Five Boston neighborhoods to get streets re-done to slow down cars

The Boston Transportation Department today identified five neighborhoods that, over the next year, will get city-funded street changes in an attempt to make side streets safer by making motorists slow down:

BTD anticipates planning work to begin in the five new communities this year. The Neighborhood Slow Streets process calls for a community walk to kick off the process, allowing residents to identify key challenges and areas where residents would like to see changes. When completed, the selected Neighborhood Slow Streets areas will be equipped with visual and physical cues to slow drivers to 20 MPH, making each street feel more inviting for people of all ages who are walking, playing, or bicycling.

Chinatown, Grove Hall/Quincy Corridor in Dorchester, Highland Park in Roxbury, Mount Hope/Canterbury in Roslindale and West of Washington, an area in Dorchester along Whitfield Street between Talbot Avenue and Harvard Street, will all get "Slow Streets" projects that could include everything from speed humps and tables to signs. Map of the winning neighborhoods and other applicants.

BTD says the winning areas were chosen based on several factors, including having higher than citywide averages of children under 18 and senior citizens, having higher than average rates of car crashes, being near schools, parks and public transportation and neighborhood support.



Free tagging: 


I'm glad they are finally

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I'm glad they are finally doing things like this but they are dragging their feet. The longer they take on projects like this the more people will die. The amount of pedestrians who have been hit by drivers the past year or so is off the charts. The "winning" applicants get safer streets while the losing ones get...more pedestrians killed in crosswalks?!? Just fix all of the streets. If money is the issue then start charging more than the current $0 for parking permits.

You have to start somewhere...

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No idea how much money the city has, but with limited resources you have to start somewhere. It sounds like they are aiming to do high value targets with good chances of improvement, and maybe that will lead to further support/improvements elsewhere.

Keep calm and carry on. :)

As an aside, I’d bet you’d

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As an aside, I’d bet you’d see people use their off street spaces more if permits actually cost money.

Are you seriously suggesting

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Are you seriously suggesting that people who have off-street parking choose not to use it in favor of street parking?

For God's sake, why would anybody do that*?

Seriously! Somebody actually goes through a thought process like "I've got an off-street spot at my disposal, always there when I need it, included in my rent or whatever, and it might actually reduce my insurance a couple of dollars being theoretically potentially a little bit more secure - but I'll park on the street where I need to deal with moving it for sweeping, clipped mirrors, shoveled space poachers on one hand, space-saver vigilantes on the other, having to remember each morning where in a two or three-block radius I parked the night before, etc...."

* other than for the occasional out-of-town guest to whom one would say "Park in my off-street spot, I'll put my car on the street with its neighborhood sticker."

it's sounds crazy

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. . . but it isn't terribly uncommon. I only have to go as far as my upstairs neighbor in the South End who has a deeded parking spot in the alley behind our building but who routinely parks her car on the street. I think it's pure laziness because she has to walk around the corner to get to her space in the alley.

Excuse me?

I own a car and drive it.

I simply know from years of professional and personal research that, from a health standpoint, climate standpoint, air pollution standpoint, resources and war standpoint, and urban design standpoint that CARS HAVE THEIR PLACE AND IT ISN'T EVERYWHERE.

That isn't "hating cars" - that's LIMITING their use to appropriate environments, times, and places. In many situations, particularly in cities, they cause vastly more harm than good and are not an appropriate transportation solution. Their sacred cow nature also results in inappropriate, wasteful, and inequities in public resource allocation.

You need to grow up, learn to think critically, and get some training in how to get data and do research about the world around you - and stop acting like your car is your testicles.

Actually I don't own a car.

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Actually I don't own a car. Have no need for one. But I certainly understand the value they bring to the world.

Re: your first paragraph, what you say is true, obviously. But that's not the arguments that are made often here on uhub. It's usually more vehicles sucks, and everyone should ride bikes. Or people shouldn't be allowed to park their private property on public streets. Things of that nature.

You. nor konokopio (or whatever) have no right to determine when and where car use is appropriate. Your passing your opinions off as gospel and its simply not true. Some city dwellers absolutely need their cars to get around for plenty of reasons.

I don't need to grow up, I'm just fine. But you should stop passing your own opinions off on other people because they are just your opinions, not facts.

"Actually I don't own a car. "

No prob, I'll own one for you. Is it OK if it's fast? Will people talk about my insecurities? The fact that I own more than one car?

Hey, I'm happy.

Maybe it's time to stop listening to people that make personal attacks on anyone that doesn't think just like her.

Who made a personal attack, dear?

Read from the top, darling - I had made ZERO comments when I was personally attacked.

I suppose that you have a non-sequitur alt-right GIF to respond with, though.


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Who says so? You? Cars are everywhere so get over it. You don't want to drive? Take your Converse and walk your ass off, but don't preach to everyone on who can drive, where and when. Look at the National Geographic Magazine, people drive in 3rd world countries where they barely can afford to drive. So please cut the shit with your bigoted views on people with drivers licenses.

Ok, first

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cars are not the only means of transportation and/or transport that are causing our problems. How about in the transportation category we include planes (perhaps you and your family members should limit your flying?) The other two big contributors to our pollution problems are in the food production category (ya know, beef emissions, perhaps you and your family members should give it up if you have not already done so?), and the energy production category (perhaps you and your family members should give up your AC units, if you have yet to do so and go fan based?), do I need to go on?

So before you tell someone else to "grow up" and "learn to think critically" and "get some training in how to get data and do research" blah, blah, blah, you might want to expand your own horizons on the topic.

I think it's the cars who owe

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I think it's the cars who owe us an apology. They make traveling thru the city very inefficient and unsafe, turn seemingly normal people into sociopaths once they get behind the wheel, and are rapidly transforming our planet into an unlivable cauldron.

I do hate cars and feel no need to apologize for it.

My car

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doesn't talk. It can't, won't, and doesn't need to apologize to you.

You do know

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cars can't engage in a productive 1 on 1 conversation, correct?


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What exactly is the number of people hit by drivers in the city of Boston in the past year, what is your source of information, and what comparison are you making to what other number, when you say the number is "off the charts"?


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The amount of pedestrians who have been hit by drivers the past year or so is off the charts

. Off what chart, compared to what facts?
Care to provide us with actual data with a source?

Good. I wouldn't be able to

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Good. I wouldn't be able to deal with getting knocked around in the back of a Silver Line bus.


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Streets don't get speed bumps.

Parking lots get speed bumps.

Streets (sometimes) get ramps, raised crossings, and/or tables - but not speed bumps.

Streets absolutely can get

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Streets absolutely can get speed humps. It's not common around here, but it's perfectly allowed, and somewhat common in other areas.

Yes. Unfortunately for you,

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Yes. Unfortunately for you, not what I was talking about.

You mentioned humps. I was replying to the original mention of speed bumps, which are something completely different.

Bumps = humps in this context

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Bumps = humps in this context. The terms are interchangable.

The three types of raised elements used in traffic calming are speed bumps/humps, raised crosswalks, and raised intersections. Which one were you referring to?

Thank you, Mr. Traffic

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Thank you, Mr. Traffic Engineering Language Police.

Without you here, everyone would have, well, gotten along just fine and understood what the previous poster meant by speed bumps.

If Boston doesn't maintain

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If Boston doesn't maintain the paint on speed bumps, they'll quickly turn into stealth bumps, which have all the drawbacks (knocking people around and endangering cyclists) and none of the benefits (encouraging drivers to slow down when they see them).

Brookline maintains the

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Brookline maintains the triangle paint markings on the humps (or bumps or fumps or whatever they're called), at least as of October 2016 when that Street View was taken. I'm pretty sure Boston won't bother, judging by how many wide downtown streets don't even have remnants of the lane lines they used to have.

On the other hand, look at

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On the other hand, look at all the scrape marks:

You could say it's drivers' own fault if they scrape their car on a speed hump. But that doesn't help someone living nearby, when what used to be typical background traffic noise is intentionally transformed into scraping that never stops.

This is something I worry about, if the intersection near my house ever gets the bump treatment.

What types of pavement

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What types of pavement provide as much visibility as the reflective paint that is required on speed humps?

The "winning" areas?...

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Too bad we are at a point where - the City actually doing something to protect people on your street is considered winning.

So in this case, the "losers" (42 other districts) will just have to deal with getting hit by cars?

And look at that map - I think there is a bigger problem to be addressed when almost half of the city was submitted for review.

Enough with "clever traffic-calming tactics" - just install speed bumps fo chrissakes!! problem solved.

Weird criteria

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"having higher than citywide averages of children under 18 and senior citizens"

Children I understand - they're unpredictable. But aren't senior citizens the demographic that has the lowest need of Slow Streets?

...but maybe senior citizens

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...but maybe senior citizens walk just a little bit slower and might need the extra second to cross the road.

Preventing social isolation

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Walkable neighborhoods help seniors remain active, healthy, social and free to move around. Older adults perceive poor sidewalks, the absence of resting places and dangerous intersections as barriers to walking. Living in walkable neighborhoods means you are more likely to know your neighbors, participate in politics, engage socially and even trust people.

locals take back their neighborhoods!

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Speed bumps should be installed on either sides of all crosswalks... sorry car drivers and cyclists, but human safety is more important than your need for speed and convenience.

Do speedbumps bother cyclists?

I've taken the downhill one that was near Tufts at 15-20 mph on a bike and it isn't a big deal. Just the low rent trailer park ones are a hassle - the rest aren't an issue to roll over at all.

My experience may not be that of others, but I've rarely heard other cyclists complain about them when they are properly constructed.

Rumble strips are of the Devil, though.

I really dislike them as a

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I really dislike them as a cyclist. Besides the time and effort it takes to slow down and speed up again, it's one more thing
that requires some of my attention, when I need as much as possible to look for pedestrians, cars, and other cyclists.

It helps somewhat when the hump doesn't extend through the bike lane, assuming road geometry makes this possible.

I agree with this 100%. A

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I agree with this 100%. A proper speed hump constructed out of asphalt and several feet wide is perfectly easy and comfortable to cross at 15 mph on a bike. It's the damn 6" plastic/rubber/whatever ones that suck so much. It still annoys me every time I head onto the Community Path via Maxwell's Green that they put those stupid things across the whole width of the road, since it is signed as the bike route to the path.You can tell everyone aims for the couple inch gap between them and the curbs, and the last time I went through one of them had been knocked loose.