Citing an increase in traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries, Mayor Martin J. Walsh urged people who drive, walk and bicycle in the City of Boston to stay safe by paying attention to the rules of the road and being aware of others who are also traveling on local streets.
“With a recent uptick in traffic-related injuries, it is critically important that people be very careful and obey the rules of the road to keep not only yourself but your fellow travelers safe,” said Mayor Walsh in a press release. “Our top priority is ensuring the safety of our residents, but we need the public’s support to help us eliminate all traffic-related fatalities on our streets.”
In addition, WalkBoston, in partnership with the Elderly Commission, recently received funding from Tufts Health Plan Foundation to implement “Safe Routes for Seniors,” a project with the goal of supporting safe walking for older adults. As outlined in the Vision Zero Action Plan, an educational campaign is currently being developed.
The campaign will strive to reach a broad population, including the 100,000 older adults living in Boston. This will work to further the city’s commitment to making Boston a more age-friendly city by fostering an environment where everyone feels safe to walk in Boston, regardless of age or ability.
“Making Boston a safe place to walk is key to the City’s equitable access to opportunity, to long-term economic vitality, to fighting climate change, creating a resilient city, and to making Boston a great place to live, work and play,” said Wendy Landman, Executive Director of WalkBoston in a press release.
According to Vision Zero, all drivers should know that driving over 25 mph greatly increases their chance of killing or severely injuring a person if they hit them, and it makes it less likely that they will see someone about to walk in the street.
Traffic crashes do more than hurt those physically impacted. Like suicides, homicides, drug overdoses and other preventable tragedies, traffic crashes are traumatic experiences that have lasting impact on the people involved, as well as their families, witnesses and members of the community where a crash occurs.
When a serious traffic crash takes place locally, the City of Boston has resources available to support people, including trauma specialists with the Boston Public Health Commission and staff from the Elderly Commission who help people to make sense of what happened and begin to heal.
Last month, Vision Zero Boston Safety Concerns Map, an online tool that allows people to identify locations where they have concerns about transportation safety was launched. Boston residents and visitors are encouraged to visit visionzeroboston.org/input, select the location of their concern, and add it to the map. People can also enter additional comments to concerns that were reported by others.
In addition the City of Boston was chosen as one of ten cities selected by the National Vision Zero Network to participate in their new Focus Cities Program. The selection was based on the effort that the City of Boston has put into working toward the goals of Vision Zero and the progress that has been made toward maximizing safety on Boston’s streets.
Visit www.visionzeroboston.org to get involved and learn more about the City of Boston’s commitment to traffic safety.