WalkBoston/EOPSS Pedestrian Safety Initiative

WalkBoston/EOPSS Pedestrian Safety Initiative

The WalkBoston/EOPSS Pedestrian Safety Planning Initiative builds municipal staff understanding and awareness of the components of a safe walking environment. The initiative addresses walking safety concerns in Massachusetts communities with high pedestrian crash rates, with the goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries in the Commonwealth. Communities selected for participation in the initiative include: Barnstable, Chelsea, Chicopee, Framingham, Leominster, Lowell, Peabody, Randolph, Saugus, Springfield, and Yarmouth.

Cities and towns participating in the Pedestrian Safety Planning Initiative have used the results to prioritize pedestrian improvements, negotiate infrastructure fixes into development approvals, and apply for funding sources, such as from the MassDOT’s Complete Streets Funding Program.

WalkBoston conducts a walk audit focused on high pedestrian crash locations.  A walk audit provides on-street, tangible learning opportunities for diverse groups of municipal staff, including police, as well as residents and other community-based groups. During the audit, we assess pedestrian infrastructure conditions and recommend built environment improvements that promote safety. Walk audits are also an effective means to build local constituencies for pedestrian safety efforts that include increased education and awareness opportunities for all road users, and greater attention to safety in local roadway design and maintenance efforts.

Participation in this EOPSS/WalkBoston Initiative has increased the awareness and readiness of municipal staff to adopt and implement complete streets policies and designs that will reduce fatal and injury crashes for all road users (including pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists) as called for under MassDOT’s Complete Streets Funding Program.

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