"This isn't our plan,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, “this plan came from the people." Addressing an audience surrounded by fellow city officials and department heads, Walsh unveiled the city’s transportation agenda for the next 15 years. The Go Boston 2030 Vision and Action Plan (PDF) acts as a blueprint for the city, breaking down how mobility needs improvement within the city and in the surrounding region.
The plan, which has been in the making for the last two years, lays out 58 projects and policies that the city will begin to prioritize, the bulk of which has been on the city’s innovative community outreach program. Rather than holding a community comment period in City Hall, the city held several events in different communities asking residents to write down their hopes for the city’s transportation future.
Dubbed the Question Campaign, the city solicited questions from the public in order to understand their thoughts, ideas and concerns. In late January and early February of 2015, the Question Truck visited 15 neighborhood locations collecting questions from people where they live, work and travel. Passersby were invited to share their question and to read other people’s questions. The outreach campaign generated 3,700 project and policy ideas for improving transportation with recurring themes of safety, reliability and innovative technology.
The 58 projects and policies that are listed in the Action Plan are organized into three geographic areas: local, crosstown and regional. Each project is accompanied with a policy score that measures the effect of access, safety, reliability, sustainability, affordability and governance.
Every action that the city plans on taking is keeping in mind three guiding principles:
Projects include reprogramming parking meters; performance-based meter pricing where prices increase during high-impact times of day, which leads to less congestion on the street; and outfitting several intersections with smart signals that communicate with one another and help alleviate rush-hour gridlock.
One project that will help increase mobility for the harder-to-reach segments of the communities is the Key to the City program. During a demonstration earlier in the day, Boston CIO Jascha Franklin-Hodge explained how the city is working on a universal key that riders could purchase use to buy bus tickets, rent Zipcars or hail ride-sharing vehicles. This would provide residents a seamless multi-modal transportation system.
"Go Boston 2030 addresses the transportation challenges that we face as a city and a region, and lays the foundation for how we can create a safer, more equitable transportation future," said Walsh in a release.