Office Hours on the Go: So You Don’t Have to Complain About the T Alone

This morning I held the first in a series of Office Hours on the T. As some readers may know, one of my favorite aspects of my job is holding district office hours. It gives me an opportunity to hear directly from my neighbors while letting them know what my office is working on (not unlike what I hope this blog can accomplish). While we typically alternate morning office hours between different local businesses throughout District 6, occasionally we’ll try novel ways to reach folks. Several years ago, I held Office Hours on the Run with neighborhood jogs and I’m thrilled to resurrect those on this Saturday, 2/23, at 9am at Jamaica Pond – so bring your running shoes and join me!

For today’s office hours I caught the 51 bus to Forest Hills, took the Orange Line to Green Street Station, and after 30 minutes talking with folks there, I hopped back on the Orange Line to State to finish my commute to City Hall.  We heard from quite a few constituents who read about Office Hours on the Go on social media, and several others who just happened to bump into us. It was a terrific opportunity to discuss transportation infrastructure, public safety, and Boston Public Schools, as well as some more light-hearted topics like Netflix recommendations (Kathryn and I watched the documentary, Abducted in Plain Sight last night. It was chilling for a whole host of reasons).

We’ll continue holding these Office Hours on the Go in the weeks and months ahead. In addition to more T office hours and this weekend’s 5K run around Jamaica Pond (fun fact: the circumference of the pond is nearly exactly 1.5 miles), I’d like to do other Office Hours on the Go using the other ways we get around our city: bicycling to work, walking to work, and carpooling. What else would you like to see? No idea is too off-the-wall.

One of the issues that came up today and has been a major focus for my office is safety of our streets. Next Wednesday, February 27th, I’m co-hosting a meeting on pedestrian and traffic safety in West Roxbury (please see and share image below):

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Everyone in our community is beyond devastated over the tragic death of our neighbor earlier this month. We must do everything we can to prevent another crash. That’s why I’m convening local officials, the Boston Transportation Department, the Boston Police Department, and experts like Northeastern Civil Engineering Professor Peter Furth to discuss strategies and ideas for street safety going forward. Every possible solution is on the table: street redesign, lane diets, protected lanes, center islands, raised crosswalks, etc., and I’m hopeful that neighbors will come with open minds to address this challenge. Additionally, we will be discussing added enforcement and better use of technology to build safer roads for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike. It won’t be easy, but I am confident that by working together, listening to one another, and being receptive to different ideas we will get closer to achieving Vision Zero and creating comprehensive road safety in our neighborhoods. The time to act is now.