Mayor vows: City workers won't miss a step as they walk every last road in Boston

On Sept. 15, workers from the Office of Neighborhood Services will begin walking every last inch of the 850 miles of streets in Boston, to catalog everything they can find as part of a citywide "audit," Mayor Walsh announced today:

Our ONS reps are outstanding, but I want them to know every inch of the area that they represent and the best way to do that is to get on the ground and in the weeds. By combining technology and grassroots engagement, we can - for the first time in our history - truly assess every piece of this City, to better serve the people in our neighborhoods. ...

ONS representatives will be equipped with connected tablets and data will be gathered utilizing mobile technology through existing apps such as Citizens Connect and City Worker. ... The data from NEW Boston will be compiled by Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), and will be shared with the public through a web-based story map. The map will show the routes that have been covered, highlight the issues that ONS has identified, and display the progress of resolving each issue.

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Comments

Early

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Christmas present? Think of the OT.

Disappointed it wasn't 1000 Miles.

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Making my way downtown, walking fast, faces pass, and I'm home bound.

Staring blankly ahead, just making my way, making a way through the crowd...

And I need you,
And I miss you,
And now I wonder....

If I could fall into the sky,
do you think time would pass me by?
'Cause you know I'd walk a thousand miles
If I could just see you...
Tonight.

Lets hope

Lets hope, that as they frequently trip over the multitude of homeless druggies hanging out on Washington street around the intersection of School and Washington, that they finally realize there is a problem and do something about it.

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1:40pm

Six drunk homeless at the Irish memorial. Two drunk pan handlers outside 7-Eleven across the street. Two homeless outside chipotle on the corner of school in Washington. One crazy guy living in the doorway and pie alley.

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Yes they are there

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"I frequently pass by that intersection and have yet to see "multitudes" of "homeless druggies" in that area."

They are all over the place in that area. Everywhere. The benches around the Famine Memorial were even removed, as they served as beds for the zonked out.

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what will they be looking for?

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IMO - the most pressing issue in the southern end of the city is pedestrian/bike safety - yes, there might be pockets of crime and a handful of trouble properties, but there are many places with high pedestrian activity (especially around schools) combined with streets that encourage dangerous driving - and there's absolutely no way this city will ever reach 10% bike mode share if people don't feel comfortable biking in dorchester - or if the main connection between the SW corridor/emerald necklace paths and hyde park/roslindale is riding on congested roads with buses constantly pulling over. They could solve a lot of problems along blue hill ave and columbia by making that area more pedestrian friendly and providing better access to franklin park.

The city needs to address these issues FIRST instead of poking their noses around people's properties - especially when people in the neighborhood haven't complained. If it's the latter - they'll just end up getting a lot of really pissed-off property owners.

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and are they going to connect

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and are they going to connect with existing neighborhood groups? maybe walk the neighborhood with them? people who live in these neighborhoods know where the issues are.

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The city needs to address

The city needs to address these issues FIRST instead of poking their noses around people's properties - especially when people in the neighborhood haven't complained. If it's the latter - they'll just end up getting a lot of really pissed-off property owners.

They're not going to be walking onto people's property or going through your yard. They'll be walking along the sidewalks and streets, presumably checking for faded crosswalks, traffic problems, etc. You're probably one of the first people to complain when something isn't done to your liking but then complain when the city is being proactive for once.

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this is not clear from adam's post

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the way this is worded seems vague - I really hope they're looking for issues on public ways in regards to vulnerable road user safety (and things like vacant/abandoned lots) instead of calling up ISD about the tomatoes I'm growing in pots in my driveway - or the fact that I need to repair my gutter...

The most pressing need in the south of the City

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Is not pedestrian/bike safety. Compared to other parts of Boston (see Huntington and Commonwealth Avenues) we have no troubles. Every day I walk by the Little People Playhouse on Washington Street, and parents are able to safely jaywalk their toddlers across the street, mainly because people are good at heart. Sure, yesterday me and Waquiot Jr. were crossing South Street at Wallpaper City and a car went around the Wallpaper City truck and almost hit us, but that is a case of the bad apple, and in any event we were on a crosswalk. One can get on a bike lane just south of the Harvest Co-Op jog and take it to West Roxbury. One can also take a bike lane from Holy Name to Jamaica Pond. And, I should note, there is a bike lane from Franklin Park down Columbia Road to Edward Everett Square.

No, the mighty South, the area stretching from Forest Hills out to the Mother Brook, has a host of "broken windows" type problems that need fixing. In the end, though, crime (or the perception of crime) and education will always be the big things. However, in order for the "broken windows" issues to be fixed, boots need to be on the ground. I applaud the Mayor's Office for doing this. Besides, who knows, the boots on the ground might just come back in agreement with you.

Sounds like a great idea

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A local, modern equivalent to the Domesday Book. The idea of a city wide audit is good. But to create data bases, to map, to just see what is the lay of the land as the primary goal sounds like a great idea.

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mayors ons

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maybe he should put that much interest in having them walk certain neighborhoods and give out parking violations where they are neglecting to do their job properly.For those people who are parking illegally on our streets with out any tickets issued everyday from out of state plates ,and non resident parking stickers

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Clearly you have the root

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Clearly you have the root cause of the problem figured out, since people who register their cars in the city of Boston never commit any parking violations.

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I love it

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This is really cool, and highlights what a walkable city Boston is. In a lot of urban areas a project like this would be impossible due to lack of sidewalks, safe places to cross, etc. (Not to say that these places don't exist in Boston, but they are few and far between, and this project will likely help identify them.)

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Downtown Boston is America's Walking City...

The neighborhoods, especially to the south, are a different story.

As a commenter pointed out above, Dorchester isn't a pedestrian or cyclist friendly area. Neither is my own stomping ground. Indeed, I hope they pay extra attention to all the areas in Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roslindale where there can be upwards of 3/4 of a mile between legal crossings of main streets. Add to that badly sequenced walk signals, missing/broken walk request buttons, and a total lack of enforcement, and I hope the city will finally realize how dangerous it can be to walk anywhere outside of Back Bay/Beacon Hill/North End/South End/Chinatown.

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they repaved gallivan

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with absolutely no bike improvements (no shared lane markings - nothing). and there's even plenty of space there for bike lanes + two travel lanes each direction.

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But the city should have been

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But the city should have been involved in the planning process.

Since I spend most of my time in the close-in neighborhoods, I'm used to being able to walk everywhere without having to worry about pedestrian-unfriendly roads.

So I was really surprised when I was visiting a friend in Dorchester and had a really hard time walking across Gallivan. Even though it was later in the evening on a weekend, there was so much high-speed traffic that I had to wait a really long time, and I still had to run across. Walking to the nearest traffic light and back would have added 12 minutes, plus the time waiting for the light, just to get across the street.

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probably designed before state adopted NACTO

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but how did this one slip through the cracks? There are way too many of these weird jurisdictional issues in this city - IMO - this stuff needs to either all go through the Boston transportation department (who isn't exactly doing a great job, though) - but especially Boston Bikes. right now you have to go through 7 layers of beaucracy just to find out if something is actually happening - and even then you'll get told wrong information or redirected to different agencies who will tell you something completely different.

Another state agency (DCR) managed to put in really poorly designed bike lanes along the arborway - which they were forced to remove. They had promised to work with the cyclist union and boston bikes, and then one day the lanes just appeared.

It would be nice if there was a map of streets in this city showing who has jurisdiction - down to the sidewalks and traffic signals.

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forward facing story map?

From the press release:
"The findings will be shared in a forward-facing story map, continuing the Mayor’s pledge for increased transparency and accountability in City government."

what are they talking about?

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