Panel of Community Reps, Business Leaders and Policy Experts to Assess New Technologies, Best Practices for Pedestrians, Transit, Bicycles and Vehicles

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced  that he has created a Transportation Research, Innovation and Planning (TRIP) Team to advise the City on new technologies and procedures designed to increase accessibility, capacity, convenience and safety in all modes of local transportation. The advisory panel is composed of representatives drawn from the city’s residential and business communities as well as Somerville-based transportation and parking policy experts.

With City officials providing support, the TRIP Team will have a broad mandate to review best practices and emergent technologies including: pedestrian improvements; transit access and promotion; bicycle safety; traffic calming strategies; parking configurations and payment systems; parking permits; consumer services and innovative transportation technologies.

“Over the past two years, Traffic and Parking has made tremendous progress in improving parking procedures, services and technologies – and we’ve continued to advance the expansion of bike lanes, bike sharrows and locations for bike corrals, as well as easier and more convenient parking permits and payment options at parking meters throughout Somerville” said Mayor Curtatone. “But with the Hubway bike rental kiosks coming to town this spring, with construction about to begin at Assembly Square on the Orange Line station, with design moving ahead on the Green Line Extension, and with some of Somerville’s MBTA bus service still threatened by future service cuts, it’s time to take a fresh look at our various transportation systems.”

“When we reformed our parking rules in 2009, we had constructive and valuable guidance from an outside Parking Solutions Task Force,” said Matthew Dias, Acting Director of Traffic and Parking. “This time, the Mayor wants to cast the net more widely and embrace modes and technologies that contribute to the convenience and mobility of Somerville residents, visitors and businesses. The TRIP Team will research, analyze and then advise us, on the applicability and cost-effectiveness of any and all technologies relating to all of our transportation modes.”

TRIP Team membership includes:

• Tony LaFuente – Ward 4 Alderman

• Rebekah Gewirtz – Ward 6 Alderman

• Lieutenant James Polito – Traffic Enforcement Unit, Somerville Police Department

• Carrie Dancey, Executive Director, East Somerville Main Streets

• Mimi Graney, Executive Director at Union Square Main Streets

• Gregory Coughlin, Owner, Olde Magoun Saloon

• Ian Judge, Manager, Somerville Theatre

• Tim Talun of the Somerville Bicycle Committee

• Alyssa Rosen of the Young Somerville Advisory Group

• Todd Easton, Independent Travel Consultant

• Courtney Koslow, Founder, Somerville Parking Advocacy and Reform Coalition

• Mark Chase, Transportation and Planning Consultant

• Joe Lynch, Founder, Magoun Square Neighborhood Association

“The SomerVision comprehensive plan and our Happiness Survey both confirm that residents and businesses are strongly committed to the idea of Somerville as a truly multimodal community,” said Curtatone. “We want to make sure Somerville continues to maintain best practices and the intelligent use of technology in transportation in much the same way as we have in administration, finance and communications. I’ve been telling leaders at the state level that the Commonwealth needs a 21st Century transportation system to support a 21st Century economy – and I think we  should be applying that principle at the local level, too. This group will help us do just that.”


11 Responses to “Mayor Curtatone, Traffic & Parking convene multimodal transport research and policy group”

  1. Somerbreeze says:

    …and the pedestrian rep?

  2. j. connelly says:

    No one from Traffic & Parking??

    Consultants? Are they donating their time??? Problem with consultants is at times they answer to more than one master and in these “tight fiscal times’ are a luxury that we the taxpayers cannot afford.

    The other consultants used in the past…for studies on the fire department, etc…what has exactly been implemented from their costly studies????

    By the way…The GIC issue…I went to a retirees association meeting…
    and of 365 cities & towns, only 33 have indicated that they are signing on as of July 2012…our mayor’s name was mentioned and the Boos were shouted out from the crowd. The applause meter registered zero.

  3. JAR says:

    Hmmm… Maybe THIS group will consider conducting a study of the deficiencies of the traffic light timing on Highland Ave. and doing something about it. It’s a low cost, high value endeavor which SHOULD assist in traffic calming, enhanced pedestrian and bicycle safety, reduced fuel consumption, and fewer emissions from idling vehicles at red lights.

    I wish I’d known this was being created as I would like to have been a participant in it.


  4. j. connelly says:

    Good point …
    Ah…but JAR…..You are not one of his ‘chosen’ “Rubber Stamp” people.
    You have as much chance of getting appointed to that group as I have as being Deputy Mayor.

  5. Somerbreeze says:

    A “donation” the the appropriate “charity” works wonders, eh?

  6. What says:

    Somerbreeze, I think they all have 2legs and are pedestrians.

    and mJ Connelly the applause is coming from the taxpayers who are subsidizing expensive health insurance that they do not receive themselves. A giant whoop went up. Listen closely.

  7. j. connelly says:

    “What” I understand but see you seem to miss the important point…we gave up pay raises and took pay cuts over the years based on promises made by the politicians in order to get better benefits…It is management who decides on the healthcare and the employees have always rightfully argued for lower costs…

    All the tax cuts, Prop 2&1/2, etc over the years and what did the politicians do? Was the money used to reduce deficits?…No, they just spend & overspend & it is always the real workers who take the cuts…Have we seen the Mayor or any of his Staff takes real pay cuts? NO! The Police, Fire, DPW, over the past few decades, all have been reduced in personnel, Well over 300 over those years, add the salaries & benefits that the city stopped paying for those positions and there should be a ++ surplus…but there is not as the politicians used that money for pet projects over the years.

    The state has done likewise.
    William Weld closed 9 state hospitals, thousands of employees gone & the homeless population increased with some of the thousands of patients put out on the street. Walk through Somerville’s Squares and you’ll bump into some of them. Meanwhile ‘Bacon Hill’ should have had hundreds of millions by these closures. But as usual they played with OUR money and cried deficit.

    Of course if we did not have so many [tax exempt – yet they operate profit making research medical- bio facilities] teaching universities. Healthcare costs would be lower in this area.

    Corrections took over all the county jails, which would place them under the Corrections Commissioner…So why do we still need County Sheriffs?

    The problem is the public picks on the public employees who make small money compared to others and yet the public keeps electing the high overpaid politicians who are ripping them off.

  8. JAR says:

    All I know is that the traffic light timing on Highland Ave. needs attention, and has for some time.


  9. Jeff L. says:

    Please tell me the inclusion of Joe Lynch on this team is a joke.

  10. Hillson says:

    Ah yes! Joe “Snowjob” Curtatone is at it again!

  11. Jeff Levine says:

    All this negativism. It’s back for your hearts. Seems like a good idea to me with a good group of people, Let’s see what ideas come out of the process.

Leave a Reply