Emerald Network — a vision for 250 miles of seamless shared-use greenway paths connecting Boston and adjacent cities.
September 2022 Vol. 5 Issue 4
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NEWS FROM THE NETWORKThank you for being a dedicated reader of our newsletter. As the summertime comes to a close and we prepare for autumn, there are still plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the warm weather by spending time outdoors enjoying your local greenways! We enjoy curating the latest greenway news, stories, and events from around the region and in your backyard. Help continue to grow the Network by forwarding this issue to a friend and encouraging them to subscribe today!
A Busy Month, but Plenty of Ice Cream!
Abby Jamiel Steps in as New Program Director!
The Emerald Network is beginning a very exciting time with new staff and big changes. It was hard to say goodbye to Ambar Johnson, who stewarded the program with grace, passion, and enthusiasm, but Abby Jamiel is up to the challenge of continuing the Network’s good work! Although Abby has only been with LivableStreets for a few months, Ambar’s guidance and tutelage have been instrumental in maintaining momentum during this transition.
Be on the lookout for more staffing updates as we grow our Emerald Network team into the Fall.
On the Orange Line Shutdown
Please be advised that the MBTA’s Orange Line has shut down all service from August 19th to September 18th (service is scheduled to resume on Monday, September 19th). The MBTA states this “shutdown will deliver a number of projects over five years faster than originally planned, and will result in track replacement, upgraded signal systems, and station improvements. The MBTA will also be able to accomplish required track maintenance associated with Federal Transit Association (FTA) directives as quickly as possible.”
Shuttle buses are available at Orange Line location stops. Buses provide service in both directions, connecting Oak Grove and Forest Hills to Downtown. Please expect this service to take longer and be less reliable than the T. Commuters to Downtown are strongly encouraged to use the Commuter Rail, which is currently free of charge with presentation of a Charlie Card. More information on the shutdown and strategies for your mobility can be found on the MBTA website.
Join us for Tour de Streets—walking, biking, ice cream...
All are welcome to join at our annual event! On Saturday, September 10th––with a rain date of Sunday, September 18––at the Charles Speedway in Brighton, we have some fun planned for folks! An urban bike ride (about 8-10 miles) led by Peter Cheung, a kids ride (less than 5 miles) led by Eric Herot, and a walk led by our Emerald Network Program Manager, Abby Jamiel! We’re so excited for this event and celebration, which includes some amazing local food: two ice-cream vendors, a non-dairy option provided by Fomu and fun dairy flavors from Tipping Cow, as well as food provided by Jamaica Mi Hungry. Additionally, we are partnering with the Koji Club who will be providing drinks and sake popsicles! We would love it if you joined us for the walk, bike, or celebration. Register here where you can read more details about the event, and if you can’t join in person, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to help support LivableStreets!
Charles River Area Project Charrette
In late August LivableStreets Alliance, in partnership with the Museum of Science, hosted non-profit leaders, open space and transportation advocates, museum staff, and project teams to discuss a cohesive vision for the Charles River. The goal of this convening was to update all on the status of projects along both sides of the river and brainstorm ways to steward the river's ecology while serving a multitude of different users. While the conversation was framed within the context of non-vehicular transportation networks, participants discussed many ways the river's many projects could work better for all.
This session was only the first part of a much larger process. In coming steps, community members and governmental and institutional leaders will be consulted to understand how we can all work together to support the health and this critical asset while improving access and transportation along the river banks.
Partners Doing Amazing Work
Get more biking in at BikesNotBombs Event!
If Tour de Streets not enough biking for you, our partners BikesNotBombs are hosting their annual Bike-a-Thon on Sunday, September 11th––with a rain date of Sunday, September 25th––where you can get a 10, 50, or even 100 mile bike ride in! It will take place at Stony Brook Field where they will also be providing plenty of food options throughout the day so folks can stay fueled for some long route biking. Check out their registration page here for more details!
NACTO in Boston THIS WEEK!
The long awaited time is finally here. The National Association of City Transportation Officials will be in Boston for their annual conference! This year at Designing Cities 2022: Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, there will be a number of trainings and workshops highlighting the transit system in our area. Read more about the conference here!
Olmsted Now: Public Dialogue #9
Olmsted Now- Greater Boston’s Olmsted Bicentennial- will be hosting its 9th Public Dialogue on September 21st from 6-7 pm. Registration is available via this link. This conversation will center on “shared use, shared health and shared power in parks and public spaces. These hour-long discussions are a platform to explore our bicentennial themes through the perspective of a guiding community voice.”
Olmstead Now’s Public Dialogue series is held on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 pm. The larger Olmsted Now calendar of events can be found here.
Boston Open Streets: Dorchester Avenue
Are you as excited as we are for Open Streets Boston? On September 24th from 9am-3pm, LivableStreets Alliance will be hosting fun interactive activities at the Dorchester Avenue Open Streets. In partnership with Culture House, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, and Greater Ashmont Main Streets, these activities will let us hear your ideas on the Dot Greenway project. Stop by to play games, pot a plant to take home, and meet new friends in your neighborhood.
Emerald Network Parkfest
After spending the afternoon strolling Dorchester Avenue during Open Streets, head over to Emerald Network Parkfest. Held from 1- 6pm in various parks across the Emerald Necklace, this free event includes performances, kid’s activities, games, and dancing and is ADA accessible. The event’s closing party will occur at Franklin Park’s Shattuck Picnic Grove, less than 3 miles away from the Boston Open Street’s event! We hope to see you there.
Looking for fun things to do around Boston?
Through a partnership between the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Boston Public Health Commission, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get outdoors. They have events almost everyday, both in person and virtual! If you are looking for something fun to do, this is a great place to look. Check out their website here for more information. They have everything from zumba to movie nights - providing multiple opportunities for ways to spend time outdoors with friends, family, or loved ones. They also have plenty of virtual events available, so you can participate from your own home. A lovely way to get to know your community and explore wonderful greenspaces near you!
One Day Volunteer Opportunity in Emerald Necklace
Emerald Network Parkfest is recruiting volunteers to help with day of operations. Volunteers are requested to participate in 4 hour shifts, but receive snacks, a limited edition t-shirt, and a chance to make new friends. Please fill out the Park Fest Volunteer Sign Up Form to get involved!
Recruiting Volunteers for Bike + Pedestrian Counting Study
Do you find joy in biking, walking, or counting? If so, consider helping the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization with its upcoming bicycle and pedestrian counts. Between September 21 - 25th, the organization is recruiting volunteers for 2 hour shifts to count bicycle and pedestrian users of both off-road trails and on-street segments.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Program is a critical part of advocating for transportation changes with quantifiable data. It allows organizations like ours to understand the scope and scale of transportation interventions. Data from counts dating back to 1974 can be found in the Boston Region MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Database.