Tag: City Hall Plaza

Thanks for coming on the 2023 Bob Sloane Walk

Thanks for coming on the 2023 Bob Sloane Walk

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us yesterday for our 2023 Bob Sloane Walk! It was a pleasure to gather with friends, learn from our speakers, and enjoy a walk (despite the rain!) through downtown, Boston Common, and the South End. WalkMassachusetts has a yearly tradition of leading a free walk each spring along a short route that includes stops where we hear from guest speakers. This was our second year hosting a springtime walk in honor of Bob Sloane, a co-founder of WalkBoston who passed away in May 2021. He was a true pioneer in walking advocacy and a pillar of our organization. We thank those who shared loving memories of him throughout the event.  

We’d also like to say a big thank you also to our wonderful speakers! Shawn Quigley, a Park Ranger with the National Park Service, gave a moving account on the history of the 54th Regiment, one of the first Black regiments of the American Civil War, at their memorial just across the street from the State House. 

Nathan Frazee, a Project Manager from Boston Parks and Recreation Department shared about the process and implementation of the Boston Common Master Plan. 

The last talk was given under the arms of ‘The Embrace’ Memorial by Brian Sandford, a designer with MASS Design Group, the nonprofit architecture firm behind the memorial’s design and realization for their client, Embrace BostonWe ended the evening with drinks at MASS Design Group’s office space in the South End while perusing their “Making the Embrace” exhibit. Thank you to MASS for welcoming us into your fantastic space.

(We even glimpsed a rainbow before the sun set.) 

Thank you for helping us honor Bob Sloane’s legacy and continue his advocacy work. Keep an eye out for more events this summer! 

Event – 2023 Bob Sloane Walk

Event – 2023 Bob Sloane Walk

Please join us on Wednesday, May 24th at 5:30pm for this year’s Bob Sloane Walk.

Sign up today!

This walk is in honor of Bob Sloane. Bob was a co-founder of WalkBoston (now WalkMassachusetts) and passed away in May 2021. He was a true pioneer in walking advocacy and a pillar of our organization, and we honor his legacy by hosting a walk each year in his name.

Each spring, we lead a free walk with a ~1-1.5 mile route that includes ~2-4 stops along the way where we hear from a guest speaker. We start or end near public transit, and usually end at a place where people can mingle/have a drink if they’d like to continue conversations.

Since this is a point-to-point walk, we encourage you to use public transportation, walk, or bike to the start so that it is easy for you to head out afterwards.


  • City Hall Plaza Redesign 
  • Park Ranger, National Park Service; Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial
  • Nathan Frazee, Project Manager, Boston Parks and Recreation Dept.; Boston Common Master Plan
  • Chris Scovel, RA, LEED; Design Director, MASS Design Group; The Embrace


We’re starting behind the Government Center MBTA Station (corner of Cambridge St and Court St), which is also where our first speaker will talk about the redesign of Boston’s City Hall Plaza. 

From there, we’ll walk along Tremont St, take a right on Beacon and get to the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial across from the State House, where a National Park Service Ranger will join us to talk about the monument and the renovations.

Next, we’ll head to the Frog Pond in the Boston Common, where we’ll be joined by Boston Parks to talk about the Boston Common Master Plan. We’ll then stop at The Embrace to hear from MASS Design Group about the memorial. From there, we will then continue on to MASS Design Group’s office in the South End where they currently have an exhibition called “Making the Embrace.” We’ll end with a drink on their outdoor deck, or invite you to check out one of the many bars and restaurants near their office in the South End!

The walk route is fully accessible. Since the Boston Common entrance at the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial only has stairs, we will use the sidewalk on Park Street toward Park St Station, and enter the Boston Common at the corner of Park and Tremont.

View the tentative route on Google Maps here.

We hope to see you on May 24th at 5:30pm. Please RSVP today!

Letter to Mayor Walsh-Massachusetts Zero Coalition

Letter to Mayor Walsh-Massachusetts Zero Coalition

May 17, 2017

Mayor Martin Walsh
City Hall
Boston, MA 02201

Re: Vision Zero

Dear Mayor Walsh:

When you announced the Vision Zero Action Plan in December 2015, we were proud to be your constituents. You demonstrated leadership when you stated:

“We know how to build safer streets. We know how to protect our most vulnerable road users, who are suffering disproportionately because of speeding traffic and distracted drivers. With this Action Plan, I am saying it’s time to act. It’s time to commit to eliminating fatal and serious traffic crashes from our daily experience.”

Which is why we were dismayed by your comments Wednesday afternoon on WGBH Radio.

On behalf of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition we invite you to work with us to fully fund and implement Vision Zero in Boston. We ask that you join us on Friday morning at 8 AM for a moment of silence for victims of traffic violence on City Hall Plaza. On behalf of those victims, we also ask that you apologize for the comments you made on the air.

Our streets are in crisis.

In 2016, fifteen people died while walking on Boston’s streets; a record-­‐breaking high for pedestrian fatalities. We are on track to see even higher numbers in 2017. Crashes overall are up. On average, at least two to three people walking are hit in a crash that results in an EMT call every day.

We need action from you and your administration, not victim-­‐blaming. When you said on the air, “Pedestrians need to put their head up when they’re walking down the street, take your headphones off … you’ve got to understand, cars are going to hit you,” you were reiterating a narrative that doesn’t stand up to the crash data your administration collects.

Most of the people killed while walking were children or older adults. In 2016, of the 10 pedestrian victims whose ages we know, four were older than 60 and two were younger than 3 years old.

This Coalition and your constituents look to you for action.

A week ago, hundreds of people attended the City Council’s FY18 budget hearing for the Boston Transportation Department to call for increased resources to make streets safer for everyone. After 2 the hours of questions from the council and public testimony, it’s clear from all sides -­‐ Boston is falling behind.

In your interview with WGBH, you said that the city is doing “everything we can,” but we know Boston is being eclipsed by peer cities in both resources and implementation. The City of New York spends about $20 per person on Vision Zero annually, and San Francisco spends $75 per person annually. Both cities have seen declines in overall traffic fatalities despite a troubling rise in fatal crashes nationwide. Boston is spending less than $5 per person, this is not enough.

Forty-­seven neighborhood groups applied for Neighborhood Slow Streets, a signature program of Boston’s Vision Zero initiative. Your FY18 budget recommendation only provides resources to implement two to three in the coming year.

At the current rate of implementation it will take more than 20 years to respond to just the first round of applications. Safety should not be a privilege afforded to only some Boston neighborhoods.

We recognize that there are many competing budget priorities and that rapid change on our streets will cost money. This year we suggest drawing on the parking meter fund. In the long term, we are here to work with you to diversify and increase the revenue streams available for transportation, for example through increased parking revenues.

Simply put, the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition, and the thousands of people we represent, feel strongly that the 2018 transportation budget as currently proposed is insufficient to reduce the number of fatalities and serious crashes on our streets.

We hope you will take this opportunity to recommit to leading Boston as a Vision Zero city.

Thank You,

Vision Zero Coalition

CC: Boston City Council
Chief of Streets Chris Osgood
Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca
Chief of Staff Dan Koh