BOSTON, MA—Boston mayoral candidates took the stage at the Boston Public Library on Tuesday night to discuss top transportation priorities for the City of Boston. Sponsored by 28 different groups, the forum on Transportation and Livable Communities covered a wide range of topics, from public transportation funding to hotly-contested parking issues. Questions included asking candidates whether they would scrap the Boston Development Authority and to identify community concerns to the plan to build 30,000 new high-density housing units in the city.
“This diverse group of advocates shares a common vision of Boston’s potential and came together to create this forum and hear directly from candidates about what they plan to do to improve transportation and make communities in all parts of the city more livable and accessible,” said Jamie Maier of LivableStreets Alliance, one of the forum’s sponsors and an emcee of the evening. “We want to better understand the vision these candidates have for the future because the new Mayor’s decisions in this arena will impact generations of Bostonians. Judging from the packed house tonight, we are not alone.”
The forum was moderated by Stephanie Pollack, professor and associate director of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, and Paul McMorrow, associate editor of Commonwealth Magazine. In addition to questions prepared by the forum’s sponsors, questions were posed by youth and seniors, and were generated from the audience and Twitter.
“Transportation is critical to the quality of life for Boston residents and to the city’s economy and vitality so these candidates should view transportation as a top priority,” said Stephanie Pollack. “The new Mayor will have a unique opportunity to shape transportation policy in this city for years to come and we want to help voters figure out which of them would truly be the transportation Mayor that Boston needs and deserves.”
Paul McMorrow said, “good transportation and good urban planning are joined at the hip. Boston is growing more quickly now than it has in decades, so we need a transportation system capable of meeting our ambitions for growth.”
Prior to the event, candidates were provided with a briefing book outlining the priorities of the sponsoring groups and asked to complete a questionnaire. Both the briefing book and answers to the questionnaire can be found at www.transportationforum.blogspot.com.
“With the preliminary election just one week away, it is important for people to hear directly from the candidates about the issues they care most about,” said Lizzi Weyant of Transportation for Massachusetts. “When over 400 people show up to a forum on transportation sponsored by 28 groups, it shows that many people in Boston hold this as a top priority and hope to see real change happen on this issue.”
The Forum is Sponsored by the following groups:
8centric.org, Allston-Brighton Bikes, Arborway Committee, Bikes Not Bombs, Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, Boston Collective Delivery, Boston Park Advocates, Charles River Conservancy, Circle the City, Conservation Law Foundation, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, The Environmental League of Massachusetts, Fairmount/Indigo Line CDC Collaborative, Franklin Park Coalition, Green Streets Initiative, LivableStreets Alliance, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters, Massachusetts Public Health Association, Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, On the Move, Rutherford Corridor Improvement Coalition, Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy, Transportation for Massachusetts, WalkBoston
See full article: 2013-09 Forum Press Release