Five communities targeted for ‘Slow Streets’ program
Five Boston neighborhoods will participate this year in the city’s Slow Streets program, which aims to “improve the quality of life on Boston’s local streets,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said this week.
The neighborhood communities selected are Chinatown, Grove Hall/Quincy Corridor, Highland Park, Mount Hope/Canterbury, and the West of Washington Coalition.
Walsh said in a statement that the community-based initiative is part of Vision Zero, the city’s plan to eliminate serious traffic crashes, including fatalities, in Boston, as well as the broader Go Boston 2030 strategic plan to invest $709 million over the next five years to improve street safety and transportation.
A key component of the Neighborhood Slow Streets initiative is the installation of visible cues to slow drivers to 20 miles per hour.
The Key Vision Zero plan sets the city’s default speed limit to 25 miles per hour, establishes new protected bike lanes, and prioritizes pedestrian and cyclist safety in the planning of roadway construction.
“This initiative is a great collaboration between city agencies and communities that delivers traffic calming results that will make our neighborhoods safer,” the mayor said in a prepared statement.
The five neighborhoods were selected after a review by the Boston Transportation Department that examined each for its number of households with youth, percentage of people aged 65 or older, number of crashes per mile within the area, and its parks, libraries, and transit systems.
The five were picked out of a pool of 47 applicants from 16 of Boston’s neighborhoods.
The city’s $4.1 million budget for the Vision Zero program for this fiscal year dedicates $1 million to the Boston Neighborhood Slow Streets program.
The city already had designated two pilot communities for the program: at the Talbot-Norfolk Triangle in Dorchester, and the Stony Brook neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. The city will target other communities in 2018.