Street Talks


StreetTalks are LivableStreets’ discussion series. They are forums for learning, a time to discuss important issues and a way for us to gain feedback from our constituents.

Upcoming StreetTalks

7th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1
December 5, 2017 6-8:30pm
Old South Meetinghouse
310 Washington St, Boston, MA 02108

Save the date! Join us as we invite 10 innovative transportation tinkers and community thinkers to take the stage and share their big ideas. Don't miss it!

Cost: $15 general admission; LivableStreets members get in for FREE 

Past StreetTalks 

StreetTalk: Cities on the Move
6th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1 
StreetTalk: Making Buses Sexy 
5th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1 
StreetTalk: Connecting Our Urban Greenways 


May 2017
StreetTalk: Cities on the Move

Better_Buses_StreetTalk_2017.pngWe all know our cities are changing fast. How are local agencies rising to the challenge to make sure we all keep moving? 

Together with NACTO and TransitCenter, we brought national transportation leaders to Boston to learn how cities across the US are rethinking their streets to boost reliable and safe travel for people on foot, buses, and bikes.



Featured Speakers

Sean Quinn, Senior Director, Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, NYC DOT


Sean has over ten years of pedestrian and bicycle planning, design, and implementation experience in New York and New Jersey. Over the past nine years at NYC DOT he has worked on projects which redesigned city streets with an eye toward safety, mobility, and economic development.  In his current role he oversees a staff of planners, engineers, and urban designers all working toward improving the bicycle and pedestrian network throughout the city as well as enhancing the public realm through the development of plazas and streetscape amenities.  Sean graduated from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University in 2007 with a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning.

Bill Bryant, Service Development Manager, King County Metro Transit


Bill Bryant is manager of Service Development at King County Metro Transit, which is the primary provider of public transportation in Seattle, Bellevue, and numerous other jurisdictions as well as in unincorporated King County.  His responsibilities include overseeing Metro’s Market Development, Scheduling, Transit Route Facilities, Speed & Reliability, and Service Planning teams. Prior to joining Metro Transit in July 2016, Bryant managed transit projects, programs, service, and policies for the Seattle Department of Transportation beginning in 2007. In a previous stint at Metro, Bryant served as a planner, project manager, and liaison to regional transit provider Sound Transit between 1998 and 2007. King County Metro Transit is the seventh largest transit provider in the United States as of 2016 and serves residents of the beautiful Puget Sound area of Washington with well over 400,000 bus rides per weekday.

Sean Kennedy, Transit Planning Manager, SFMTA


Sean is the Transit Planning Manager at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. He is responsible for implementing Muni Forward capital projects that improve service reliability, reduce transit travel times and enhance pedestrian safety, while also overseeing the day-to-day service planning functions for Muni. Sean and his team are in the process of implementing 36 miles of transit priority and pedestrian safety improvements and planning for another 30.During his time at SFMTA, Sean has overseen a 10% increase in transit service, accounting for over 330,000 additional annualized service hours, initiated four new routes and launched the Muni Rapid network. These efforts have reduced crowding on the Rapid network by 26% and increased on time performance to 80% on some lines. Sean has been at SFMTA for almost 5 years.

Tegin Teich Bennett, Transportation Planner, Cambridge Community Development 

Tegin_Teich_Bennett_headshot.jpgTegin Teich Bennett is a sustainable transportation planner with almost ten years of experience in the public and private sectors. After a brief career in anthropology and philanthropic consulting, Tegin received her Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in both City Planning and Transportation with a focus on sustainable transportation policy in developing cities. She worked for a consulting firm in Boston for six years on complete streets design projects, transit and transportation technology planning and implementation, international bus rapid transit operations planning, micro simulation modeling, and bicycle and pedestrian planning. In 2014, she became a transportation planner for the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she manages a transit planning program, participates in regional planning initiatives, and manages local corridor design projects. She is currently Chair of the Regional Transportation Advisory Council. She served on the board of Young Professionals in Transportation for four years and has also been on the Cambridge and Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committees.

Stacy Thompson, Executive Director, LivableStreets Alliance


Stacy is the Executive Director of LivableStreets Alliance, a non-profit advocating for innovative and equitable transportation solutions that provide safe, affordable and enjoyable options benefiting all people in Metro Boston. Stacy oversees LivableStreets’ programs including Vision Zero and the Emerald Network and is responsible for ensuring overall programmatic and operational excellence for the organization. Previously Stacy served as the Director of Events & Sponsorship at Ceres, where she developed the strategy focus, content, and communications for Ceres' major events. She also worked for the Office for Peace and Justice at the Archdiocese of Chicago where she collaborated with community partners to organize educational forums and supported a broad array of social justice initiatives. She has a Master of Arts in Social Justice from Loyola University, Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Education from Saint Vincent College. 



6th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1 (December 2016)

23721545676_4b4a908297_z_(1).jpgOver 150 people attended the 6th Annual StreetTalk at Old South Meetinghouse. Highlights included the MA Vision Zero Coalition's release of their Vision Zero Progress Report for Boston, and 10 short-form presentations highlighting design, strategy, justice, and real stories that are helping to improve the streets in Metro Boston for everyone.


Featured Speakers

Kris Carter, Co-Chair, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics

Who is Boston's Safest Driver?


Kris Carter is a non-practicing engineer, an optimistic urban planner, and a self-taught filmmaker. New Urban Mechanics is the City of Boston's civic innovation team, working collaboratively with research institutions, civic entrepreneurs, and government agencies to explore and prototype what's new and next in cities. The New Urban Mechanics team works collaboratively across sectors to find human-centered solutions. Prior to leading the Mechanics, Kris managed the City's bicycle program, served as an advisor to Mayor on the creation of the Boston Innovation District, and helped operationalize One Fund Boston in response to the Marathon bombings. He spent half a decade running youth development programs, is an AmeriCorps alum, and has yet to find a job more difficult than raising twins. ​ 


Marc Ebuña, Co-Founder & President, TransitMatters

Saturday NightBus Fever: Transit All Night Long and a Vision for the Future


Marc Ebuña is the co-founder and president of TransitMatters, a nonprofit dedicated to improving transit in Greater Boston by offering new perspectives, uniting transit advocates, educating riders and promoting critical analysis of mobility issues. A self-professed Leslie Knope of transit, Marc enjoys geeking out over meeting transport celebrities and getting knee-deep in leading TransitMatter's social media and advocacy campaigns, like Overnight Bus Service. You may have heard him on TransitMatter's podcast


Tamika R. Francis, Community Engagement Manager, Let's Get Healthy, Boston!

Michelle Cook, Owner, Operation B Fit - Holistic Fitness, Health & Wellness Company 

Making Moves: The Intersection of Biking and Community Health

head_shot.jpgTamika Francis is the Community Engagement Manager, for the Let’s Get Healthy, Boston! (LGHB), a 3 year U.S Centers forDisease Control and Prevention’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health program to support implementation of voluntary policy and systems changes to encourage healthy choices in physical activity, nutrition and smoke-free housing. Her lived experiences, coupled with work in multi-sectors, led to her role as the engagement strategist, and key architect behind LGHB’s Healthy Community Champion & Ambassador programs - a partnership between the Boston Alliance for Community Health and the Boston Public Health Commission. She has strong Caribbean heritage, and has lived or worked on several islands on bilateral international development projects funded by the World Bank, USAID, and the European Union. She moved to Boston 10 years ago, where she immediately worked on various social justice issues. Tamika is driven by her curiosity and commitment to people-centered development and approaches that involve those most affected by a problem working towards a solution.

Michelle_Cook.jpgMichelle Cook is the founder of Roxbury Rides, where she encourages people in urban communities (Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan) to use biking & walking as a source of transportation and exercise. Roxbury Rides advocates for better, safer infrastructures for bicyclists and pedestrians. Through the Let’s Get Healthy Boston, Project! She became the first known Roxbury woman to become a Licensed Cycling Instructor (LCI) through the League of American Bicyclists, and served as a Spokes model and Healthy Community Ambassador for the city wide I Bike Boston campaign, and Moderator/Shero for the Boston Chapter of Black Girls Do Bike. This past summer she assisted Boston Bikes in their community process to select new Hubway sites across Roxbury and Dorchester.


Stas Gayshan, Founder, CIC Boston, and Managing Director, Cambridge Innovation Center

How Better Transit Will Lead Tomorrow's Economy


Stas Gayshan is a Managing Director at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) and the founder of CIC Boston. Stas is currently leading the development of CIC projects in Miami, Florida, Warsaw, Poland, and beyond, connecting innovators across boundaries and borders. Stas Gayshan joined CIC in early 2014. Previously, Stas was the Founder & CEO of Space with a Soul, a 20,000 square foot coworking space in Boston’s Innovation District. Stas is an entrepreneur and an attorney, and he worked in Democratic political campaigns at various levels prior to starting Space with a Soul. In his political work, Stas focused on the intersection of collaboration, technology and activism. Stas has been recognized by the Boston Globe as one of the Most Innovative People in Massachusetts Business and by CJP as one of Boston’s most influential young leaders. He holds leadership positions in several philanthropic and nonprofit organizations active in the Greater Boston area. Stas has a B.A. and J.D. from Boston College. 


Nidhi Gulati, Program Manager, Emerald Network & LivableStreets Alliance

Designing Open Spaces for Women and Children


Nidhi is the Program Manager for the Emerald Network, an initiative of LivableStreets Alliance. The Emerald Network is a vision for 200 miles of seamless greenways across the Metro Boston area, creating an urban recreation and transportation system that is safe and convenient for all. Previously, Nidhi worked as a project associate and manager at Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York City. During her three years at PPS, she worked in over 15 states and 5 countries on community-based placemaking projects, and participated in several national and  international conferences. She received her Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Malaviya National Institute of Technology in Jaipur and a Master’s in Park and Community Planning from Texas A&M University in College Station. Born and raised in India, Nidhi has also been involved with several advocacy organizations and initiatives in the global south, and has made contributions related to developmental challenges, urban issues, as well as safety and equity in the public realm.  


Nick Jackson, Director of Toole Design Group's Boston Office

Building Bike Networks Where Statistical and Perceived Safety Meet

Jackson_N_2012_sq.jpgNick Jackson is the Director of Toole Design Group’s Boston, MA office. As a senior planner, he brings over 12 years of experience in planning and designing sustainable transportation systems. Nick is highly regarded for his ability to build consensus around solutions for complex urban transportation problems. He recently led a project team of planners, engineers and architects to craft comprehensive new street design guidelines for the City of Boston – a first in that city’s history. Nick’s also played key roles in the emergence of Chicago and Boston as top-rated bicycling cities. Prior to joining Toole Design Group, Nick served as Deputy Director of the Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago, IL. A regular bike commuter, Nick has lived car-free for 10 years and also enjoys sailing, photography and graphic design.


Alex Krieger, Principal, NBBJ

Completing and Renewing the Emerald Necklace

Alex_Krieger-3283_720x405.jpgAlex Krieger has combined a career of teaching and practice, dedicating himself in both to improving the quality of place and life in our major urban areas. Alex is the founding Principal of Chan Krieger Sieniewicz which merged with NBBJ in 2009. He is a Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he has taught since 1977. During his tenure he has served as Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Director of the Urban Design Program, and Associate Chairman of the Department of Architecture. Alex is a frequent advisor to mayors and their planning staffs, and serves on a number of boards and commissions. Among these: Director of the NEA's Mayor's Institute in City Design; Boston Civic Design Commission; Providence Capital Center Commission; and the New England Holocaust Memorial committee. In September 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Alex to serve on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.


Kevin Lee, PE, PTOE, Associate Engineer, Kittelson & Associates, Inc

Transit Priority: Maximizing Efficiency and Effectiveness on the Route

KevinLee_Kittelson_AssociatesInc-cropped.jpgKevin is an Associate Engineer at Kittelson & Associate focusing on multimodal operations. He has led planning, design, and implementation projects for transit preferential treatments taking a balanced approach for safe, effective, and efficient solutions. He is currently leading several projects implementing Transit Signal Priority at over 200 intersections across six agencies within the DC region. Kevin graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Civil Engineering. He is the chair of the Multimodal Systems subcommittee under the TRB Traffic Signal Systems Committee. 

Wilnelia Rivera
, Urban Planner & Project Management Consultant, BRT Project Manager

Becoming a Just Sustainable City: The Case for Boston


Wilnelia is an impact-driven urban planner and project management professional working at the intersection of people, planning, and politics. As a former organizer, political director and senior manager, she has a broad range of experience working with urban public sector institutions (small to mid-sized nonprofits, labor unions, and local and state government) in addition to political and social justice organizations. Wilnelia holds both a B.A. in International Relations and Women's Studies and an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning from Tufts University, as well as a past Mel King Fellowship recipient at Massachusetts Institute for Technology’s Co­Lab, where she focused on public policy research related to urban politics, community planning, and sustainable community economic development. 


Chris Zegras, Associate Professor, Transportation & Urban Planning, MIT

CoAXS: How Collaborative Engagement Tools Can Change Transit Planning 

Zegras_Image_UnevenMobilities.jpgChris Zegras is Associate Professor of Transportation and Urban Planning at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). He teaches, leads large-scale research, and consults on a range of topics, from data collection to behavioral analysis, integrated land use transportation planning and modeling, and project and policy analysis. He is Lead Principal Investigator for the Future Urban Mobility Interdisciplinary Research Group under the Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). He is also an Executive Board member of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Centre of Excellence. At MIT, he leads the Mobility Futures Collaborative, a research group that leverages analog and digital data collection and analysis tools to mobilize a collective intelligence towards improved mobility conditions in a range of contexts around the world. Before becoming a faculty member at DUSP, he worked at MIT’s Laboratory for Energy and the Environment and the International Institute for Energy Conservation. He lives in Cambridgeport.

StreetTalk: Making Buses Sexy (October 2016)

Better_Bus.jpgStreetTalks are back and we are talking about buses! Yep, buses. LivableStreets believes that Metro Boston's buses can and should be better. Imagine saving two weeks on your commute every year . . . Dedicated bus lanes, signal priority, and other techniques that prioritize people on buses are essential ingredients to making this a reality. 

Join us for a conversation with transportation experts on improvements already being planned for our bus system as well as an exploration of bus innovations being implemented globally. 


Featured Speakers

DBS-head.jpgDavid Block-Schachter is the Chief Technology Officer at the MBTA and focuses his efforts on applications that improve the customer experience for all MBTA riders.  He was formerly the Chief Scientist and CTO at Bridj, and has held positions as the Director of Research and Analysis at the MBTA and as a Research Associate at MIT.  David has a Bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a Master of City Planning, a Master of Science in Transportation and a Ph.D from MIT.  He is a regular rider of the 69 bus, and the Green and Red Lines. 

Mary_headshot.jpgMary Skelton Roberts is a senior program officer for Climate, focusing on transportation and land use—two critical levers for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Prior to joining Barr in 2009, Mary was a consultant specializing in problem-solving and dispute resolution of complex corporate, environmental, and public-policy issues. She currently serves on the national boards of Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. Mary holds a master’s degree in city planning with concentrations in consensus-building and environmental policy and planning from MIT. She also holds mediation and facilitation accreditations from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and from the Center for Dispute Resolution in London, England, where she served as lead faculty. 

Stacy_Thompson-headshot-Feb2015.pngStacy Thompson (moderator) is the Executive Director of LivableStreets Alliance, a non-profit advocating for innovative and equitable transportation solutions that provide safe, affordable and enjoyable options benefiting all people in Metro Boston. Stacy oversees LivableStreets’ programs including Vision Zero and the Emerald Network and is responsible for ensuring overall programatic and operational excellence for the organization. Previously Stacy served as the Director of Events & Sponsorship at Ceres, where she developed the strategy focus, content, and communications for Ceres' major events. She also worked for the Office for Peace and Justice at the Archdiocese of Chicago where she collaborated with community partners to organize educational forums and supported a broad array of social justice initiatives. She has a Master of Arts in Social Justice from Loyola University, Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Education from Saint Vincent College. 

TibbitsNutt_Headshot.pngMonica G. Tibbits-Nutt, AICP, LEED AP BD+C is the Executive Director of the 128 Business Council. Working in regional planning and transportation, Monica’s areas of specialty are transportation planning, urban design, and sustainability. Her work experience includes public sector transit planning at both the MBTA Advisory Board and as Executive Director of TransitWorks. She received a Masters of City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University in Columbus and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Southern Indiana. She serves on the MassDOT Board of Directors and the Fiscal and Management Control Board that currently oversees the MBTA. She is also a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of the MAPC serving on the Legislative Committee, as well as former Vice-Chair of the RTAC. She is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design & Construction with the U.S. Green Building Council.

5th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1 

10-in-1_Alice.jpgIn December 2015, over 200 advocates, city officials, policy makers and constituents packed Old South Meeting House for our annual 10-in-1 StreetTalk event.  

Building on the Meeting House’s long tradition of hosting spirited, thought-provoking discussions, the event featured 10 short form presentations all designed to highlight innovative ideas to transform our streets. From making buses sexy to treating streets like coloring books to make them safer, each speaker shared examples of how they are actively working to transform the streets of Metro Boston, making our city a better place to live, work and play.

A special highlight from the evening was the release of the City of Boston's Vision Zero Action Plan, announced by Mayor Walsh via video message. Members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition, including LivableStreets, provided feedback and recommendations to the city's task force during the planning process. 


Featured Speakers (click title to view presentation)

Alice Brown, Project Manager, GoBoston 2030:

GoBoston 2030: Framing new transportation conversations

Kris Carter, Co-Chair, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics: 

Passive data, active science: An experimental approach to improving the operation of our streets

Mark Chase, Urban Transportation Consultant, Tufts University:

Neighborways: Creating low stress street networks for kids & kids at heart

Jackie Douglas, Executive Director, LivableStreets Alliance:

Making Buses Sexy

Scott Hamwey, Manager of Long-range Planning, MassDOT: 

Incorporating today's emerging trends into a 2040 strategic vision for the MBTA

Tommy Hayes, Transportation Policy Manager, Lyft:

Safe Streets for All: How Lyft can help cities advance the goals of Vision Zero

Matt Lawlor, Partner, Robinson + Cole:

Forging a New Path: Roslindale Gateway to the Arboretum

Russ Lopez, Senior Research Associate, Dukakis Center for Urban and Metropolitan Policy @Northeastern University:

How to stop a highway and accomplish other impossible feats of strength

Connor McKay, Data Scientist, City of Boston, Citywide Analytics Team: 

Passive data, active science: An experimental approach to improving the operation of our streets

Ari Ofsevit, Lead Advocate, I-90:

Rethinking the 1-90 Allston Interchange: A vision for what’s possible

Vivian Ortiz, Project Coordinator for Mattapan, Let's Get Healthy, Boston! Initiative:

Invisible to Whom? Age, race and place take a ride


 StreetTalk: Connecting Our Urban Greenways 


In November 2015, we invited a panel of experts to grapple with some big questions while engaging audience members in discussion around the Emerald Network—a vision for 200 miles of seamless shared-use paths across the Metro Boston area. With more than 100 miles of the network already built, and 30 miles in design or construction—the remaining 70 miles is a significant, but not impossible gap to fill. What role could the Emerald Network play in not only increasing mobility options for people in the Metro area, but also tackling challenges like economic development, equity, climate change and public health in urban Boston? How do we build it? What are the challenges? How do we get there? By proactively gathering people at all levels of advocacy and expertise, our StreetTalks created an important forum for learning, sharing and discussion. 

Featured Speakers 

Julia Africa  MdesS, MAOM, Program Leader: Nature, Health, & the Built Environment, Harvard School of Public Health

Cheri Ruane  RLA, Vice President, Spurr Design Studio, President, BSLA

Matt Kiefer  Co-Founder of Emerald Network Initiative, Land Use Attorney, Goulston and Storrs







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