Local leadership to improve transportation choices is critical to making progress. And promoting innovation is essential in the public sector. On these counts, the City of Boston is setting a great example for other cities and towns in Massachusetts. A robust planning and public engagement process, such as Go Boston 2030, contributes to better transportation alternatives in two important ways.
First, good planning drives strategic choices, so that a community sets priorities based on values. Second, by encouraging robust public participation, these choices, which often involve trade-offs, have a strong and credible foundation.
For example, on-street parking is important to many people. But some parking may be reduced to provide protected bike lanes or dedicated busways. Those tradeoffs need strong public support to succeed.
The Go Boston 2030 Action Plan sets a high bar both for its ambitious goals, and its inclusiveness. Among the values that are reflected in this plan:
- A focus on equity: Mayor Walsh and his team clearly made transportation justice a priority by ensuring that historically under-served neighborhood needs would be included.
- Climate responsibility: the city acknowledged that climate is intertwined with transportation, and the choices we make today have far-reaching consequences.
- Economic opportunity: transportation connects people to work, school and pathways to success. For Boston to thrive in the coming years, the local workforce must have convenient and affordable commuting options.
If a bold vision is to be achieved, however, it needs a strong foundation of public support. Go Boston 2030 includes outreach in many forms, from interviews to public events and workshops, online and in-person, in neighborhoods and central locations.
As communities throughout the state pursue transportation plans, they should borrow from the Go Boston 2030 process.
Go Boston 2030 was supported in part by the Barr Foundation, which also provides funding to Transportation for Massachusetts.