WalkBoston‘s Brendan Kearney presented at the April 2017 meeting of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) to discuss its walk-ability initiatives. WalkBoston is a non-profit that advocates for public and private infrastructure that creates connections, destinations, safety and comfort for walkers.
Kearney highlighted the North End as a great example of a walking neighborhood with very active street presence. WalkBoston regularly conducts street audits and submits findings to city and state officials. The group also encourages residents to use 311 to report issues related to walkability.
Residents raised issues with the North End Cycle Track and its associated risk to pedestrians. The 2-way cycle track requires a change in the way walkers have to look (both ways) when crossing the street. Bike traffic signals should be turned on shortly and that could help raise awareness for both bicyclists and pedestrians.
When asked about brick sidewalks, Kearney said they can work if smooth and well-maintained, but generally WalkBoston prioritizes accessibility over aesthetics.