Virtual StreetTalk Series

In these uncertain times, one thing is certain - transportation is more important than ever.

In partnership with the WGBH Forum Network, LivableStreets hosted a four-part virtual StreetTalk series focused on our streets, our transportation system, and the future of mobility.

Each StreetTalk featured a discussion with guest speakers followed by ample time for Q&A with the audience. Audience members had the opportunity to submit questions in advance, and there were also opportunities to ask questions during the event.

The dates and topics for the StreetTalks were:

  • From the Beltway to the Bay State: How will the Federal response to COVID-19 impact our streets and what can you do about it? (4/22/20)
  • Walk This Way: How do we keep people healthy and safe on our streets? (4/29/20)
  • Keep Transit Moving: How to keep transit workers and riders safe now, and in the future? (5/6/20)
  • Transportation and Housing: What will make communities resilient in the future? (5/13/20)

Please read on for more information on each StreetTalk.


StreetTalk: Housing, Density, and Transit

Wednesday, May 13th at 6pm

What’s the future of density, housing & transit during, and post COVID19?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its spread across the globe, density and public transit have been blamed as unsafe and a factor in the spread of coronavirus. 

The pandemic is illuminating what we already know - density in and of itself isn’t what makes communities vulnerable, it's the kind of density and the way it impacts how people live. As Massachusetts looks toward opening parts of the economy in the coming weeks and months, we need to focus on what will make our communities healthy with a safe transit system, and prosperous now and in the future. 

Join us as we explore examples of dense urban areas nationally that are successfully fighting the pandemic, discuss lessons learned that can influence better infrastructure policies at the state and federal level, and discuss how the recovery plan will need to address the pre-existing housing crisis. To explore this topic in depth, we’ll be joined by Wendell Joseph from Sasaki, and Amy Dain, an independent Public Policy Research Consultant. 

Watch the recording here; view the resources linked during the talk here.


StreetTalk: Keep Transit Moving

Wednesday, May 6th at 6pm

How to keep transit workers and riders safe now, and in the future?

What does it take to keep the nation’s third largest transit system running in the midst of a global pandemic? The MBTA has been hard at work adjusting schedules and employing new cleaning procedures to protect their workers and riders, and responding to service needs. Once jobs and businesses begin to re-open, how can the MBTA continue to allow people to be safe and feel comfortable getting back on transit?

Join us as we explore what is happening globally as transit systems in other countries begin to welcome non-essential riders back and discuss what we can learn from their experiences. To explore this topic in depth, we’ll be joined by Heather Thompson from ITDP (Institute for Transportation & Development Policy) and Steven Higashide from TransitCenter.

Thank you to our event co-sponsors ITDP and TransitMatters.

Watch the recording here; view the resources linked during the talk here.


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StreetTalk: Walk This Way

Wednesday, April 29th at 6pm

How do we keep people healthy and safe on our streets?

Join us for a solutions-oriented discussion where we explore mobility challenges brought about by COVID-19 and physical distancing, and highlight practical and equitable steps we can take to keep people safe and healthy on our streets now and in the future. 

Cities in Metro Boston and across the country are taking different approaches to addressing this challenge, from opening a network of slow streets in Oakland to closing a major lakefront trail in Chicago. Our conversation will feature practitioners and advocates from across the country as we explore the pros and cons of various street interventions -- and discuss what's next for Boston.

We are excited to welcome our speakers, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Lynda Lopez of Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago, and Naomi Doerner of Nelson\Nygaard.

Thanks to our co-sponors at Active Transportation Alliance!

Watch the recording here; view the resources linked during the talk here.


StreetTalk: From the Beltway to the Bay State

Wednesday, April 22nd at 6pm

How will the Federal response to COVID-19 impact our streets and what can you do about it?

Federal transportation policy can be confusing and feel disconnected from our day-to-day lives. But the coronavirus public health crisis has jumpstarted action in Congress, which has important implications for Massachusetts transportation.

We'll be joined by Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Beth Osborne, the Director of Transportation for America, who will help us unpack how the most recent stimulus package impacts local transportation and explain what we’ll need to do to make sure future transportation and infrastructure bills get it right.

Thanks to our co-sponsors: Transportation for Massachusetts and Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

Thanks for joining us for the first event in our series! Watch the recording here and view the resources linked during the talk here.