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Long Time Advocate Jackie DeWolfe Leaves Livable Streets

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 04

She has done a great job and will be sorely missed, her farewell letter below:


It is bittersweet to write to you that next Friday, August 12 marks my last day on staff at LivableStreets. I have been appointed Director of Sustainable Mobility at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation where I will continue to work on improving our streets, public spaces, and transit.

As I prepare for my departure, I’ve had fun reminiscing. I started volunteering at LivableStreets more than eight years ago and was immediately hooked by LivableStreets’ founders.  They were rethinking transportation and simultaneously rethinking the role of advocacy to forge new partnerships to create more livable communities.  LivableStreets instilled in me the belief that streets are our public space. Transportation options are key to quality of life because they unlock access to what you need and want.  Streets should be designed to accommodate people regardless of age or ability.

Today, LivableStreets has become what we had hoped for, a thriving organization with an active membership. I’m so proud of what we have accomplished together. I’m even more excited for what’s next for LivableStreets. We now have four full time staff, six summer staff, and hundreds of volunteers working on initiatives across Metro Boston. We have championed changing the conversation to integrate walking, biking and transit facilities into transportation projects to provide people more transportation options.

Whether you have volunteered, donated, shared your story, participated in one of our campaigns, worked at a partner organization, led efforts in your own neighborhood, spoke at a public meeting, or attended an event – thank you. When people ask, “Who makes up the LivableStreets Alliance?” the answer is you!

Together we have accomplished a lot in 8 years, but there is still a long way to go. We are at a pivotal moment as the Commonwealth and communities across the country grapple with how to improve safety, mobility, and sustainability, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic. I look forward to working on these important issues in my new role, and LivableStreets will be hiring to continue to do so as well. Deputy Director Stacy Thompson who has been my co-pilot for the past year and half will step in as Interim Executive Director.

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I hope to see you before I go! LivableStreets will be hosting a goodbye party onThursday, August 11, from 6 to 8pm at Central Wharf Co, 160 Milk Street, Boston. Please come to raise a glass!  If you can’t make it, we are also hosting two summeropen houses Friday, August 5, 8-10 AM and Tuesday, August 9, 4-6 PM at LivableStreets office, 100 Sidney Street, Cambridge. Come on by!

Thank you again for a wonderful eight years.

Sincerely,

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Jackie DeWolfe

livablestreets.info


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Action Alert: Let Your Voice Be Heard For Zoning Reform

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 08

From Livable Streets:

The Senate is taking up a bill updating our zoning law for the first time in 40 years—and we need your voice to support it!

The Zoning Reform bill is the most important planning, housing, and land-use bill in years. This is a critical moment to ask for your Senator’s support! It takes just a moment.

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Transportation and housing policies are intimately connected—good policies create more livable streets and communities for everyone.

Will you click here to tell your Senator to support this important bill? It takes just a minute.

To learn more about this bill and why it’s important, read on below or click here.

The Senate will vote this Thursday, June 9th, so now is the time to act.

Thank you for speaking up!

LivableStreets Alliance
http://www.livablestreets.info/


Did you know?

Restrictive zoning is crippling our economy, health and environment. Economists estimate that restrictive zoning drives up housing prices in Greater Boston by nearly 20% and leads to a 20% decline in employment. Outdated zoning has cost our region at least 156,000 jobs.

We are building fewer than half of the homes our state needs annually to meet our current state-wide needs and prevent job loss to other states. Meanwhile, combined housing and transportation costs now eat up an average of 50% of family budgets.

At least 52% of Americans want to live in places where they do not have to use a car very often. People who live in walkable neighborhoods are twice as likely to get the exercise they need, reducing the risk of obesity and making our communities more livable.

Every day, thirteen acres of forests and farmland are lost to low-density sprawl caused by inefficient and outdated zoning, generating more traffic in addition to infrastructure costs that drain municipal budgets.

Here’s what this landmark bill does:

  • The bill will stimulate home & business development
  • Communities will increase “multi-family” zoning to build more of the homes we need.
  • Allowing homeowners to create “accessory dwelling units” on their property will enable them to create new housing for relatives or to generate rental income to help them stay in their home.
  • Special permits, which are a common approval process, would no longer require a supermajority vote.
  • Variance reforms will make it easier for property owners to make improvements.
  • Developers will have longer, more reasonable time periods to use their permits.
  • Reforming the appeals process will reduce frivolous lawsuits and lengthy court battles over development, saving time and money for local government, taxpayers, and developers.

Provides our cities and towns with the modern planning tools they need

  • Other states use a rational and predictable process to assess impact fees from development to offset the cost of infrastructure—our cities & towns should be able to do that too.
  • Local master plans will become easier and less costly to create.
  • Once a community has started to change its zoning, development rights should become protected only when an owner has more than an imprecise preliminary plan for the property.
  • Cities and towns can implement affordability requirements through inclusionary zoning.
  • Local planning and zoning board members will be able to access more training opportunities.

Preserves open space and discourages sprawl

  • Developers who want to cluster their development to conserve land will be able to do so.
  • Communities will be able to improve the design of unregulated roadside sprawl by establishing a minor subdivision ordinance.
  • Cities and towns will be able to “opt in” to additional tools and benefits if they meet state standards for compact housing and economic development while protecting open space and water quality.
  • Natural Resource Protection Zoning is a new tool to preserve large and important resource areas.

Promotes public health

  • Development project notices are required to be sent to local health boards.
  • Accessory dwelling units are a critical need for families who need to take care of older relatives or those with disabilities.
  • Easier master planning, required multi-family districts in smart growth locations, cluster by-right subdivision, and the opt-in program will all encourage communities to become more compact and walkable.
  • Reforming “Approval Not Required” subdivisions will help reduce the number of driveways that front on busy streets and improve public safety.

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Action Alert: Speak Up For A Safer Mass. Ave. June 15th

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 08

From Livable Streets:

Now is the time to speak up for a safer Massachusetts Ave!

Next Wednesday, June 15 the City of Boston is holding a community meeting to share proposed design improvements for Massachusetts Avenue from Beacon Street to Harrison Avenue.

This is a critical meeting. We’ve been waiting for this since the City first announced Mass Ave as a Vision Zero priority corridor last December.

The City’s goal is to use the feedback from this meeting to make safety improvements to Mass Ave this year.

Vision Zero Priority Corridor Mass Ave Public Meeting
June 15, 2016, 6pm – 7:30pm
@ Saint Cecilia Parish, 18 Belvidere St, Boston

We know that improving Mass Ave will save lives. Will you join us on June 15th?

This project is an important step in bringing the number of fatalities on our streets to zero and has the potential to be a model street for other safety improvements throughout Boston.

We’ll follow up with more details about the meeting early next week. In the meantime you can:

  1. Mark your calendar for June 15 and plan on attending the meeting.
  2. Share this email with your friends and neighbors and encourage them to join you.

Thank you for making our streets safer and more livable for everyone!


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Livable Streets March Update

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 09

Lots of good stuff From Livable Streets:

 

peak up for the Greenline Extension and Community Path

images.jpegSpeak up to remind MassDOT, the MBTA and the Governor that we need a fully functional Green Line Extension and the integrated Community Path project.

MassDOT and the MBTA have scheduled five public meetings to receive public input/suggestions on ways to reduce the cost of construction for these projects.

Construction of the Green Line Extension and Community Path will provide long needed air quality, public health, transportation and economic development improvements for our communities.

 

Attend ones of these meetings and remind MassDOT, the MBTA and the Governor that we need these very important projects:

 

Upcoming Public Meetings on the Green Line Extension
Meeting times:

Open House: 5:30pm – 6:30 pm
Presentation and Q&A: 6:30 pm – 8:00pm

  • March 2: Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue – Somerville
  • March 23: Tufts University, 51 Winthrop Street – Medford
  • April 13: Argenziano School, 290 Washington Street – Somerville
  • April 27: St. Anthony’s Parish Hall, 400 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue – Cambridge
  • May 5th: St. Clement’s Parish Hall, 579 Boston Avenue – Medford

MBTA late night service cut, but fare increases still in play

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We are disappointed to report that the MBTA Control Board voted 4-0 yesterday to cancel late night service. While this is an unfortunate development, we were inspired by the hundreds of impassioned advocates who packed the meeting room to speak up for better transit.

Next week the MBTA control board will vote on possible fare increases. We hope that they will seriously consider the overwhelming public support for keeping fare increases at or below 5% in their vote next Monday, March 7.

We will be there next week for this important vote and keep you up-to-date over the next few weeks as the Control Board considers cost saving measures for the Greenline extension.

 


New Emerald Network website launched!

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Since launching the Emerald Network in September 2015, we’ve made strides toward achieving our vision of a 200-mile seamless network of greenways across Metro Boston.

To highlight this important initiative we’ve launched a brand new website:www.emeraldnetwork.info.

On the new Emerald Network website you can:

  • Learn about the progress we’ve made and see some examples of in-progress and future project to complete the network

  • Apply for the Greenway Partners Program, to request capacity-building support to advance a proposed greenway project

  • Sign up to receive email updates specific to the Emerald Network

We hope you’ll take a few moments to learn more by exploring thewebsite!


LivableStreets and Vision Zero featured on PRI’s “The World”

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LivableStreets’ Stacy Thompson hit the streets of Boston last week with Brendan Kearney of WalkBoston and PRI “The World” reporter Jason Margolis to talk about safety on our streets. At the corner of Mass Ave and Beacon Street the trio discussed the hurdles and hopes for Boston’s commitment to Vision Zero.

“What does Boston have to learn? It already is one of the safest major cities in the US. Still, you’re about three times more likely to be killed on the roads in Boston — walking, cycling or traveling in a car — than in Stockholm.”

Click here to hear how Stacy and Brendan answered this question and learn more about Sweden’s successful campaign to dramatically reduced traffic crashes.


I-90 Interchange project prompts bigger questions about connectivity and livability

10391835_10153512308923111_972039618001533192_n.jpgOn Sunday the Boston Globe highlighted the need to look toward the future and prioritize transit and broader connectivity for the proposed West Station – an important piece of the I-90 interchange project. The following evening Brookline residents packed a Transportation Board meeting to learn about the 1-90 project and how it might impact their community.

LivableStreets Advocacy Committee member Ari Ofsevit presented an alternative design to MassDot’s current proposal that prioritizes people, place-making and better options for walking, biking and transit. Many of the residents highlighted the need for better buses and better connections to Boston and Cambridge.

Given the enormous long-term impact of this project, we can’t agree more with the Globe, “it’s not too soon to decide what the basic purpose of West Station ought to be — a 21st-century multimodal transportation center, or just another commuter rail stop.”


MA Bike Safety Forum re-cap

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The room was packed with people who care about making biking safer at Suffolk University last Tuesday night, as bicyclists gathered with legislators, policy makers, and stakeholders to talk about changing state laws to make cycling safer. Representatives from the trucking industry, Boston, Cambridge, the Carmen’s Union and the MBTA gave brief presentations followed by breakout sessions where ideas for possible legislation were presented.

LivableStreets’ Board members Steve Miller and Megan Ramey each led a break-out session engaging attendees in discussion around lowering speed limits and safe bicycle crossings. At the conclusion of the event attendees were asked to vote on their preferred solution for better bike safety.

Senator William Brownsberger posted the results of the survey on his website in “Bike Safety Forum Take Aways–?” and is requesting additional public input. You can comment on the event’s website mabikesafety.com.


Opportunties

Join LivableStreets’ Advocacy Committee

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LivableStreets Advocacy Committee is tracking more than 90 street projects in Metro Boston and we need your help! The group meets once monthly and consists of new and seasoned advocates working together to tackle issues big and small. Joining the Advocacy Committee is a great way to keep up to date on key projects and initiatives, learn from our volunteer advocates who’ve won dozens of campaigns (like bringing down the Casey Overpass, securing the new design for Comm Ave!) and share your ideas for better streets in your neighborhood.

Please contact [email protected] to learn more and get involved.

Sincerely,
LivableStreets Alliance

livablestreets.info


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Livable Streets Ten In One Street Talk Is Soon

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 25

From Livable Streets:

Our 2015 StreetTalk 10-in-1 promises to be the biggest and best yet, and it’s taking place right in the heart of Boston at the Old South Meeting House. Building on the Meeting House’s long tradition of hosting spirited, thought-provoking discussions, the event will feature 10 short-form presentations highlighting innovative ideas to transform our streets.

10th Anniversary StreetTalk 10-in-1
Tue. December 9, 2015 6:00 – 8:30PM
@ Old South Meeting House
310 Washington St, Boston, MA 02108
Cost: $15 general admission; LivableStreets members get in for FREE

Over the years, our StreetTalk series has grown from a couple dozen people crowding into the LivableStreets office to a 230+ sold out crowd in 2014. Clearly when it comes to transportation in metro Boston, there is a hunger for new ideas! Join the conversation and register today!

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Our full line up of 10-in-1 speakers will be announced soon here. Stay tuned for updates.

We hope to see you at the Old South Meeting House on December 9th!

LivableStreets Alliance

http://www.livablestreets.info/


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October 25th 2-5PM “Reimagining Columbia Road” With Livable Streets

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

Livable Streets Alliance is hosting a workshop at Fairmount Innovation Lab in Uphams Corner. Come share your ideas for transforming the Columbia Road corridor into a more welcoming space for cyclists and pedestrians.

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Livable Streets Update

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 20

From Livable Streets:
—————–

We are excited to announce two opportunities – a StreetTalk featuring our Emerald Network Initiative and a limited time discount on some amazing bikes. See below to learn more!

 


Emerald_Network-logo.jpgStreetTalk: Connecting our Urban Greenways – Building the Emerald Network 

Our fall StreetTalk will explore what role the Emerald Network can play in not only increasing mobility options for people in the Metro area, but also tackling challenges like economic development, equity, climate change and public health in urban Boston. To learn more click here.

Event Details
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
5:30 – 6:30 pm   Emerald Networking Reception (cash bar)
6:30 – 8:00 pm   StreetTalk: Connecting our Urban Greenways

@ Boston Society of Architects
290 Congress St #200, Boston, MA 02210

Cost: $10 general admission; LivableStreets members get in for FREE

StreetTalks sell out quickly. What are you waiting for, register today!

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photo credit: Kyle Ramey

Get a Gazelle and support LivableStreets in October

Our friends at Urban AdvenTours are selling a limited number of Royal Dutch Gazelle bikes. And in the month of October they are offering a $50 discount to anyone who mentions LivableStreets. They’ll also give LivableStreets $50 for every bike sold!

For more information or to purchase a Gazelle call Urban AdvenTours at (617) 670-0637 and be sure to mention LivableStreets!

These are sturdy, comfortable bikes made for every day riding in the city. They include built in lights, bells, a rear wheel lock …and happen to be LivableStreets orange! Swing by the LivableStreets office if you’d like to check one out before purchasing.

And don’t forget, this offer is only available during October – so get your Gazelle today!


StreetTalk2.jpgSave the date for our annual StreetTalk 10-in-1

Last, but certainly not least, we hope you’ll save the date forDecember 1, when we’ll hold our annual 10-in-1 StreetTalk.

We are planning an extra special 10-in-1 as part of our 10th Anniversary celebration and we hope you’ll join us. Look out for more details soon!


We hope to see you at our StreetTalk on November 3rd. Perhaps you’ll ride your brand new Gazelle there!
LivableStreets Alliance

http://www.livablestreets.info/


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Public Meetings About Walking And Biking Paths

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 30

Join in these DCR sponsored meetings and let your voice be heard to support more walking and biking paths.

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From Livable Streets:

Please join us for a series of public meetings where the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy will present and obtain feedback on options for improving safety and accessibility for all people walking, running, biking, and driving, at three key areas:


Perkins St and Parkman Dr – Perkins St Pedestrian Crossing Study
Thursday, October 1, 6:30 – 8:30pm
@ Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center, Hunnewell Bldg
125 Arborway, Boston


Centre St from the VFW Parkway to Murray Circle – Centre St Corridor Study
Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 – 8:30pm
@ Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center, Hunnewell Bldg
125 Arborway, Boston


The Arborway between Eliot St and South St, including Kelley and Murray Circles – Arborway Multi-modal Improvement Project
Wednesday, October 14, 6:30 – 8:30pm
@ Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center, Hunnewell Bldg
125 Arborway, Boston


This project is an important piece of the Emerald Network, a vision for 200 miles of seamless greenways across the urban core to create a 21st-century recreation and transportation system that is safe and convenient for all. To learn more about our initiativeclick here.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Ghost Bike Removed Hours After Installed August 24, 2016
      TweetIn Concord apparently even placing a ghost bike is too much for the locals. From the globe: More than anything, Erik Limpaecher was surprised. The Concord resident late Sunday night erected a “ghost bike” along a busy road in the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Ghost Bike Removed Hours After Installed August 24, 2016
      TweetIn Concord apparently even placing a ghost bike is too much for the locals. From the globe: More than anything, Erik Limpaecher was surprised. The Concord resident late Sunday night erected a “ghost bike” along a busy road in the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Ghost Bike Removed Hours After Installed August 24, 2016
      TweetIn Lincoln apparently even placing a ghost bike is too much for the locals. From the globe: More than anything, Erik Limpaecher was surprised. The Concord resident late Sunday night erected a “ghost bike” along a busy road in the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • 3 Simple Design Elements For Safer Intersections August 24, 2016
      TweetLets copy this all over the place…  
      Boston Biker
    • Gilooly’s presentation August 15, 2016
      TweetDeputy Commissioner James Gillily’s presentation about the planned separate bikeways on Commonwealth Avenue is online at the URL below. I am preparing a version synchronized to his talk about it at the 2015 Moving Together conference and will announce that … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Gilooly’s presentation August 15, 2016
      TweetDeputy Commissioner James Gilooly’s presentation about the planned separate bikeways on Commonwealth Avenue is online at the URL below. I am preparing a version synchronized to his talk about it at the 2015 Moving Together conference and will announce that … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Long Time Advocate Jackie DeWolfe Leaves Livable Streets August 4, 2016
      TweetShe has done a great job and will be sorely missed, her farewell letter below: It is bittersweet to write to you that next Friday, August 12 marks my last day on staff at LivableStreets. I have been appointed Director of … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Boston By Bike At Night Aug 13 2016 August 4, 2016
      TweetFrom this years flyer: Twenty eighth annual tour of architectural and historic sites. Meet at 11:15 pm aug 13th in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square Bring a bicycle with a light and wear something reflective.  Helmet recommended Commemorative … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubway Turns 5 Today! August 4, 2016
      TweetTo celebrate they are throwing a bunch of parties! See below, from Hubway. Join us for 5 parties in 5 days! Free coffee from our friends at Pavement Coffeehouse and KooKoo Cafe … Ice cream from JP Licks and Ben & Jerry’s … Appetizers from … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Summer Safe Biking Class August 1, 2016
      Earlier this month, Commonwheels hosted a week long "Summer Safe Biking" program in partnership with the Harvard Ed Portal. We had 13 local kids from the Allston-Brighton neighborhood participate and for three hours each day they learned bike safety, b... Continue reading →
      commonwheels