New state Pedestrian Plan is a positive step

New state Pedestrian Plan is a positive step

By Adi Nochur/Project Manager, WalkBoston

As the largest single investor in the state’s roadway and pedestrian system, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation [MassDOT] has a critical responsibility to take pedestrian safety, accessibility, and convenience seriously in all of its actions and investments. With its release of a draft Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan last fall, the agency has expressed a strong commitment to addressing these issues.

The Plan recommends policies, programs, and projects for MassDOT to guide decision-making and capital investments. It also provides a Municipal Resource Guide for Walkability to support cities and towns in their efforts to improve walkability on local streets. The Plan advances a vision that all people in Massachusetts have a safe and comfortable option to walk for short trips.

The Plan further outlines goals of eliminating pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries and increasing the percentage of short trips made by walking. It is rooted in principles of treating people walking the same as people driving, focusing on systematic safety improvements, and supporting municipalities to do the same. We are especially pleased that MassDOT is using the Plan to improve its own practices and lead by example — an approach that WalkBoston encouraged throughout the development of the Plan.

We support the Plan’s vision, goals, and principles and applaud several of its action items, including research on the impacts and benefits of automated speed enforcement, construction of safe crossings to connect bus stops to destinations, piloting a winter snow and ice removal initiative on pedestrian facilities, and collection and analysis of pedestrian-focused data. Please see our comments on the draft Plan: walkboston.org/tag/pedestrian-plan.

WalkBoston also offered several recommendations to strengthen the Plan. These included preparing in-depth analysis of pedestrian injury patterns across the state and by race, creating an annual review process with advocates and peers outside MassDOT to ensure continuous improvement, and providing more in-depth state-level tracking and municipal guidance around pedestrian signals.

We look forward to seeing a final version of the Plan in 2019. As part of the Massachusetts Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, we will play an important role in guiding the Plan’s implementation. Through continued collaboration with partners from the advocacy community, and state and local government, we will continue to make steady progress toward the goal of a more walkable Massachusetts for all.

For more info on MassDOT’s Pedestrian Plan, head to: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/pedestrian-plan

This article was featured in WalkBoston’s February 2019 newsletter.
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MA Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board seeking interested candidates

MA Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board seeking interested candidates


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is seeking interested candidates in serving as public members on the Massachusetts Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board (MABPAB). MABPAB public members volunteer their time for the benefit of advancing bicycle and pedestrian transportation across the Commonwealth. Nominated candidates will be appointed for a two-year volunteer term, beginning fall 2018. Official nominations will be made by the Governor of Massachusetts.


Legislatively established in 2004 and appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts, the Board’s purposes are to:

  1. Advise Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and other State Agencies on bicycle and pedestrian transportation initiatives
  2. Advise MassDOT on issues of interest to people who walk and bicycle today, or wish to walk and bike more
  3. Monitor the implementation of the Massachusetts Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan and the Massachusetts Statewide Pedestrian Transportation Plan, and assist MassDOT in preparing future plan updates.


The Board meets six times a year, every other month during the day. Three of these meetings are held at the State Transportation Building in Boston and three are held at different locations across the Commonwealth. Advisory Board members are expected to attend every meeting in person.

Sample topics covered at Advisory Board meetings:
– Statewide Bicycle Plan
– Statewide Pedestrian Plan
– Safety
– Year-round Maintenance
– Monitoring and Evaluation
– Public Health
– Trails/Multi use paths
– Safe Routes to School
– Complete Streets
– Events and Outreach
– Access to Transit
– Accessibility
– Sustainable Mobility
– Planning and Design
– Education and Enforcement


The Board is made up of public members representing the following:
– Bicycling organization representatives
– Bicycling representatives
– Bicycle industry representative
– Pedestrian representatives

The Board also consists of designees from statewide bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations, WalkBoston and MassBike, and the following governmental agencies:
– Department of Transportation
– Department of Conservation & Recreation
– Department of Public Health
-Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs
– Representative from a Regional Planning Agency
– State Police
-Office of Travel & Tourism


Candidates should be residents of Massachusetts interested in serving as public members. Nominated candidates shall serve without compensation for a term of two years, beginning September 2018. Member-volunteers may be reappointed. All nominated individuals will be subject to a standard background check.

To Apply:

Interested candidates should email or send a resume and letter of interest to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation at mabpab@dot.state.ma.us or Att: MABPAB, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160, Boston, MA 02116. In your resume, please include contact information, including mailing address, email address and phone number where we can contact you. In your letter, please include what public seat you are applying for (i.e. bicycle organization representative, pedestrian representative); your background (work and/or life experience) that relates to the mission of the Board; what, if any, groups you will be formally representing while serving on the Board; what you would like to contribute to the Board; and any additional information for consideration. Please apply by June 25, 2018 to be considered.

If you have any questions about the Board, please contact MABPAB@dot.state.ma.us