Applications for Slow Streets Program Available

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that applications for the 2018 Neighborhood Slow Streets program are now available. The Neighborhood Slow Streets program is a community-based effort to reduce speeds and improve the quality of life on Boston’s local streets. Neighborhoods associations, community groups, faith-based institutions and other organized groups of neighbors are invited to apply to the program.

“Boston residents want safe residential streets and the Neighborhood Slow Streets initiative is specifically designed to meet this goal by using traffic calming equipment and techniques to control speeding,” said Mayor Walsh. “Neighborhood Slow Streets is a signature Vision Zero investment in our neighborhoods. It complements the work that BTD and other City agencies are undertaking each day to make our neighborhood streets safe and welcoming for Boston residents.”

All completed applications will be evaluated using the same objective criteria.  The top-scoring three to five neighborhoods will be selected, and the community process and design of each new zone is expected to be completed by early 2020.  Applications must be submitted, or postmarked and mailed, by no later than Friday, August 24, 2018.

Neighborhood Slow Streets was implemented as a pilot program in the Talbot Norfolk Triangle in Dorchester and the Stonybrook neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in late 2017. The program aims to slow drivers to 20 MPH and make streets feel more inviting to everyone who lives, plays, walks, and bicycles in the neighborhood. The program uses quick-install and low-cost fixes, such as signage, pavement markings, and speed humps.

“Due to the popularity of the pilot, BTD developed a metrics-based application review process to evaluate requests by groups of residents interested in bringing the program to their neighborhoods,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca.  “Five new zones were selected in 2017 and BTD is currently advancing through the planning and design work for each of these zones. Boston’s Public Works Department will manage construction of the five new projects and we anticipate that all work will be completed in 2019.”

Talbot-Norfolk Triangle resident Tiffany Cogell said, “Neighborhood Slow Streets puts the power of safe infrastructure changes into the hands of residents while allowing them the opportunity to interact directly with the City. It creates opportunities for deeper engagement between the local government and residents, and gives residents the chance to voice their opinions and lived expertise. It saves lives and is a great benefit to every community that is able to participate.”

The five neighborhoods selected last year for participation in the program include:


Grove Hall/Quincy Corridor

Highland Park

Mount Hope/Canterbury

West of Washington

As a result of feedback from the community, the 2018 application process has been simplified. Applicants are asked to supply:

Contact information;

A map of their proposed zone;

Signatures from community members; and,

A minimum of three letters of support from organizations, key stakeholders or officials.

Please note that returning applicants only need to supply contact information and signatures from community members, and returning applicants may submit a new map if they choose to make adjustments to their zone.

Neighborhood Slow Streets prioritizes areas with the most need for traffic calming. In 2018, the Boston Transportation Department will select from the new applications submitted three to five new residential neighborhoods where the program will next be implemented.  The evaluation criteria will ensure that these neighborhoods:

Are home to higher percentages of youth, older adults, and people with disabilities;

Experience higher numbers of traffic crashes per mile that resulted in an EMS response;

Include, or border, community gathering places such as public libraries, community centers, schools, and parks;

Support existing and planned opportunities for walking, bicycling, and access to the MBTA or other forms of public transit; and

Are feasible for the City of Boston to implement.

The Neighborhood Slow Streets Program is a component of the Vision Zero safety agenda established in the City of Boston as a priority of Go Boston 2030, the City’s long term transportation plan. For detailed information on Go Boston 2030 please visit here.

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