The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) added the City of Somerville, MA to its affiliate member list last week, including Somerville in its prestigious list of just 18 member cities and 12 affiliate members nationwide that includes Boston, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., among others. In a press release, NACTO officials lauded Somerville for its “[commitment] to sustainable transportation initiatives, aiming to strengthen cities and improve quality of life through better street design and transportation policy.” Earlier this month, Somerville was also recognized by the League of American Cyclists with a Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community Award, recognizing a significant step up from Bronze in only two years.
“It is an honor to be included with such prestigious larger cities across the nation for our focus on increasing or improving sustainable transportation,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Whether it’s walking, biking, driving or using alternate transportation, Somerville has a demonstrated commitment to increasing access and maintaining safe opportunities for all residents. In the last three years we have added more than 25 miles of bike lanes, updated or added pedestrian safety infrastructure such as street trees, curb bump-outs and ADA-accessible ramps, and we are on the crux of a tremendous expansion of public transportation with the addition of Orange and Green Line stations across the city. I want to thank NACTO for this great recognition.”
While the city was recognized with this honor as because of its implementation of numerous progressive projects and initiatives over the past few years, the membership also recognizes its future promise: the goals outlined in the SomerVision plan and the City’s groundwork towards reaching them. Programs and initiatives such as the Somerville by Design series, Safe Routes to School, Hubway, and Somerstreets have demonstrated the city’s ability to plan and program towards a future vision. Somerville’s membership in NACTO is a learning opportunity to join with the most progressive cities in exchanging concepts to reach new levels of access and sustainability.