Dorothea Hass

Senior Project Manager: Dorothea Hass 

Email | Phone: 617-367-9255

Dorothea Hass is a co-founder of WalkBoston, the country’s first pedestrian advocacy organization.  As a grassroots activist, she works with community groups to empower them to create walkable neighborhoods.  She believes that when people stroll through their local streets they develop the connections and familiarity that create strong neighborhood identity and hence safer and more stable neighborhoods.

Ms Hass trains residents in the principles of walkable street and sidewalk design, traffic signalization and convenient connectivity to and from homes, schools, shops and services.  With these technical skills residents can effectively advocate for walkable communities.

In the past several years, Ms. Hass has worked with over 25 community groups and cities and towns to assess their walking environments and request safer street crossings, more WALK time in traffic signals, bolder crosswalks and amenities to make streetscapes more attractive such as trash cans, benches and landscaping.

Ms. Hass’s walking advocacy has been on going for more than 20 years.  When the streets above the Central Artery (CA/T) were initially designed, she and others at WalkBoston were concerned that the proposed multiple traffic lanes, wide streets and sweeping curb radii to facilitate quick turns would not achieve the vision of the CA/T which was to re-knit the downtown with the waterfront.  Ms. Hass led coalition of environmental and neighborhood groups to press the City of Boston and the state to reduce the number and width of travel lanes above the depressed Central Artery in Boston and develop a roadway design that would slow traffic and ease crossings for walkers.  As a result of the coalition’s five year advocacy program, the surface roadways and parks /landscaped open spaces are highly accessible and walkers easily move along and across the CA/T.

In addition, Ms. Hass also established the first Safe Routes to School (SRTS) project in the Northeast.  Through walk-to-school days, safety training and limiting parent drop off/pick up zones, more children in several communities in Greater Boston are walking to school.  

Prior to co-founding WalkBoston, Ms. Hass was a partner of Boston Affiliates, an environmental consulting firm and a former staff member of the Urban Development Group of the consulting firm, Arthur D. Little. Ms. Hass has also served as a town meeting member for 11 years in her local community and has given numerous conference presentations at transportation and engineering conferences.

Ms. Hass holds a BA from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IND and a MA in Political Science from Boston University, Boston, MA.

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