Tag: Boston 2024

Comment on 2024 Olympic Games

Comment on 2024 Olympic Games

January 26, 2015

A Walkable Olympics

Boston 2024 has declared their intention to plan the most walkable Olympics in history. This is good news: a truly walkable Olympics will be more fun, manageable and sustainable for residents, visitors, and athletes. Done right, the long term benefits of Olympic‐related improvements for walking will make Massachusetts residents healthier, local stores and Main Streets livelier, our communities greener and our streets more accessible for all.

Neither Massachusetts nor Boston has ever had a grand scheme for investing in and improving walking. Creating the bid for the Olympics presents us with that opportunity. That’s why, as we start an intensive and accelerated discussion of just how the Olympics should be designed, operated and paid for, it is crucial to step back and consider how the Games can have a lasting positive impact on walking and transportation in Boston and beyond – in downtowns and neighborhoods serving all Massachusetts residents.

Let’s really plan and spend wisely on walking – from creating interconnecting paths and greenways across the city; to making new smartly‐designed walking connections to rail, subway and bus stops; to improving the nitty gritty details that make it safer and easier for everyone to cross every street. From Dorchester to Allston, from Lowell to Fall River, and from Springfield to East Boston, let’s add great sidewalks and paths to connect new sports, transit, and housing venues to neighborhoods. Let’s make sure that all our traffic signals are timed correctly for walkers, and that traffic on city streets moves at a pace that works for pedestrians.

We need to consider what will happen well before the Olympic flame is lit, and long after the last Olympic Marathon competitor crosses the finish line on Charles Street. Let’s start the conversation right away and create an Olympics Walking Advisory Group to provide an independent and focused voice for ensuring that the Games and their legacy are truly walkable.

Massachusetts is already one of the nation’s leaders in pedestrian safety, and has among the highest number of people who walk for at least some of their daily needs. Let’s seize the Olympic moment and create walking connections that will move the hordes of Olympic visitors for two weeks ‐‐ and Massachusetts residents and visitors for decades to come.