Tag: covid-19

Help us keep up the momentum for road safety legislation – contact your state rep/senator today

Help us keep up the momentum for road safety legislation – contact your state rep/senator today



Last Friday was the deadline for the MA State Legislature to file legislation for the 2021-2022 session. Many important pieces of traffic safety legislation were filed. Will you help us keep the momentum going by asking your legislator to cosponsor important Vision Zero legislation?

This Friday, February 26th is the first deadline for legislators to cosponsor, and we need your help to ensure these bills have as many cosponsors as possible. Send an email to your state legislators (see script provided below). Be sure to cc info@visionzerocoalition.org so we can track which legislators have been contacted.

Learn more about all of the MA Vision Zero Coalition’s policy priorities here.

Thank you for taking action with us! Together we can make Massachusetts streets safer.

Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition


To: Your State Senator and Representative (if you don’t know who they are, click here)

CC: info@visionzerocoalition.org

Recommended email subject: Please co-sponsor traffic safety bills

Sample script:

Dear [your legislator],

I am writing to ask for your support on three bills the MA Vision Zero Coalition is advocating for that would make our roads safer and prevent traffic deaths: An Act to reduce traffic fatalities, An Act relative to automated enforcement, and An Act relative to work and family mobility.

[Talk about why this issue matters to you: how you get around the city, how you or someone you know has been impacted by a crash, etc]

An Act to reduce traffic fatalities (HD1888) is an improved version of the bill that was passed by the Senate last sessionThis omnibus bill would require additional mirrors, side guards, and backup cameras for certain trucks and other large vehicles, define vulnerable road users and set a safe passing distance at certain speeds, allow the default speed limit on state-owned roads to be lowered to to 25 mph, and create a standardized crash report form for people walking and biking. This bill in particular includes important truck safety regulations and and maintains the current law requiring a person biking to use either a rear red light or reflector, instead of adding a requirement to use both a rear red light and a rear reflector; the latter has been proven to lead to racial profiling in other states.

An Act relative to automated enforcement (SD1962/HD3705 and HD2452), which the Senate came very close to passing last session, would allow municipalities to opt in to installing cameras that would issue tickets for violations for speeding, failure to stop at a red light, failure to stop at a school bus stop arm, blocking the box, and parking or driving in a dedicated bus lane. When enacted in other states, automated enforcement has reduced speeding and serious crashes. More than 400 communities in the U.S. use red light cameras, and more than 130 use cameras to enforce speed laws.

An Act relative to work and family mobility during and subsequent to the COVID-19 emergency (SD273/HD448), which has been filed in previous sessions, would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, which, in addition to improving equity, has proven to increase safety in other states.

Can we count on you to cosponsor these bills this session?

Thank you for your consideration.

[full name
street address
city/town, state, zip
email: ]

Boston Globe: “We asked some of Boston’s leaders (who aren’t running for mayor) what the city’s next mayor should do. Here are their answers”

Boston Globe: “We asked some of Boston’s leaders (who aren’t running for mayor) what the city’s next mayor should do. Here are their answers”

Boston Globe: “We asked some of Boston’s leaders (who aren’t running for mayor) what the city’s next mayor should do. Here are their answers

Stacey Beuttell, executive director of WalkBoston, said one of the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic is that streets and sidewalks can have many uses, from dining to art to providing a place to gather. The Walsh administration expanded outdoor dining this summer and fall but she’d like to see the next mayor do more, to make those sort of street closures and sidewalk activations permanent and push more of them into the neighborhoods where most Bostonians live. “So many different walking spaces have been loved again, as places where people can simply be and exist, as opposed to parked cars,” she said.

Posted January 10, 2021

WalkBoston testimony to a joint meeting of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and the MassDOT Board

WalkBoston testimony to a joint meeting of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and the MassDOT Board

Testimony as prepared for joint meeting of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and the MassDOT Board, September 21, 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, public comment to the Boards is via short phone messages that are played to the Board members at the beginning of each meeting. The I-90 Allston Project was on the agenda for the meeting and the following comment was provided by WalkBoston as a phone message.

Good morning Board members.

This is Wendy Landman, WalkBoston’s member of the I-90 Task Force and a veteran of the many-year I-90 environmental process.

I would like to begin my comments by thanking Secretary Pollack for specifically calling out walking and biking access to the Charles, and planning for dual paths along the Charles in her recent Boston Globe op ed.

As the Board and MassDOT turn to selecting a preferred alternative for the project I would like to remind you of the following sentence from the purpose and need section of MassDOT’s I90 Scoping report:

…“including service that provides a north to south connection through the Project Area as well as for options that do not preclude future intercity rail service and transit service on the Grand Junction Rail line.”

Of the three alternatives now under study by MassDOT, only the at-grade and hybrid options rebuild the little Grand Junction bridge over Soldiers Field Road which would permit twotrack rail service along the Grand Junction line to be added in the future. Because the highway viaduct option does not rebuild the little Grand Junction bridge, future Grand Junction service would require very significant, expensive and disruptive construction in the throat area again – essentially precluding such service. Hence, the highway viaduct option does not meet the project’s purpose and need as defined by MassDOT.

Among the alternatives under study, we believe that the at-grade alternative will best meet the project’s full purpose and need. We are pleased that conversations are now underway between some advocates, pro bono design teams and MassDOT to identify an atgrade alternative that serves all modes and all users of this critical transportation project AND helps restore the health and vitality of the Charles River and the Charles River Reservation.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the project.

Eight people killed while walking in August.

Eight people killed while walking in August.

In August, drivers have hit and killed at least 8 people walking in Massachusetts, more than in any other month in 2020. We don’t know all the details of the crashes yet, and honestly we may never know. 

What we do know is that these deaths were preventable. As an organization, WalkBoston continues to push for fundamental changes in our transportation system that work to eliminate pedestrian deaths and ensure safe mobility for all. We will look at these crash locations and see if there is a missing crosswalk or extra wide lanes that may have contributed to these crashes.  And if so, we’ll advocate for road design changes to slow traffic down and help prevent tragedies from happening again. But, our efforts will not bring these eight people back. 

Date of crashCommunityTimeNameAge
August 2, 2020Fall River9:20 AMDolores McHenry81
August 3, 2020Webster7:00 AMRichard Tetreault87
August 9, 2020Hopkinton3:30 PMLaurie Cain65
August 11, 2020Brockton8:52 PMMichelle Shelley Maxwell55
August 13, 2020Concord10:30 AMJennifer Bemis67
August 15, 2020Quincy11:20 AM(unknown, Canton man)68
August 15, 2020Boston – Dorchester (Peabody Sq)11:45 PMQualan Joseph Powell33
August 17, 2020Brockton11:50 PMJoseph Driscoll62

Sources: | MassDOT Crash Portal

We need to make sure to all work together to make our roads safer for people to walk, bike and roll, and save other families from the pain of losing a loved one. If you live in one of these communities and want resources, contact us at info@walkboston.org

Make the case for safer streets in Boston today

Make the case for safer streets in Boston today

On Thursday, August 20th at 1pm, the Boston City Council will hold a hearing about plans for improving streets in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Will you take five minutes today to ask Boston to act with the urgency this crisis demands?

If you live in Boston, contact your city councilor: Ask that they attend this hearing and tell them you support these recommendations for improving Boston’s “Healthy Streets” plan. (Not sure what to say? We’ve included some sample text below.) It’s critical that councilors understand why action is needed to support essential workers and essential trips. If you have a personal story about either topic — maybe you’re currently riding the bus to work, or delivering food or medicine by bike — please share it with the council!

The City Council will meet at 1 p.m Thursday, so get your feedback in before then! You can watch the hearing live here. 

The steps Boston has taken to date are insufficient to meet this historic moment. With your support, we can get the city to not only commit to more short-term changes, but to making these long-overdue fixes permanent, too.


Dear [councilor],

I’m writing to express my hopes for the next phase of Boston’s “Healthy Streets” plan for adapting streets in response to COVID-19. While I appreciate the steps Boston has taken to date, I am concerned about their focus and scope.

[Share your personal story about transportation and COVID]

I support recommendations made by the Boston Cyclists Union, MassBike, LivableStreets Alliance and WalkBoston for expanding and improving upon this initial effort. In particular, I would like this next phase of “Healthy Streets” to include:

  • Clear criteria for how projects are being prioritized
  • A greater emphasis on equity, addressing both systemic underinvestment and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on low-income neighborhoods and communities of color
  • A plan for keeping and maintaining improvements through the winter
  • A commitment to making short-term improvements permanent and/or collecting data from pilots to advance priority projects

Thank you,

[Your name]