Submitted by WalkBoston on Thu, 08/27/2015 - 11:04am
Low cost fixes to calm traffic and enhance safety on municipal streets and state roads can be a great place to start, as they are likely to be adopted and completed sooner than more expensive projects, and can serve as catalysts for long-term change.
Low Cost Pedestrian ImprovementsPedestrian Infrastructure: Strategies for improving pedestrian safety through low-cost traffic calming. August 2015. Prepared for Mass in Motion, an initiative of the MA Department of Public Health
WalkBoston representative Wendy Landman made the case for humanity's oldest form of transportation: our feet. Boston is already extremely walkable, she said. It has the highest walk to work score in the United States, as well as one of the lowest pedestrian fatality rates. The area for opportunity, she said, is connecting walkable places like Newbury Street and Mass Ave to less walk-friendly neighborhoods like the proposed tennis venue at Harambee Park.
The “Public/Private” issue captured ideas about many of the boundaries and mixing zones that exist in modern cities and raised some provocative questions about how we should govern and regulate space to meet the diverse needs of city dwellers. However, I hope a future issue will focus on that most significant and largest element of our communities’ shared space, comprising more than 30 percent of total land area: streets and sidewalks.
"Incorporating an arts project while creating safe transportation connections between neighborhoods is a win-win. We're hopeful that improving the street crossing on the approach to the underpass would be a priority as part of the project, too," said Brendan Kearney, Communications Manager at WalkBoston. "Drivers treat this section of the road as an extended acceleration zone before the 93 on-ramp, and don't expect people walking or biking here; re-painted lane lines and a raised crosswalk would go a long way to improving safety for everyone."
Senior citizens leant a helping hand – actually feet – last week as they participated in a walk audit of the corridor from the Town Common to the courthouse through Healthy Hampshire and funding through the Mass Councils on Aging and Mass in Motion. A group of 19 adults, aged 55+, gathered at the Belchertown Council on Aging on Friday morning to hear from Sarah Bankert, coordinator at Healthy Hampshire, and Stacey Beuttell, program director at WalkBoston.