convener? (If successful, the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group will be a model.) Coordination can also be initiated by a nonprofit (LivableStreets Alliance's "Emerald Network" connecting Metro Boston's greenways)...There is still time for Mayor Martin J. Walsh to turn around the GoBoston 2030 planning process in order to become a catalyst and leader for regional coordination."
“This is the future,” exclaimed LivableStreets Executive Director Jackie Douglas, “greenway paths that are linked together so that
you can move continuously from one path to another. Safe, accessible, off-road paths and their low-traffic stress connections
are simply a better way to get around the city.”
"For Stacy Thompson, executive director of the Boston-based Livable Streets Alliance, some of the solutions may also lay in street design. Wider lanes encourage drivers to go faster, while a lack of protected bike lanes and adequate crosswalks increase the chances of fatal crashes, she said."
"We desperately need the state, cities, and towns to invest in infrastructure. The status quo is not working. Leaders must prioritize safer options for people to walk, bike, and take transit. The state Transportation Department's Complete Streets program is an excellent start. Boston's and Cambridge's Vision Zero efforts are getting underway, but they need to be ramped up."
"Jackie DeWolfe, who was named to the post on Wednesday, said the job will also focus on projects such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing public health, and solving the problems that can arise with those goals.
“There is a growing demand for ‘complete streets’ — roads that facilitate all modes of travel — and Jackie will help ensure that MassDOT is thinking broadly and inclusively about all users of our transportation system,” transportation department secretary Stephanie Pollack said in a statement."
"Last week, groups including the Boston Cyclists Union and Livable Streets Alliance held an event at Aeronaut Brewery with tips on cycling in an unsafe city."
"[Tom Evans, Executive Director of the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority] cited the “LandLine” plan of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and “Emerald Network” project by Cambridge’s LivableStreets Alliance as two models seeking to form a network of trails as extensive as might be found in the Netherlands."
"Jackie DeWolfe, executive director of Boston's Liveable Streets urban design advocacy organization, cheered the project in a statement Thursday.
“We are excited about the project, not only because of the improvements it will bring for the 100,000 people who use Commonwealth Avenue today, but because the new design will make it more comfortable for even more people to walk, bike and take the bus,” she said. “Innovative design details like parking protected bike lanes, enhanced bus stops and protected intersections, will be a great demonstration of multi-modal transportation."
"Stacy Thompson is with the Livable Streets Alliance, one of the groups sponsoring the race. “The problem is that our streets are designed for cars instead of being designed for people," she said. "So they are hectic, chaotic and oftentimes dangerous.”
Stacy Thompson of the Livable Streets Alliance said the fact that the electronic bicycle won the race shows that there’s always some new mode of getting around. “On the flip side, it’s still really hard," she said. "Almost every participant encountered a challenge today. And in some cases it was dangerous, whether it was a scary intersection, or something else. So if we’re going to be open to these new ways of getting around, we need to fix the problems we have today.”
The point, Thompson said, is not that any one mode of transportation is better than the others. She said the point’s that as we continue to plan our transportation system, we need to develop one that’s going to get everybody where they need to go during rush hour, no matter how they’re getting there."
“We actually took the word ‘race’ out on purpose, because we want to highlight more the challenge of getting around the city,” said Stacy Thompson, deputy director of the LivableStreets Alliance, an organization that advocates for policies that favor bikers and pedestrians as well as cars.
“The ultimate message is that it’s time for us to tear down the invisible barriers between modes in municipalities. Oftentimes there’s this really unhealthy conversation that bikes are against drivers, or pitting pedestrians against drivers,” Thompson said. “What we’re trying to say is everyone is just trying to get around, and if we prioritize people’s needs to move around Metro Boston, and we work to make our streets function better regardless of the modes people are using, we’re all going to be happier.”
“We are at, I think, an inflection point,” Thompson said. “So many groups are stepping back and saying, ‘What do we want our cities to be, and how are people going to get around five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now. They’re realizing that, today, our streets kind of aren’t working for anyone.”
“It’s real,” DeWolfe told me after the hearing. “We talk about people. We talk about elders. We talk about vulnerable users. But the point is, these are real people who are getting killed and hurt on our streets.”
“There are too many crashes, too many people who don’t feel comfortable on our streets,’’ said DeWolfe, executive director of the transit advocacy group LivableStreets Alliance. “I bike, I walk, and I drive across this city, and I don’t always feel’’ safe.
“It’s really big news and important to see the investment being made,” DeWolfe said. “It’s one thing to have an idea, but another thing to actually say that we want to put our money behind this, so this is really a great thing.”
“We know it’s not just about posting a different speed limit and all of a sudden that solves our problems,” DeWolfe said. “This also needs to come in conjunction with infrastructure changes so the street itself enforces it.”
“We, of course, believe that it’s important for people to pay their fares,” Thompson wrote. “Perhaps a better question to ask is, ‘Why aren’t people paying their fares in the first place?’ All-door payment options or off-board payment would make it easier and more efficient for people to pay their fares and help reduce the frustration people feel when they are all lined up at the front of the train trying to board and pay all at once.”
“One thing we were looking at with the survey was to get a sense of where people are traveling to and from and looking at helping with mobility for both commuting and recreation,” said Amber Christopherson of Livable Streets. “It’s designed for a duel function.”
WalkUP Roslindale, Livable Streets and Tufts University are proposing a new bicycle and pedestrian path that would let people get from the Roslindale Village T stop to Forest Hills without having to step foot on Washington Street.
"LivableStreets Executive Director Jackie DeWolfe wrote in an email that bikers in the city are excited for the upcoming construction, calling it a big victory for the 100,000 people who travel on Commonwealth Avenue."
“We’re planning for so far out,” says Jackie DeWolfe, executive director of the Livable Streets Alliance, “that we really don’t know what the world is going to look like in another five or 10 years.”
"I met him along with Stacy Thompson, deputy director with LivableStreets Alliance, a group that seeks to balance walking, biking, and public transport with cars. She herself doesn’t cycle in Boston though; she doesn’t think it’s safe enough.
“And I’m clear about that, because I’m working to make it safe enough to feel comfortable enough to bike,” said Thompson.
In the chicken and egg equation, Thompson said you need to build infrastructure before you get more cyclists."
"Stacy Thompson, deputy director of LivableStreets, said Vision Zero Boston’s mission resonates with residents because it lacks complexity.“What is really compelling about Vision Zero is that the vision is simple, that there are zero fatalities on our streets — period,” Thompson said. “So what that means is that we are focused on making our city safer.”