Roslindale Village Walkable Film Series – Holding Ground – Thursday, March 3, 2016 @ 6:30pm

Holding Ground - The Rebirth of Dudley Street (Original Art by Andy Cross)
Holding Ground – The Rebirth of Dudley Street (Original Art by Andy Cross)

The Roslindale Village (Walkable) Film Series has received an immediate enthusiastic response from the community and we are especially excited to kick it off with Holding Ground, the Rebirth of Dudley Street, a film by Leah Mahan and Mark Lipman. Check out this fantastic poster for the event, original art courtesy of Andy Cross.

Note (updated 2/25/16):  we are unfortunately out of space for this event! You can still RSVP and if we get any cancellations, we will contact you by email to let you know about the additional availability. Looks like there is plenty of demand for a community film screening space in Roslindale village!

The free screening will be at a private residence (details provided on RSVP) on Thursday, March 3, at 6:30pm. Runtime is about an hour. Holding Ground is a cautionary tale of urban policies gone wrong in Roxbury, 1985 and a message of hope for all American cities.

There are only a handful of spaces left at this screening facility. Once we have completely run out of space, we’ll close down the RSVP page, but in the meantime get in your last RSVPs now!

Dante Ramos just nailed it in last Friday’s Globe

We’ve all been following the tragic spike in deaths resulting from car-on-human-being-walking crashes in our city, including our neighborhood, to start this year. As Dante Ramos asserted in an opinion piece in last Friday’s Globe (“If jaywalking is wrong, I don’t want to be right“), the answer to the carnage is not, as one of our state legislators has reportedly proposed, to jack up jaywalking fines. Instead, we need to reorder a badly disordered transportation system and reclaim the right of human beings on foot to safely use and inhabit our streets, intersections, and squares throughout Boston and here in Roslindale. It’s worth quoting from Dante’s piece at length as he talks about how Vision Zero will work here:

Ironically, [Sen.] Chandler’s legislation comes up at the State House just as Boston is embracing Vision Zero — a strategy for eliminating all motor vehicle deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

Heightened law enforcement may be part of the strategy, at least at certain key intersections. But according to Chris Osgood, Boston’s chief of streets, the city will rely more on education and on a deeper analysis of street-level conditions: the physical design of intersections, the timing of traffic and walk signals, the movement patterns of people and vehicles not just at individual intersections but throughout the surrounding blocks.

Of course, the gradual fine-tuning of a city’s overall transportation system may not seem emotionally satisfying to a driver who’s been delayed by a jaywalker. And when you’ve grown up in a world where transportation laws primarily serve cars’ needs, it’s easy to persuade yourself that stiffer jaywalking fines — what Chandler calls “the stick approach” — are for pedestrians’ own good.

Never mind that pedestrian fatality rates are lower in places where jaywalking enforcement is lax than in Los Angeles, where it’s been far more aggressive. Motorists don’t need greater protection from the supposed threat of wayward pedestrians, and, anyway, not every annoyance in life can or should be fixed through tougher laws and stiffer tickets.

Mother and Baby Struck by Car in Roxbury

WalkBoston recently sounded the alarm that serious (and fatal) pedestrian incidents are fast becoming a near-weekly occurrence in Boston. The latest such event occurred last night in Roxbury, where a mother and her baby were struck by a car at the intersection of Humboldt Ave and Humboldt Court. Our local CBS affiliate reports on two sisters coming to a quick rescue and performing CPR on the 5-month-old victim. We have scant information on details of the crash and the fate of the pedestrians remains unknown. We can only hope they both survive and make a full recovery. Update 6pm: we were devastated to learn via the Boston Globe that the baby has died.

That said, we would urge the media not just to cover the “human-interest” aspect of these tragic incidents, but also highlight potential root causes so that we don’t have to keep re-living the same sad story. Poor infrastructure and bad design decisions in particular are recurring themes–for far too long, Boston’s professional traffic engineers have prioritized fast and unimpeded traffic flow over other needs, including the very real risks to human lives of car-centric streets. Again, we don’t know the details of this incident, but a quick look at the intersection where the crash occurred shows (1) a long stretch of street with no crosswalks [despite a bus stop across the street]; (2) extremely wide travel lanes; (3) in a densely-settled area, a certain recipe for predictable harm to pedestrians. Once ago, it’s time to move into action on Vision Zero.

Humboldt Ave and Humboldt Court
Intersection of Humboldt Ave and Humboldt Court in Roxbury
See also this update on Universal Hub.

Further update: The Boston Globe article also suggests speed was a factor, again this is not surprising given the wide lanes:

Residents on Friday said the car that allegedly hit the woman and her child was speeding: one woman who declined to give her name said she heard it whipping down the street before she heard the crash.

Additional details from WHDH.

Announcing the Roslindale Village Walkable Film Series

We are excited to announce a new WalkUP Rozzie initiative: the Roslindale Village (Walkable) Film Series! Because we fervently believe everyone should be able to experience great movies in a community setting accessible by foot or bicycle. Sadly, the historic Rialto Theatre disappeared decades ago, leaving only the adjacent Rialto Barbership behind, but we are committed to revival. We’ve got six films lined up to start, to be projected for free screenings in a variety of private and public locations. Ultimately, we aim to identify a permanent comfortable space for high quality community film watching and discussion, but there’s no time like the present to get the ball (or film) rolling. We’ll always have the latest updates at

Our private-residence film screening locations have limited seating, so we ask that you RSVP in advance to get the street address. We’ll update the posting for each event if it fills up. RSVPs for the public locations are also appreciated.

Without further ado, here is the initial lineup — click on the entry for more details and to RSVP (links will be updated over time):

Late January WalkUP News

Rozzie BulletinWe are fortunate to have neighborhood-level professional journalists at the Roslindale Bulletin covering important local issues; even more so now that the entire paper is available online. In late January, the Bulletin reported several stories that should be of interest to the WalkUP community. Highlights below: Read More

Roslindale Square Walk Audit – Hot off the Presses

WalkBoston Walk Audit HeaderWe’re pleased to publish the report documenting the Walk Audit of Roslindale Square that we did with WalkBoston back in December. There are lots of issues to be addressed, but also exciting opportunities to improve the pedestrian environment in and around the central business district. Our next steps will be to set up meetings with the appropriate city officials and elected leaders to begin to address the highest priority items. If you have any thoughts about the report or what our top priorities should be, please leave them in the comments below.