Mayor Announces $14 Million for Improvements for Biking, Walking, and Driving
Boston, MA– As part of the 2020 budget for the city of Boston, Mayor Walsh announced fiscal initiatives to improve transportation within the city. That includes funding for bike programs, pedestrian safety, and road improvements.
$2 million will go to bike infrastructure, $4 million will go to Boston's Walkable Streets programs, and $8 million to improve the City's bridges, roads, sidewalks and lane markings.
"Investing in transportation that works for everyone -- whether you walk, bike, take public transportation or drive -- is our key goal as we continue to improve transportation in Boston," said Mayor Walsh. "Creating an equitable city with opportunity for all means ensuring residents can move easily and safely around Boston, and these new investments, from bike lanes to reconstructed sidewalks, will go a long way towards ensuring Boston's streets and spaces safe, reliable and accessible for all."
Boston has been in the process of piloting a new program entitled "performance parking" which attempts to change congestion by fluctuating the prices of parking meters in high-congestion areas. They focused on two areas at first: Back Bay and South Boston Waterfront. In Back Bay, they attempted to set a similar price for the entire neighborhood, and the effects were clear to see: "Double-parking decreased by 14 percent, and illegal parking decreased by an average of 22 percent. During this pilot, on average a parking space was available on every block."
Based off this successful program, Boston is going to make some additional changes to other neighborhoods to see if similar results can be achieved:
- South Boston parking rates will be altered with the highest demand areas lowered to $3.75/hour and the average block set to $2.00/hour.
- Parking meter rates in all other metered areas of the City, such as Beacon Hill, the Financial District and the South End, will be set to $2.00/hour.
The City hopes these improvements will show the same results as in Back Bay: less double parking, more available spots, and less congestion. As a result of some of these increases, Boston will then reinvest the money in other transportation projects.
As Mayor Walsh said last month, "making sure our residents can get around our city in a safe and reliable way is key to ensuring Boston's opportunities extend to all."