This week, we sent a brief comment letter to the Zoning Board of Appeal concerning a proposal by the Cooperative Bank to demolish two nearby homes and replace them with a parking lot (BOA- 1431753). In short, we believe our neighborhood is in dire need of more places for people to live, not more spots to store cars. Our full letter is reproduced below, also available as a PDF.
We are co-sponsoring a District 5 City Council candidate forum tomorrow night, Tuesday, July 18, from 7pm-8:30pm. Other co-sponsors include Forum for Racial Equity via Educational Experiences in Hyde Park, Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, Keep Hyde PArk Beautiful, Longfellow Area Neighborhood Association, Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale, RozzieBikes, and the Ward 18 Democratic Committee. Four candidates, eight community organizations, and lots of questions!
Every councilor impacts policy citywide by the votes they take, the policies they put forth, and the committees they serve on, so this election impacts everyone, even if you’re not a D5 voter.
To join on Zoom, register here. And don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, September 12!
It’s been 3 weeks since our community screening of The Street Project at the Rozzie Square Theater and, late as it is, we thought we should provide a de-brief. Overall, the screening was a success. We were delighted to welcome the mayor, who put in a brief appearance prior to the start of the film, to reiterate her administration’s commitment to the full slate of safe street improvements indicated in the documentary – safer pedestrian and cyclist conditions such as open streets, better crossings, speed humps, street narrowings, and protected bike lanes. After the film concluded, we were gratified to have Jeff Speck, author of The Walkable City and one of the experts featured in the film, on hand to answer questions from attendees. It was, all around, a great time. Special thanks to the filmmaker Jennifer Boyd at Boyd Productions, to Courtney Pong and the team at Rozzie Square Theater, and to Anna VanRemoortel at RVMS, as well as Jason Bylsma, Steve Gag, and Elvira Mora from WUR. We’ll look to do more of this going forward!
The Sunday Boston Globe has a lovely article about our friends over at Rozzie Bikes and some of their bicycle advocacy compatriots who have been supplying bikes, free of charge, to new arrivals in our region. Whatever one’s priors, the work they’ve been doing is both note and praiseworthy. We especially appreciate that our long-time steering committee and now board member Alan Wright is prominently featured, along with absolute Rozzie Bikes stalwart and all-around great guy Ron Beland.
It’s also worth noting here that we here at WalkUP and at Rozzie Bikes are advocates for, respectively, walking/transit and biking, don’t do so as “special interests” but as people who simply try to do these things on a regular basis and want our neighbors and visitors to our neighborhood to have the opportunity to do so safely and comfortably because we think these are good things and ways for everyone to move away from access that’s solely based on consuming space and natural resources in a way that beggars us, our neighborhoods, and our planet’s ability to sustain us. It isn’t about us but about the thing we’re promoting.
We’re boosting the signal on this one kind of late, but better late than never. If you’re able, please do attend and show your support for our beleaguered transit agency and their attempts to move forward with electrification of their bus fleet by, among other things, replacing the Arborway bus garage with a fully modern facility while making significant land available for development of sorely needed new housing for our city. Thanks!
The MBTA is pleased to announce a public meeting to discuss replacement of the Arborway Bus Maintenance Facility. The in-person meeting is scheduled for:
Thursday, June 22, 2023
6 PM – 8 PM
The English High School – Auditorium
144 McBride Street
At this meeting, MBTA project staff will provide an overview of the 15% design plans for the new bus maintenance facility and electrification project. The MBTA is designing the facility to support a 100% battery electric bus (BEB) fleet. BEBs will reduce emissions and improve the air quality around the facility and routes served. The new facility will be located next to the existing facility, on the site of 500 Arborway, and will open up 6.5 acres for housing and other development. The new facility will expand the fleet size to serve additional routes in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. This will provide capacity for 60-foot buses that carry greater numbers of riders on busy routes.
The MBTA encourages public participation and invites all to join this meeting. The MBTA will facilitate a Q&A period to respond to inquiries and gather public feedback about this project.
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We are pleased to announce we are now able to accept tax-deductible donations through our 501(c)(3) sponsor, Roslindale Village Main Street. At the moment, WalkUP Roslindale is a volunteer-run organization with no paid staff, so we expect donations will be used to cover expenses like those incurred in our upcoming community screening of “The Street Project” as well as professional Spanish translation fees for some of our postings. Please give if you can and spread the word.
As we noted a few days ago, WalkUP Roslindale are confirmed to present a community screening of The Street Project, a new documentary from 9-time Emmy-award winning filmmaker Jennifer Boyd, focusing on the movement for safer streets around the US and the world. The screening will take place at 12:30 pm on the afternoon of Sunday, 25 June 2023, at the Rozzie Square Theater on Basile Street in Roslindale Square. So, come on down and support WalkUP Roslindale’s efforts to raise awareness and move the needle around these issues here at home. The screening will feature a community-led discussion about street safety in Roslindale and across Boston where we’ll hear voices from residents, cyclists, advocates, and participation from city planner and Walkable City author, Jeff Speck. Seating is limited to 49 and seats are FREE (with donations through our fiscal sponsor, Roslindale Village Main Street, in any amount encouraged), so get your advance tickets HERE. Special thanks to Courtney and the team at RST for donating use of the theater space without cost. We look forward to seeing you there!
This was definitely something not to be missed at the start of this week: On Monday, as StreetsblogMass reported, Mayor Wu and the Boston Transportation Department held a press conference in Mattapan to announce that they had laid the groundwork and were now ready to move forward with what they are dubbing a “Safety Surge” on 3 meaningful, citywide safety initiatives, starting more or less right away:
- Speed Humps. A new, comprehensive speed hump program that will roll out 500 new speed humps on residential streets throughout Boston based on analysis of crash day and vulnerable populations instead of the frankly take-it-slow, Hunger Games-like approach of the now-sunsetted Neighborhood Slow Streets program. NOTE: These are not car-frame/axle-jarring speed bumps but instead broader, more rounded humps in the street designed to be negotiated safely without incident as long as the motor vehicle operator is going not more than a safe-for-all-street-users 20 mph. Many (though not nearly enough) have been installed under the NSS program, including several in the Mt. Hope/Canterbury NSS area of Roslindale. We advocated for NSS districts in Roslindale and were fortunate to see some success in bringing the program here, but we have always agreed with Mayor Wu that, from the moment the NSS program was started and the mayor was just an at-large city councilor, it was woefully inadequate to meet the need, shouldn’t have been based on particular kinds of advocacy, and should have just gone citywide as a basic public health and safety measure like piping our sewer output and having lights on our street. We’ve said this before and are glad that this is finally the city’s real goal: Everyone deserves to live on a safe street. Everyone on every street in every neighborhood. As soon as possible. No exceptions.
- Safer Intersections. The goal here is to redesign and reconfigure 25-30 intersections across the city, again based on crash data and vulnerable population information, to prioritize safety. Most crashes happen at intersections, so this work is absolutely critical and we look forward to seeing major, highly dangerous intersections that today act like major obstacles (ahem, the American Legion/Cummins/Canterbury intersection being a big one around here) made safer and more inviting for everyone.
- Safer Signals. This is another in the long-time-coming category. The way signals and control of motor vehicles are undertaken at signalized intersections has been a depressing prospect in this city for as long as your correspondent has lived here. The last citywide policy redo, in 2018, was deeply insufficient to meet the moment and failed move us away from a car-first mindset. The new policy stands a chance of making the changes we need made, especially through leading pedestrian intervals at key signalized crossings, prohibiting right-on-red in more places, and setting an overall goal of safety over motor vehicle throughput.
So, a momentous set of changes and ones that we look forward to following and enjoying with all of our neighbors as they roll out. Stay tuned as that happens.
You read that right! More details to follow, but WalkUP Roslindale are confirmed to present a community screening of The Street Project, a new documentary from filmmaker Jennifer Boyd, focusing on the struggle for safer streets around the US and the world. The screening will take place at 12:30 pm on the afternoon of Sunday, 25 June 2023, at the Rozzie Square Theater on Basile Street in Roslindale Square. Suggested donation will be $5.00 to support WalkUP Roslindale’s efforts to raise awareness and move the needle around these issues here at home (special thanks to Courtney and the team at RST for donating use of the theater space without cost). We look forward to seeing you there!
It has come to our attention that The Street Project, a new documentary about the safe streets movement across the country, is going to be screened this coming Sunday, 30 April 2023, at 12:45 pm at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, as part of this year’s Independent Boston Film Festival. Tickets are only $15 but they’re limited, so get them while they’re still available and take the opportunity to visit a different part of the region!