Boston City Officials Announce Plan to Improve Transportation Safety, Reliability

Boston city officials have announced a new initiative aimed at improving the safety, affordability, and reliability of commuters.

Mayor Marty Walsh said Tuesday the $5 million Go Boston 2030 Transportation Plan includes a city transit team, new protected bike lanes and pedestrian paths, intersection redesigns, and traffic signal advancements.

The plan will contribute to 58 ongoing projects and policies.

"Getting from point A to point B should be safe, affordable, and reliable — and this strategy is a bold, progressive way to ensure transportation in Boston is equitable for everyone," said Walsh. "Last year, we promised to make transportation in Boston better for all with our Go Boston 2030 plan, and these improvements and investments do just that. We're committed to creating a strong transportation network by investing in both short and long-term projects that will create greater transportation access that is reliable and safe for all users of our city's streets."

Chris Osgood, Boston's Chief of Streets, added that in order to address climate change and to increase equity, the city is aware that the transportation system needs to grow.

"Building off the Go Boston 2030 plan, this set of investments is a major step towards that goal. It increases investment in the basics of our streets, such as well-timed traffic signals, smooth roads, and good sidewalks, and it builds out a team that can help more people get around our city by bus, bike, car or foot," Osgood said.

One proposal to help fund the plan is to alter the city's current parking fines. Under the proposal, fines for things like double parking and parking in street cleaning areas would increase.

"I would have no objection to increasing fines. I wish people would be fined for double parking more often," said Boston resident Janice Murray.

According to city officials, Boston has not raised parking ticket fines in 10 years.

"Increasing various parking fines that have not been adjusted since 2008 and allocating those funds to improve the City's ability to better manage its transportation services is smart public policy that will lead to more reliable commutes for the City's residents and those who work in Boston," said Sam Tyler, President of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. "In these times, the City must rely more on its own revenue sources for improved services, which is why the transportation fine increases this year make sense."

The proposal to increase the parking ticket fines would increase revenue to $5 million.

City officials said that revenue would be reinvested back into things like strengthening bus transit, improving streets and signals, and increasing safety for people who use streets to walk and bike.

"One of the biggest challenges we have as a city is getting people around the city, having the increase in fines will do that," Walsh said. The part about the fines is, if they do, the money will go back into transportation."

The parking ticket increase will have to be approved by the city council as part of the new budget up for review April 11. If it gets the green light it would go into effect July 1.

The full plan can be read on the City of Boston's website.

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