WalkUP Official Letter of Support for Mayor’s FY2019 Transportation Department Budget

Yesterday, we sent an official letter to Mayor Walsh in strong support of his proposed Fiscal Year 2019 transportation budget, specifically in view of several major steps forward on our most important goal for Roslindale and the City of Boston: walkability! The full text of our letter is below; we encourage everyone to drop a quick note to the Mayor and their elected representatives on the City Council to insure the active and mass transportation aspects of the budget are enacted. Once implemented, we expect residents and business owners will immediately appreciate major returns on these investments in walking, bicycle, and bus infrastructure, which will then lay the groundwork for even bigger progress in the future.

April 5, 2018

BY ELECTRONIC MAIL ONLY (mayor@nullboston.gov)
Hon. Martin J. Walsh
Mayor, City of Boston
One City Hall Square, 5th Floor Boston, MA 02201

RE: Support Letter – FY 2019 Boston Transportation Department Budget

Dear Mayor Walsh:

I write on behalf of WalkUP Roslindale to express our strong support for your administration’s leadership on sustainable transportation reflected in the recently-released FY2019 budget proposal for the Boston Transportation Department (BTD).

WalkUP Roslindale, which takes its name from the international movement to foster “Walkable Urban Places,” is a collaborative group of residents dedicated to making Roslindale the most walkable neighborhood in Boston. We advocate for a dynamic, livable streetscape and we support positive changes to our public and private built environment that strengthen walkability and other forms of active mobility as means toward better personal and public health, safety, social capital, economic development, and environmental sustainability. We are led by a steering group of about thirty residents and have nearly 1,000 additional supporters. More information about WalkUP Roslindale and our initiatives can be found at www.walkuproslindale.org. We recognize that no single group of people can be said to speak for our entire neighborhood – instead, please take these comments as representing the collective support of our steering group members (indicated below) resulting from our mission and principles.

The BTD budget proposes an increase of $5 Million annually for key BTD priorities embodied in both the Vision Zero Policy and the Go Boston 2030 mobility plan. Specifically, we support the proposed deployment of these additional funds as follows:

  • $2 million for sidewalk improvements and roadway resurfacing to accelerate bringing our streets up to a state of good repair;
  • $300,000 for biking infrastructure, bringing total bike investments to $1.2 million annually;
  • Two new planners and two new engineers to focus on designing and implementing key Vision Zero programs, such as Neighborhood Slow Streets, and other priority projects;
  • $400,000 for the Green Links program to fund critical bike and pedestrian connections for the city’s park and greenway networks;
  • One new traffic signal engineer to rework traffic signals to improve street safety and efficiency and two new traffic signal mechanics to keep signals working as designed;
  • Up to four new maintenance & operations personnel to ensure that infrastructure added to improve street safety, such as pedestrian delineators and flex posts, are kept in a state of good repair; and
  • Six new BTD staff positions to form a “Transit Team” led by a “transit coordinator” that will plan, facilitate, implement, and maintain bus improvements like the Washington Street pilot in several more corridors across the

Simply put, these investments will be transformative and greatly expand the City’s ability to more rapidly implement dozens of critical street and transit projects. We also support the funding of this annual increase in BTD’s budget by increasing fines for certain vehicular parking violations. We fully concur with your administration’s analysis that these fines will be beneficial in many ways, including decreasing illegal parking and improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety as well as bus transit performance. Finally, we were also gratified to see that the Roslindale Gateway Path, a multi-use walking/biking trail proposed to run from the Roslindale Village MBTA Station through the Arboretum to Forest Hills that we have championed since our founding, was specifically mentioned as an example of projects that could be funded with the proposed increase for the Green Links program. We look forward to continuing to work with your administration to bring this project to fruition soon.

Once again, thank you for this important advancement. We also want to express our support for this proposal in the strongest way possible and intend to urge the City Council to adopt BTD’s FY2019 budget as you have proposed it.

Sincerely yours,

Matthew J. Lawlor

Resident @ 15 Basto Terrace, Roslindale, on behalf of the WalkUP Roslindale Steering Group, including
Ricardo Austrich, Resident @ 843 South Street, Roslindale
Lisa Beatman, Resident @ 180 Mount Hope Street, Roslindale
Rachel Blumberg, Resident @ 15 Newburg Street, Apt. 2, Roslindale
Lucy Bullock-Sieger, Resident @ 33 Brookdale Street, Roslindale
Steve Gag, Resident @ 631 South Street, Roslindale
Liz Graham-Meredith, Resident @ 6 Crandall Street, Roslindale
Sarah Kurpiel Lee, Resident @ 65 Cornell Street, Roslindale
Mandana Moshtaghi, Resident @ 12 Arborough Road, Roslindale
Robert Orthman, Resident @ 69 Walter Street, Roslindale
Rebecca Phillips, Resident @ 10 Tappan Street, Roslindale
Adam Rogoff, Resident @ 28 Ashfield Street, Roslindale
Adam Rosi-Kessel, Resident @ 36 Taft Hill Terrace, Roslindale
Rachele Rosi-Kessel, Resident @ 36 Taft Hill Terrace, Roslindale
Laura Smeaton, Resident @ 61 Cornell Street, Roslindale
Iolando Barbosa Spinola, Resident @ 42 Symmes Street, Roslindale
Mark Tedrow, Resident @ 169 Sycamore Street, Apt. 1, Roslindale
Marc Theiss, Resident @ 55 Prospect Avenue, Roslindale
Greg Tobin, Resident @ 1 Sheldon Street, Roslindale
Alan Wright, Resident @ 98 Birch Street, Roslindale
Rick Yoder, Resident @ 180 Mount Hope Street, Roslindale

Copy to:
Chief of Streets Chris Osgood, City of Boston (chris.osgood@nullboston.gov)
BTD Commissioner Gina Fiandaca (gina.fiandaca@nullboston.gov)
Chief of Civic Engagement Jerome Smith, City of Boston (Jerome.smith@nullboston.gov)
Mr. Daniel Murphy, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (daniel.m.murphy@nullboston.gov)
District 4 City Councilor Andrea Campbell (andrea.campbell@nullboston.gov)
District 5 City Councilor Tim McCarthy (timothy.mccarthy@nullboston.gov)
District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley (matthew.omalley@nullboston.gov)
At-Large City Councilor Michelle Wu (michelle.wu@nullboston.gov)
At-Large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley (ayanna.pressley@nullboston.gov)
At-Large City Councilor Michael F. Flaherty (michael.flaherty@nullboston.gov)
At-Large City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George (a.e.george@nullboston.gov)

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