A unifying theme in Campbell’s plan is an acknowledgement that different parts of Boston enjoy dramatically different levels of access to transit, safe streets, services, and jobs, and that the city’s economic development strategy should work hand-in-hand with transportation plans to improve residents’ access to services and opportunities within neighborhoods, in addition to improving mobility across neighborhoods.
One of the more unique concepts in Councilor Campbell’s platform is her endorsement of “15-minute neighborhoods,” places where more jobs, services, and amenities are located within 15 minutes of everyone’s home.
“Past decisions about street design and priorities emphasized moving cars through our neighborhoods as quickly as possible. Now, it is time to prioritize movement of everyday residents within our neighborhoods,” says Campbell’s plan. “With city-led investments, intentional zoning, and mixed-use, transit-oriented development, residents can have everything they need – grocery stores, schools, parks, small businesses – within 15 minutes of their doorsteps.”
In a phone conversation with Streetsblog on Wednesday afternoon, Campbell said that “this idea, coupled with the economic plan that I released, pushes the city to support small businesses and local entrepreneurs, and especially businesses owned by women and people of color…. We want to streamline the licensing and permitting processes in these neighborhoods, and offer these entrepreneurs more capital, technical assistance, and mentorship.”
A longtime supporter of Boston’s slow streets program, Campbell also wants the city to add staff capacity and accelerate safe streets, bus lanes, and bike network projects to help more people navigate their neighborhoods safely, without cars.
Of the Go Boston 2030 plan, Mayor Walsh’s signature transportation policy, Campbell said that “there are some great targets in the plan, and information that’s useful as we think about our citywide plan for development and make sure that every neighborhood has everything in they need to thrive.”
But Campbell expressed some frustration at the city’s slow pace in implementing the projects that Go Boston 2030 promised.
“As Mayor, it’s really important that everything we do we attach timelines and accountability metrics so that people have a sense of when it’s going to get done, and then let people hold us accountable to that,” Campbell told Streetsblog.
Sustainable transportation advocates will find a lot of other details to like in Campbell’s plan, from a call on the state to build the Red-Blue connection to promises that she’ll improve the city’s sidewalk snow removal operations.
Campbell credited her conversations with local advocates for many of her plan’s policy details.
“This plan, a reason why I’m so proud of it is because it’s informed by folks who are experts, doing the work in Boston and around the country, pushing the city to do better,” said Campbell.