A call to support the federal Complete Streets Bill sponsored by Sen. Markey

As Streetsblog NYC is reporting, our own Senator Ed Markey is co-sponsoring a bill at the federal level with Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) that would require at least 5% of all federal highway funds be devoted to complete streets projects nationwide. While many places are already using more than that level of their federal funding for projects that benefit all road users, not just drivers of motor vehicles, the need for shifting funding continues to be overwhelming, especially in light of the rapid increase in pedestrian fatalities on the nation’s streets and roads since 2009.

For those not already familiar with the concept of “complete streets,” here’s a handy definition and a bit of explanation from our friends at Smart Growth America:

Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations.

Creating Complete Streets means transportation agencies must change their approach to community roads. By adopting a Complete Streets policy, communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists—making your town a better place to live.

To this end, we here at WalkUP Roslindale call on our federal elected officials – Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) and Stephen Lynch (MA-8) – to co-sponsor the bill along with Senator Markey because our streets and roads can and must be made much safer for all users.

West Rox Walks Letter to BTD re Centre and Spring Streets

Our friends and fellow travelers at West Rox Walks recently completed a Walk Audit documenting pedestrian safety concerns in the neighborhood, particularly along the Centre Street Corridor. To further their efforts to make West Roxbury a more walkable neighborhood, they recently sent a letter to Chris Osgood, the Chief of the Streets, Transportation, and Sanitation for the City of Boston, seeking a major street redesign that would consider safety for all street users. WalkUP Roslindale proudly joined this letter, as did many other Boston-area organizations that promote walkability as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety. The full letter is reproduced below.


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June 7, 2019

By Electronic Mail Only (chris.osgood@nullboston.gov)
Boston Transportation Department
1 City Hall Square, Room 721
Boston, MA 02201-2043

Attention: Chris Osgood, Chief of the Streets, Transportation, and Sanitation

Dear Mr. Osgood:

In 2018, the United States saw the largest number of pedestrians killed (6,227) in motor vehicle crashes in nearly 30 years. West Roxbury residents have experienced this trend firsthand with, in aggregate, one car crash every six weeks involving a person walking or riding a bicycle on Centre and Spring Streets over the past four years. Notably, these incidents include two serious crashes involving pedestrians walking across Centre Street at the intersection with Hastings Street. The crashes resulted in one severe traumatic brain injury in November 2015 and one fatality inFebruary 2019. Additionally, there have been 11 car crashes with cyclists.

These safety concerns were also reported by West Roxbury Main Streets in their 2016 Imagine West Roxbury Report. A survey of 702 residents found that nearly 3 in 4 respondents identified the street design as a major barrier to walkability and access to local businesses, and nearly 200 residents requested improvements to cyclist and pedestrian safety, traffic calming, and better parking. We are writing to request your support for the Go Boston 2030 top priority project to create walk- and bike-friendly main streets via the following changes to Centre and Spring Streets in West Roxbury: 1) traffic lane reduction, 2) improved crosswalks, and 3) addition of protected bicycle lanes.

A “road diet” on Centre and Spring Streets would help decrease motor vehicle travel speeds to posted speed limits, which significantly reduces the risk of severe injury to pedestrians struck by vehicles and would likely decrease crosswalk fatalities. Crosswalk improvements recommended include: high-visibility crosswalk markings, parking restrictions on crosswalk approach, adequate nighttime lighting, advance yield here to and stop signs, curb extensions, and pedestrian hybrid beacons. Finally, Better Bike Lanes would increase access to the Main Streets district, improve safety for all, and are widely supported by over 80% of local businesses.

We eagerly await the proposal of a major street redesign, which includes safety for all street users, at the upcoming meeting on June 20, 2019.

Sincerely,

William Vincent, West Rox Walks
Jacob Robinson, West Roxbury Main Streets
Ben Wetherill, West Roxbury Bicycle Chapter
Brendan Kearney, WalkBoston
Matthew Lawlor, WalkUP Roslindale
Becca Wolfson, Boston Cyclists Union
Rachel Poliner, Progressive WRox/Roz
Ambar Johnson, Liveable Streets
Alan Wright, RozzieBikes

Copy to:

Gregory Rooney, Commissioner, Property Management
Jack Duggan, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services
Matt O’Malley, District 6 City Councilor
Michelle Wu, At-Large City Councilor
Althea Garrison, At-Large City Councilor
Michael F. Flaherty, At-Large City Councilor
Annissa Essaibi-George, At-Large City Councilor

West Roxbury Walk Audit Complete

West Roxbury Walk Audit Route

Hot off the presses, our friends over at West Rox Walks just released the results of the first ever Walk Roxbury Walk Audit, highlighting aspects of Centre Street most in need of pedestrian safety improvements. We welcome our neighbors to the walkability club. Many who live in Roslindale work and shop and West Roxbury, and vice-versa, and thus we care deeply about improving walking conditions there. Be sure to follow West Rox Walks on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

The report’s key recommendations are 1) decrease the speed of vehicular traffic, 2) improve crosswalk safety, 3) add protected bike lanes, and 4) conduct studies of the business section between Knoll and Weld Streets and of the rotary by Holy Name. Stay tuned for next steps!

*** UPDATED *** WalkUP Roslindale Snow Clearance Collaborative – Session 3 – ACTIVATED for 4 March 2019

This one seems to have been more along the lines of 10-12″ (25-30cm). This morning’s locations are done (thanks!). Here are the ones for this afternoon:

HP Avenue/Cummins Highway (NE corner) – Monday, 4 March 2019, 2:00 pm (Organizer: Nick Ward).

Washington Street/Cornell Street – Monday, 4 March 2019, 5:00 pm (Organizer: Sarah Kurpiel Lee)

Washington Street/Blue Ledge – Monday, 4 March 2019, 5:00 pm (Organizer: Rob Orthman)

Participation Guidelines – Bring your own equipment (shovels, spades) and materials (ice melt) if you feel healthy and up to it. Find the organizers at the above locations at the stipulated dates/times and make sure to give them your name and email address so we can log you in for RVMS Rozzie Bucks for taking part. Thanks!!!

WalkUP Roslindale Snow Clearance Collaborative is ON – See below re dates/times/locations [UPDATE RE CUMMINS/HP AV.]

With 4″ (10cm) + of fluffy snow having fallen with this storm, we are hereby activating the Collaborative. Note the principal locations/organizers/dates/times below. Thanks!

Washington & Cornell Streets – Friday, 1 March 2019, 12:00 pm (Organizer: Sarah Kurpiel Lee)

Roslindale Community Center (Washington & Cummins) – Friday, 1 March 2019, 7:00 am (Organizer: Steve Gag)

Hyde Park Avenue/Cummins Highway – Thursday, 28 February 2019, 12:30 pm (Organizer: Nick Ward)

Walter & South Streets (front of Green T) – Friday, 1 March 2019, 7:00 am (Organizer: Matt Lawlor)

Participation Guidelines – Bring your own equipment (shovels, spades) and materials (ice melt) if you feel healthy and up to it. Find the organizers at the above locations at the stipulated dates/times and make sure to give them your name and email address so we can log you in for RVMS Rozzie Bucks for taking part. Thanks!!!

Pedestrian Safety Meeting in West Roxbury this Wednesday, February 27

This Wednesday, February 27, 2019, elected officials will hold a public meeting to discuss ways to improve road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in West Roxbury. Sponsors of the meeting include City Councilor Matt O’Malley, the Boston Police Department, Senator Mike Rush, Representative Ed Coppinger, Chief of Streets Chris Osgood, the Mayor’s Office, and the Boston Transportation Department.

The meeting comes after two pedestrian fatalities in West Roxbury over the last four months, one on Washington Street in November, and one on Centre Street in February. We urge you to speak up this week for traffic calming measures that also make the roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians. Details of the meeting below; please spread the word:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7-8:30pm
Boston Lodge of Elks #10
248 Spring St
West Roxbury

WalkUP Roslindale Snow Clearance Collaborative – POSSIBLE ACTIVATION 12-13 Feb 2019 – STAY TUNED HERE.

Depending on snowfall amounts and temperatures this afternoon/evening/overnight, we may be activating the Collaborative. Stay tuned here and note the principal locations/organizers below. We’ll also broadcast any details on our twitter feed and you can sign up to be contacted (including by text message) on our Snow Clearance page. Thanks!

Washington & Blue Ledge Streets – Rob Orthman

Washington & Cornell Streets – Sarah Kurpiel Lee

Roslindale Community Center (Washington & Cummins) – Steve Gag

Hyde Park Avenue/Cummins Highway – Nick Ward

Walter & South Streets (front of Green T) – Matt Lawlor

Participation Guidelines – Bring your own equipment (shovels, spades) and materials (ice melt) if you feel healthy and up to it. Find the organizers at the above locations at the stipulated time(s) and make sure to give them your name and email address so we can log you in for RVMS Rozzie Bucks for taking part. Thanks!!!

ATTENTION: WalkUP Roslindale Snow Collaborative In Effect TODAY (20 January 2019)

Enough snow has fallen and temperatures look like they won’t get high enough to have warm enough rain that will wash it away, so we are a GO today at the following locations at the following times with the following organizers:

1: 00 pm

Washington & Blue Ledge Streets – Rob Orthman

Washington & Cornell Streets – Sarah Kurpiel Lee

2:00 pm

Roslindale Community Center (Washington & Cummins) – Steve Gag

Hyde Park Avenue/Cummins Highway – Matt Lawlor and Nick Ward

Participation Guidelines – Bring your own equipment (shovels, spades) and materials (ice melt) if you feel healthy and up to it. Find the captains at the above locations at the above times and make sure to give them your name and email address so we can send you the Rozzie Bucks for taking part. The snow is heavy but there thankfully isn’t too much of it. An hour should do it. Thanks!!!