Walking Policy & Design

Walking Policy & Design

Since WalkBoston was founded in 1990, we have worked to influence walkable design and policy on the local, state, and national levels. We believe actions on all levels are essential to achieve broad, long-term and sustainable walking improvements for people in every city and town in Massachusetts.

Efforts to influence walkable design and policy vary in intensity and focus depending on timeliness and usefulness of our comments and suggestions for proposed transportation projects, legislative actions, and development projects. We work in distinct ways:

Reviewing transportation and design proposals

We submit detailed comment letters that recommend project design changes to increase safety and convenience for pedestrians, reinforcing opportunities to increase the share of walking trips. WalkBoston follows projects through successive stages of design, including federal, state and local environmental permitting, to ensure that project proponents are responding to our comments.

Representing walking with state agency and advocacy partners

We participate in community and agency meetings and advisory groups such as: the Massachusetts Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board (MABPAB), the MassDOT Design Exception Review Committee, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Chronic Disease Prevention Built Environment Community of Practice, the Massachusetts Traffic Safety Coalition, the Boston and Cambridge Vision Zero Advisory Committees, and the DCR Urban Parks and Pathways Committee.

Promoting legislation that supports walking

We promote legislation and regulation to improve walking, in particular by joining forces with other like-minded advocacy organizations. Our voice for walking is strengthened by working with other active transportation, environmental and public health groups.

Playing an active role in America Walks

WalkBoston staff and Board members helped to found America Walks, and we continue to participate in the governance and ongoing activities of the country’s only organization focused on walking advocacy and building a national walking movement.