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.
  • 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 released "High Crash Network and High Crash Intersections 2015-2017" data and maps.
  • The number of fatal crashes has measurably decreased with 10 fatal crashes in 2019, down from 21 fatalities in 2016.
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Challenges

More than four years after the City's initial commitment to Vision Zero, there are still clear gaps in the integration of Vision Zero across departments, and this is slowing down the City’s ability to act swiftly and efficiently on its Vision Zero goals.

Despite the additional funding and staffing resources provided to the Transportation Department in Fiscal Year 2019, increased cohesion within the Transportation and Public Works departments, as well as across all relevant departments, is needed for these resources to be used effectively.

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What's Next

  • The City is working to add a network of protected bike lanes downtown.
  • The City will begin construction on the Tremont Street redesign to improve pedestrian safety.
  • The City has begun community outreach for South Mass Ave up to Harrison Ave.

What You Can Do

We are not releasing a progress report for 2019. However, we would recommend you check out LivableStreets' Go Boston 2030 report. In this report LivableStreets evaluated the City of Boston on their progress on their Go Boston 2030 plan and their Vision Zero related goals.

Particular pages to note: 16, 30-31, 46-48.