Boston

In March of 2015, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced that the City of Boston was joining cities and towns worldwide in adopting Vision Zero. Soon after, Mayor Walsh appointed a working Task Force comprised of representatives of several government agencies as well as local advocacy groups.

Several members of the Vision Zero Coalition participate on the City’s Task Force, and the Coalition works closely with the Boston Transportation Department, Boston City Council, and other city leaders.

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Progress

  • The Citywide default speed limit was lowered to 25 MPH.
  • Improvements were made to Massachusetts Ave and Codman Square to reduce speeds and create safer streets.
  • With the introduction of the Neighborhood Slow Streets program, the City committed to reducing speeds on residential streets by changing the physical character of the streets with traffic calming devices.
  • The City launched the "Boston’s Safest Driver", a mobile app that provides feedback on one’s driving behaviors and awards points for safe driving.
  • The City launched a Safety Concerns Map, which allows anyone to share a transportation safety concern online. The map has received over 10,000 responses from all of Boston’s neighborhoods.
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Challenges

Limited funding and staffing has delayed progress. The City of New York spends about $20 per person on Vision Zero annually, and San Francisco spends $75 per person annually. Both cities have seen declines in overall traffic fatalities despite a troubling rise in fatal crashes nationwide. Boston is spending less than $5 dollars per person.

In 2017, forty-seven neighborhood groups applied for Neighborhood Slow Street Zones, a signature program of Boston’s Vision Zero initiative. Only five were selected.

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What's Next

  • The City is working to improve safe crossings along major corridors in Chinatown and Mattapan Square.
  • The City has made it a goal to advance data analysis to include demographic information and health equity. To help set future priorities, they will identify those corridors and intersections with high crash rates.

What You Can Do

Learn More