City crafting 2030 transportation plan

April 3, 2015
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The City of Boston is developing a new comprehensive transportation plan, called “Go Boston 2030,” as part of the various coordinated efforts to envision the city in 2030.

The initiative just completed its first phase, asking residents to submit their questions and requests, partly through a City truck visiting various neighborhoods.

According to Boston Transportation Department (BTD) spokesperson Tracey Ganiatsos, the next step in the Go Boston 2030 initiative will be a two-day “Vision Forum” at a central location April 10-11. BTD is the City department working on gathering community input for the plan.

There are no other community meetings planned at the moment, though that may change as the process continues, Ganiatsos told the Gazette.

That will be followed by a comprehensive, long-term plan to be released in spring of 2016 that will have polices and projects designed to increase equity in mobility, improve the economy, better connect people to jobs and education, and protect the environment, that release said.

The Mayor’s Mobility Plan Advisory Committee, which is developing the Go Boston 2030 plan, is co-chaired by state Rep. Russell Holmes and President and CEO of nonprofit A Better City Richard Dimino.

Pete Stidman, executive director of the Boston Cyclists Union, is a committee member. Stidman said that the committee is currently working on consolidating questions into categories, “so we can see what people in Boston are interested in,” he said. “Hopefully, answers to the community questions will be pretty straightforward. Plus, some of the things are pretty visionary.”

Another committee member is John Fish, the CEO of Suffolk Construction and chairman of Boston 2024, the organization attempting to bring the Summer Olympics to Boston.

The Olympics bid essentially involves master-planning large sections of the city, including transportation. Controversy over the bid includes concerns it will trump City plans.

In a written statement to the Gazette, the Mayor’s Office said Fish’s role on the Go Boston 2030 board “is not related to his work as part of Boston 2024…Mayor Walsh is committed to building a transportation system that works for a 21st century world-class city, regardless of whether Boston hosts the 2024 Olympics.”

Boston 2024 did not respond to Gazette questions. But Stidman said Fish sometimes attends in person, sometimes sends representatives, and is not taking a special role.

“He’s definitely not dominating the conversation. He’s more into listening at this point, as we all are,” Stidman said.

Other members include Kalila Barnett (executive director, Alternatives for Community & Environment), John Cusack (Harvard-Allston Task Force), Jackie Douglas (executive director, Livable Streets), Nika Elugardo (eirector, MA Financial Education Collaborative), Sadiya Gurham (Mayor’s Youth Council), Thomas Keady (VP, Government Affairs, Boston College), Wendy Landman (Executive Director, Walk Boston), David Lee (Partner, Stull and Lee Architects), Vivien Li (President, Boston Harbor Association), Anne McGahan (South Boston resident), Anthony Petrucelli (state senator), Dave Queeley (Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation), Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd (president/CEO, MASCO), John Winske (Boston Disabilities Commission Advisory Board), David Mohler (eirector, Transportation Planning, MassDOT), and Ryan Chin (managing director of City Science Initiative, MIT Media Lab).

The committee also includes MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott, who announced she will leave office in April. The Mayor’s Office said it is working with MassDOT to find a suitable MBTA representative to replace her.

BTD already works under the “Complete Streets” guidelines, which include making roadways friendly to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists alike. City spokesperson Melina Schuler said “Go Boston 2030 will build on and incorporate the principles in Complete Streets, though the final document will have a very different focus.”

Public comments from those processes “may be incorporated…as applicable” into Go Boston 2030, and all current design and construction processes will continue while the plan is developed, Schuler said.

For its own public input, Go Boston 2030 had a glass-sided truck tour “every city neighborhood” between Jan. 29 and Feb. 7. No further truck visits are planned.

The truck’s staff was meant to directly ask residents and commuters about their concerns about getting around Boston in the future.

BTD is still accepting public input on any ideas or questions about Boston transportation issues, large or small, at goboston2030.org.

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