Boston’s LivableStreets Alliance envisions a world where streets are safe, vibrant public spaces that connect people to the places where they live, work and play. Ten innovative transportation and community thinkers take the stage and share their big ideas with rapid-fire precision in this 8th Annual StreetTalk 10-in-1. Topics include: Weird Advocacy That Worked and Didn’t with Transit Alliance Miami; Designing Playful Cities; Bringing Autonomous Vehicles to Boston’s Streets; Evaluating Boston’s Bike Network in Terms of Low-Stress Accessibility and Access to Jobs and Other Destinations, Lessons from Mexico City and more. Image: WikiMedia Commons

+ BIO: Peter Furth

Peter is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, specializing in traffic engineering, public transportation planning, and bicycle transportation. He teaches regularly in the Netherlands and is familiar with Dutch practices in sustainable transportation including transit priority, Vision Zero traffic safety, and cycle track design. His research team has been mapped and analyzed the low-stress bike networks of several US cities including Boston. This presentation will address the questions, How many people have a low-stress bike route from home to work? How about home to a supermarket, or to high schools? How does accessibility differ by neighborhood? What bike network improvements will it take so that every neighborhood has good bike accessibility to destinations like work, school, shopping, and regional parks? LiveableStreets

+ BIO: Marta Viciedo

Marta Viciedo is the Founder and Chair of Transit Alliance Miami — the only non-profit in South Florida focused on data-driven advocacy and policy action for public transit and mobility improvements. Marta has helped the exceptionally talented Transit Alliance team put transit issues center stage, build critical relationships locally and nationally and gain momentum on actionable improvements. Marta is a native Miamian and social impact entrepreneur with a background in urban planning. LiveableStreets

+ BIO: Azhar Chougle

Azhar Chougle is the Director of Transit Alliance Miami. Since joining the organization, Transit Alliance has reversed $15 million in transit budget cuts through grassroots advocacy, created the world’s first real-time transit audit for Miami’s rail system, and launched a campaign designed to fix Miami’s ailing bus system. Azhar comes from a creative background with expertise in branding, design, and coding and moved to Miami from New York City. LiveableStreets

+ BIO: Tony Lechuga

Tony Lechuga is the Program Manager for the Emerald Network at LivableStreets Alliance, managing all aspects of the program including advocacy, project oversight, and technical assistance. As someone who often uses multiple modes to travel Boston’s streets and greenways, Tony tries to recognize the lived experience of spaces from all angles. Previously, Tony worked with the Boston pedestrian advocacy group WalkBoston, while completing a Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. Before that he worked as a public school teacher for five years in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. Teaching middle school social studies taught Tony the value of patience, creativity, and varied perspectives, which he sees as necessary to work with and across diverse groups. LiveableStreets

+ BIO: Kris Carter

Kris Carter, Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston, is a non-practicing engineer, an optimistic urban planner, and a self-taught filmmaker. New Urban Mechanics is the City of Boston’s human-centered civic R&D lab, working collaboratively with research institutions, civic entrepreneurs, and government agencies to explore and prototype what’s new and next in cities. With the Mechanics, Kris oversees a wide portfolio of prototypes while also leading the City’s mobility and public realm work, including the management of Boston’s autonomous vehicle research efforts. Prior to leading the Mechanics, Kris ran the City’s bicycle program, served as an advisor to Mayor on the creation of the Innovation District, and helped operationalize One Fund Boston in response to the Marathon bombings. He has won awards from the Federal Labs Consortium, American Planning Association, and was recognized as one of Boston’s ‘50 on Fire for his work. He is a two-time AmeriCorps alum, amateur filmmaker, firmly believes in bagging his own groceries, and has yet to find a role more rewarding and exhausting than raising twins. LiveableSteets

+ BIO: Stacy Thompson

Stacy is the Deputy Director of LivableStreets Alliance, a non-profit advocating for biking, walking, and transit — creating safe streets and vibrant communities — to make the Boston region a better place to live, work, and play. Stacy oversees LivableStreets’ membership program, events and communications. Previously Stacy served as the Director of Events & Sponsorship at Ceres, where she developed the strategic focus, content, and communications strategy for Ceres’ major events. She also worked for the Office for Peace and Justice at the Archdiocese of Chicago where she collaborated with community partners to organize educational forums and supported a broad array of social justice initiatives. She has a Master of Arts in Social Justice from Loyola University, Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Education from Saint Vincent College.

+ BIO: Jesse Mermell

Jesse Mermell joined the Alliance for Business Leadership as President in January of 2015, having previously served as a member of Governor Deval L. Patrick’s senior staff. As Governor Patrick’s Communications Director, Mermell was responsible for communications strategy and for overseeing the press operations of the Governor’s office. Mermell is the former State Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She has also held positions as the Vice President for External Affairs at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, and as the Executive Director of FairTest and of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Bio via https://alliancebl.org/jesse-mermell/

+ BIO: Stacey Beuttell

Stacey Beuttell manages the technical assistance programs at WalkBoston that provide support to municipalities across the state to improve the safety and quality of the pedestrian environment. She conducts training programs that describe the health, economic and community benefits of walking, and leads walk audits to identify infrastructure deficiencies, recommend solutions, and build community support for walking. She has developed research and policy guidance on specific walkability-related issues including: walkable campus design for elementary schools, low cost pedestrian infrastructure, and pedestrian safety awareness for law enforcement. Prior to joining WalkBoston, Stacey was a Senior Associate at Sasaki Associates where she practiced as an urban designer and planner for over thirteen years. She holds a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Arts in American Studies/Environmental Studies from Dickinson College.

+ BIO: Brad Rawson

A planner in in OSPCD since 2007, Rawson was instrumental in developing the City’s SomerVision Comprehensive Plan and Somerville by Design efforts, setting the stage for Somerville’s development future and gathering wide acclaim for the processes, while managing more than $2 million in planning funds for the department. Rawson succeeds former Director Hayes Morrison.

+ BIO: Sarah Levy

Before joining the GreenRoots team, Sarah was a community organizer in Somerville focusing on affordable housing and displacement issues. She is passionate about language access and multilingual justice, and came to GreenRoots first as a Spanish interpreter through the Boston Interpreters’ Collective, a community-based group that offers interpretation as well as trainings grounded in popular education. Through this work, Sarah has seen the connections between all of these systemic issues, and is excited to be working with GreenRoots around the intersection of public transportation/mobility issues and immigrants’ rights.

+ BIO: Karen Young

A Jamaica Plain resident who specializes in percussion, Karen Young’s passion for taiko drumming was ignited the first time she heard it 30 years ago. Young’s approach to taiko aims to inspire marginalized populations to reclaim voice, culture, power, and a sense of belonging. Influenced by Japanese-American taiko activists of the 1960’s, Young is the founder of The Genki Spark, a multi-generational, pan-Asian women’s arts and advocacy organization that uses taiko drumming, personal stories, and creativity to build community, develop leadership, and advocate respect for all.

+ BIO: Julia Ehrman

Julia Ehrman is a program associate at TransitCenter. A foundation that puts transit in the center of cities and supports advocacy, research and leadership development for transit reform across the U.S.

+ BIO: Nicole Chandler

Nicole Chandler works for Age Friendly Boston, a part of the City of Boston Elderly Commission.

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