Mayor Walsh Announces New Transportation Initiatives
It's for good reason. We're an awful city in terms of traffic efficiency. Mayor Walsh knows, and it looks like he's come out with some concrete plans to change that. Below, we outline the most important initiatives he announced.
- Lowering the speed limit on city streets from 25 mph to 20 mph. You might remember that two years ago, in January of 2017, we lowered the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph. Now, for those of us in a rush to get to work, we may complain about this initiative. What gives? The answer: "At 20 mph there is a 17% likelihood of a fatality or severe injury occurring, and that number jumps to 75% at 40 mph." Simply put, the higher the speed limit, the more likely it is people will be severely hurt or killed. So, maybe just try to leave a little earlier.
- Uber/Lyft drop-off areas. We've all been there: You're driving and some group of college kids are taking all the time in the world to get into their Uber. Well, the mayor has some ideas how to improve that. There will be designated areas for you to call and get into Ubers/Lyfts. The zone will become active at 5pm and go until 8am the next morning. Will this just cause more insane congestion in one area, or will it solve Uber/Lyft traffic forever? That remains to be seen. But with ride-sharing becoming ever more prevalent, it's probably a good idea to try something.
- New bus lanes. The press release stated these lanes will traverse "Brighton Avenue in Allston and North Washington Street downtown. The North Washington Street bus lane will be in effect 24/7 inbound from the Charlestown Bridge to Haymarket." They will be in effect Monday-Friday at peak inbound hours.
- Lastly, free MBTA bus passed to all students grades 7-12. It doesn't matter what type of school (public, private, charter); all children will receive free bus passes. Perhaps the least controversial initiative announced today, this will raise the number of students who currently receive bus passes from 20,000 to an estimated 30,000.
Those are the most important announces made! Lower speed limit, ride-sharing drop-off areas, new bus lanes, and free bus passes for students. Hopefully, we'll start to see some much needed improvements in our commutes.