Get ready for the Marty party

Boston’s Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh

Last week Pete Stidman, your representative on Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh’s Transition Team, rubbed shoulders with some big names in Boston’s transportation world and put forward a few ideas for change at the first meeting of the team’s Transportation & Infrastructure Working Group. The breadth of knowledge and experience in this and the other 11 working groups is impressive, and the inclusion of biking, walking, and access leaders on the team speaks to Walsh’s vision of an inclusive administration.

Outgoing Mayor Thomas Menino is also putting his best foot forward, detailing his administration’s programs and accomplishments on his own transition blog.

You can help collect the best ideas going by sharing what you’d like to keep, implement, or dream using this short and sweet questionnaire. The ideas most likely to succeed will be those that include funding strategies or are cost neutral. The question we are charged with is not so much what is our goal, but how do we get to it from here?

To make sure progressive transportation ideas are well supported and your specific ideas are heard you can also speak up at a massive town hall meeting this Saturday in Roxbury, or at hearings for Transportation (Mon., Dec. 16), the Environment and Parks (Tues. Dec. 17), or Public Health (Wed., Dec. 18). You can RSVP and find details for these and other hearings at boston14.org.

Some of the Bike Union’s key priorities during the transition include:

  • Increase spending on bike infrastructure from city, state or federal sources to $6 million per year, to meet the Boston Bike Network Plan’s five-year goal by the end of Marty’s first term.
  • Officially adopt the city’s Complete Streets Guidelines and create a multi-agency review board, including seats for walking, biking and transit advocates, to ensure developers and city departments are adhering to them.
  • Create a safety director position at the Boston Transportation Dept. to assist better crash and injury data collection at other city agencies and ensure its use in creating new street designs. (e.g. Help Boston Police implement PBCAT in their new CAD incident reporting system and ensure resulting data reaches transportation planners.)
  • Include cyclists in planning processes and encourage their participation in ‘friends of’ groups to support Boston’s parks.

Please support these ideas along with your own in your public and written comments! At each transition hearing, Boston residents will be able to share their ideas with working group leaders about how to improve the city. The ideas collected will be integrated into a final presentation that each working group will share with the Mayor at the end of January.

The support you show for bicycling improvements now can set the tone for the next four years and possibly more. Don’t miss this historic opportunity.

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