Taken from Vision Zero Coalition
As Massachusetts continues moving through its four-phase reopening plan, municipalities across the state will need to make changes to their streets and other public spaces in order to ensure public health and economic vitality. It will be important to support restaurants and small businesses and give people enough space to comply with physical distancing guidelines as they travel to work and other errands, get exercise, and access healthcare. Although Massachusetts has recently moved into a new phase, it’s likely that infection rates will fluctuate and we could experience a second wave in the coming months, requiring adjustments to street space and an adaptive approach.
Many municipalities are experiencing budget constraints due to the impacts of the pandemic, highlighting the importance of creating a careful and clear process for the prioritization of projects. This pertains to the necessary balancing between quick-build, rapid response strategies for recovery and already planned capital improvement projects. Additionally, prioritization should ensure that support is provided first to the people who need it most, taking into account systemic inequities, unequal levels of risk and exposure, and disparate financial and social resources available to people.
Below, we’ve outlined several short-term recommendations for improving the way our streets can work in this new context, to keep people safe and aid our economic recovery.