In The News

PRI's The World   |  Feb 23, 2016   |  By Jason Margolis
Many Americans want to behave more Swedish on the road (audio at link) I spoke with Thompson and Kearney at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street, a notoriously dangerous spot. A young surgeon was killed on a bicycle here last year when a truck turned into her. The city made some quick changes like placing flexible posts in the ground to mark off the bike lane. Kearney says the city can do more, like changing the timing on traffic signals. “There are no leading pedestrian indicators, meaning the walk signal comes on in advance of the traffic, which would basically let people walking and biking be halfway out in the intersection, give more visibility to any turning vehicles,” said Kearney, who was frustrated it hasn’t happened yet. Read More
Boston Globe   |  Nov 2, 2015   |  By Elizabeth Cooney
Survival Guide for running and biking in the dark With so many users sharing the roads in the dark, drivers and exercisers can each be tempted to blame the other. Like the vision scientists, Brendan Kearney, communications manager for the nonprofit WalkBoston, takes no sides, but he offers practical advice to runners as they leave the relative safety of sidewalks. “Just make sure as you approach the crosswalk that you see that [drivers] acknowledge you have the right of way,” he said. “You have much more to lose than the cars. They have airbags and you don’t.” Read More
The Herald News   |  Oct 2, 2015   |  By Eric Andrade
Guest Opinion: The importance of pedestrian advocacy in Fall River One of the main components of the grant was to recruit senior “champions.” These champions would go out, and, with training from WalkBoston, a statewide pedestrian advocacy group, conduct walk audits of various areas of the city. Six walk audits were conducted, and through this effort, the city started painting more noticeable striped crosswalks. They also installed in-street crosswalk signs, many of them specifically requested at dangerous intersections. Read More
Universal Hub   |  Jul 21, 2015   |  By Shelagh Dolan
Imagine a Boston with just a fifth as many cars 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. "We need to create corridors in parts of the city that may not have corridors that feel lively and engaged," she said. With regards to the Boston 2024 Olympics, Landman emphasized the importance of improving areas away from the venues, such as where passengers initially get on a train to go to an event. "A lot of the excitement of the venues will be because you're with other people and it's a celebratory event," she said. "What we can leave behind is what [else] is along those routes." Read More
BostInno   |  Jul 6, 2015   |  By Nick DeLuca
Redesigning This Somerville Highway Underpass Is More About Function Than Fashion "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." Read More
ArchitectureBoston Magazine   |  Jul 1, 2015   |  By Wendy Landman
Letters - On "Public/Private" (responses to Spring 2015) 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. Read More
BostInno   |  May 14, 2015   |  By Nick DeLuca
The Case For More Car-Free Zones in Downtown Boston "A unifying theme is slowing things down so it is safer for all users, reclaiming/opening alleys to connect the city more and eliminating large blocks," said Brendan Kearney, spokesperson for pedestrian advocacy group WalkBoston. Read More
Boston City Council Minutes   |  May 13, 2015   |  By City Councilor Michelle Wu
Boston City Council Official Resolution - Ann Hershfang Day Official Resolution OFFERED BY CITY COUNCILOR Michelle Wu WHEREAS: Ann Hershfang was born on May 1, 1935; and Ann and her husband Herbert purchased their home on West Rutland Square in the South End in 1965 and have been fixtures in the local community ever since; and WHEREAS: Ann and Herbert raised their two daughters, Rachel and Jennifer, in the South End and contributed greatly to the Boston Public Schools as active parents at the Rice-Bancroft School; and WHEREAS: In the 1970’s Ann became the first woman appointed to the Board of the Massachusetts Port Authority because of her transportation policy work as a member of the League of Women Voters, Ann was instrumental in defeating the proposed South-End By-Pass Road, and, while Massachusetts under-Secretary of Transportation and Construction, in causing the substituted railroad tracks to be placed underground and the creation over it of the Southwest Corridor Park; and WHEREAS: Ann has shown lifelong dedication to her neighborhood of the South End, the Southwest Corridor and the City of Boston as a community advocate, volunteer and founder and board member of WalkBoston, among many other endeavors; Be it Therefore RESOLVED: That the Boston City Council hereby expresses its congratulations and best wishes for continued success, that this Resolution be duly signed by the President of the City Council and attested to and a copy thereof transmitted by the Clerk of City of Boston; and Be It Further RESOLVED: That the Boston City Council, in meeting assembled, hereby declares May 1, 2015 ANN HERSHFANG DAY IN THE CITY OF BOSTON Read More
Belchertown Sentinel   |  May 7, 2015   |  By Aimee M. Henderson
A walking audit 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. Bankert, who has now appeared in front of the Planning Board, Board of Selectmen and Health Board in town to talk about Healthy Hampshire, talked with the volunteer walkers about why the audit was being done, as well as answered questions regarding her organization. She told them the focus group is part of a longer process focused on creating a community vision and recommendations for increasing pedestrian accessibility in the State Street/Route 202 corridor. Read More
Boston Globe   |  Apr 15, 2015   |  By Steve Annear
Bostonians answer mayor’s call for acts of kindness Mayor Martin J. Walsh encouraged residents to carry out random acts of kindness across the city Wednesday to commemorate the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings on the second anniversary of the terror attack, and inaugurate a new tradition called “One Boston Day.” For members of Walk Boston, a pedestrian advocacy group, that meant sprucing up crosswalks to make travel by foot safer for those heading to work in the morning. Brendan Kearney, Walk Boston’s communications manager, used spray chalk Wednesday to outline two faded and forgotten crosswalks on School Street, restoring their ability to usher pedestrians across the road and slow down drivers who typically barrel down the busy street. “They were almost completely faded, so we just wanted to repair the crosswalks to make them more visible for drivers, so they knew pedestrians would be crossing there,” Kearney said. Kearney said Walk Boston’s plan worked and as motorists approached the impromptu crosswalks, they pumped the brakes. Members of the group stood on the street corner holding brightly colored signs, and cheered for drivers who let pedestrians pass. “Some of the drivers gave us the thumbs-up or honked,” he said. Read More
Jamaica Plain Patch   |  Apr 13, 2015   |  By Mike Bednarsky
Boston Marathon 2015 Runner Profile: Kevin Handly, of Jamaica Plain Kevin is running in the Boston Marathon for the fifth time. Boston Marathon 2015 Runner Profile: Kevin Handly, of Jamaica Plain Name: Kevin Handly Age: 62 Profession: I am a corporate and bank regulatory attorney. Marathon experience: This will be my 5th Boston Marathon, my 8th overall. Reason for running: I run the Boston Marathon because I can, because Susan Hurley and all my other charity team running mates are doing it, because I don’t have tickets to the Red Sox game that day and because there is no better, more joyful way to celebrate living in this great city of ours. This is one of the greatest athletic events in the world and I have a chance to participate as a competitor. Charity: I’m running for the charity WalkBoston, which is dedicated to promoting pedestrian activity, safety, access and awareness throughout Massachusetts. Click here to view the charity page and/or to make a donation. Training tip: If your knees will permit it, it’s never too late to start training for the Boston Marathon. Run for a charity you believe in and you will find great meaning and great friends in your life. Bib number: 16852 Read More
Somerville Times   |  Apr 3, 2015   |  By Mayor Joseph Curtatone
Walkability creates community Somerville was honored at WalkBoston’s 25th anniversary gala last week, where I accepted a Golden Shoe Award on behalf of all our community partners who have worked tirelessly to advocate and help us build a walkable community. We are committed to making Somerville the most walkable, bikeable, transit-accessible city in the nation, and the data behind walkable neighborhoods make the benefits clear. Transportation costs for families are lower, while sales for local businesses are higher. By giving people the option of not having to use their cars to run errands, air pollution goes down while our residents’ personal health gets better as they choose to walk more. And the greatest benefit of walkability is perhaps the hardest to measure, but easiest to identify: it creates community. Read More
Bay State Banner   |  Mar 6, 2015   |  By Sandra Larson
City pursues improvements for elderly residents Many at the forum were people working for elder-serving organizations or advocating for a more accessible city overall. Wendy Landman of WalkBoston suggested the city should form a cross-department working group that includes Elder Services, the Boston Transportation Department and the Commission on Disabilities to examine crosswalk improvements, slow zones and lowered speed limits. Read More
WGBH   |  Feb 22, 2015   |  By Rupa Shenoy
Boston's Snowed-Over Sidewalks Create A Mess For Pedestrians Kearney’s point is the situation isn’t safe for the guy with the stroller, or really any pedestrians these days. Unshoveled or half-shoveled sidewalks and tall mounds of snow blocking sidewalks from intersections make difficult obstacle courses for the most able-bodied. Everyone from walkers to people in wheelchairs are forced out onto the streets, and then forced to scatter when cars appear. Read More   |  Feb 6, 2015   |  By Adam Vaccaro
Six Takeaways From Boston’s First Community Meeting on 2024 Olympic Bid Transit improvement is a hot topic. Perhaps this was exacerbated by the horrible week on the T, but many members of the audience focused on the opportunity for improved infrastructure. Davey, whose last job was as the state’s secretary of transportation, eagerly took most of those questions on. At least two people at the meeting suggested Boston 2024’s transportation plans don’t go far enough, and that the group should utilize the Olympics bid to connect North and South stations by rail—long on the wishlist of transit activists. Another person said that officials should consider working new track for the Green Line into the bid. Others spoke for the potential added water transportation should the games come, and pedestrian improvements. Davey at one point suggested that a representative from WalkBoston, which focuses on making Boston more walkable, get in touch after the meeting lest he “nerd out” for too long on the topic. Read More
The Boston Globe   |  Feb 5, 2015   |  Editorial Staff
Get it right for pedestrians after big snowfalls BOSTON PRIDES itself on being a walkable city, but if that’s to be true in the winter, City Hall needs to pay more attention to getting the pedestrian details right. With more bad weather looming, that should be one big takeaway from this winter’s first two big storms. At times when the MBTA is turning in another of its late and lamentable storm performances and driving in the city is nightmarish, foot travel is an alternative the city should work hard to enable. But there City Hall has fallen down on the job. For those on foot, the last week has proved almost as frustrating as it has been for motorists and public-transit-takers. One problem has been the uncleared median islands. Those areas, which divide traffic lanes and frequently sit between sections of crosswalk, have been neglected across wide swaths of the city. That has left walkers to make their way, single file, through a narrow, sometimes icy, sometimes slushy rut tramped down by other pedestrians. Read More
Boston Globe   |  Feb 4, 2015   |  By Megan Johnson
Northern Avenue bridge closure felt by businesses, residents For Seaport-area bars and restaurants that relied on the Old Northern Avenue Bridge for a constant stream of patrons on foot, the bridge’s shutdown in December has put something of a damper on things. Read More
Boston Globe   |  Feb 3, 2015   |  By Meghan E. Irons and Andrew Ryan
As complaints mount, Walsh firm on Patriots parade Brendan Kearney, communications manager for WalkBoston, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving walking conditions, urged parade spectators to use caution. “It’s going to be difficult for pedestrians to even walk down the sidewalks, let alone try to see over giant snow mounds,’’ Kearney said. Read More
Boston Globe   |  Feb 2, 2015   |  By Steve Annear
Snow-covered sidewalks, cleanup complicate parade plans As if it wasn’t enough to clear Boston’s streets after two major snow storms, municipal workers now must prepare a parade route to bring the champion New England Patriots on a victory ride through the city — an undertaking that has some worried about pedestrian safety. Read More
Living on Earth   |  Nov 28, 2014   |  By Jake Lucas
Building Complete Streets On a bright Tuesday morning, in Boston’s western neighborhood of Allston, a small group of locals with picket signs crowds onto a little wedge of concrete. They’re standing on Cambridge Street, right where a highway on-ramp splits off from the fiercely busy six-lane road that has been a sore point for years. Read More