Chinatown selected for City of Boston’s Neighborhood Slow Streets Program

By Asian Community Development Corporation

 

Boston, MA, August 3, 2017– Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca today announced that Chinatown is one of five neighborhoods that will join the Neighborhood Slow Streets program in 2017, which received 47 proposals this year. The Neighborhood Slow Streets program is a community-based effort to reduce speeds and improve the quality of life on Boston’s local streets.

Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) will partner with residents and all other Chinatown community organizations to work with the Boston Transportation and Public Works Departments to plan and implement Neighborhood Slow Streets in Chinatown.

“We are excited for this opportunity to continue and expand upon the pedestrian safety campaign work that ACDC launched last summer with other partners in Chinatown,” said Angie Liou, Executive Director of ACDC.

ACDC worked with Chinatown Main Street and BCNC to submit an application to the Slow Streets program to continue our Chinatown pedestrian safety campaign from last summer. In the wake of harrowing pedestrian accidents within the last three years, including a toddler being stuck and killed on Nassau Street, Wen Yin Cao, a Chinatown resident and participant of ACDC’s AVOYCE youth program, was moved to work with Debbie Chen, ACDC’s Community Planner and Project Manager, to implement a pedestrian safety campaign in Chinatown last summer.

The campaign focused on the most dangerous intersections in Chinatown and involved collaboration with groups including WalkBoston, Chinatown Main Street, and the Chinatown Residents Association. High school youth collected pedestrian and traffic data and conducted interviews of Chinatown residents on their pedestrian experiences. The youth presented their research, resident interviews and recommendations, to the Boston Department of Transportation (BTD), where City Councilor Andrea Campbell was also present, last August. Campbell expressed her support for the campaign, “I was born and raised in Boston. I love Chinatown. Consider us an advocate.” You can view the video documenting the youth’s work at https://vimeo.com/178342003.

“After all our efforts this past year, I’m thrilled with the Slow Streets designation. Chinatown is more than a shortcut across town. It is a community densely populated with kids and grandparents everyday crossing streets that are dangerous by design. The Slow Streets zone will go a long way to remedying this,” said Debbie Chen, Community Planner and Project Manager at ACDC.

As a result of the campaign, BTD implemented structural improvements along Kneeland Street in Chinatown, including nearly doubling the pedestrian walk light timing and painting street markers to prevent vehicles from blocking pedestrian paths at intersections.

ACDC looks forward to working with the City and community partners to continue this work to ensure that Chinatown is a safe and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood for all residents and visitors.

 

About Asian Community Development Corporation

The Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), a 30-year old community-based organization, serves the Asian American community of Greater Boston, with an emphasis on preserving and revitalizing Boston’s Chinatown. ACDC develops physical community assets, including affordable housing for rental and ownership; promotes economic development; fosters youth leadership development; builds capacity within the community and advocates on behalf of the community. ACDC has developed over $100 million in mixed-use real estate that is home to over 1,200 residents in Boston and Quincy, and provides housing counseling and homebuyer workshops throughout the year. For more information or to sign up for a workshop, visit www.asiancdc.org.

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