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Mayor Walsh to Conduct City-wide Audit of Every Street in Boston

September 5, 2014

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced NEW (Neighborhood Engagement Walks) Boston, a comprehensive audit of every street in every neighborhood across Boston. Starting September 15, representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) will begin walking the 850 miles of city streets across Boston, in an effort to assess each neighborhood in great detail. The findings will be shared in a forward-facing story map, continuing the Mayor’s pledge for increased transparency and accountability in City government.  

 “This is the first step in revitalizing our work with Neighborhood Services,” said Mayor Walsh. “Our ONS reps are outstanding, but I want them to know every inch of the area that they represent and the best way to do that is to get on the ground and in the weeds. By combining technology and grassroots engagement, we can – for the first time in our history – truly assess every piece of this City, to better serve the people in our neighborhoods.”  

ONS representatives will survey every part of their respective neighborhood, on the ground, and evaluating infrastructure challenges, identifying constituent concerns through conversations, and cataloging issues facing each neighborhood. The goal of this effort is to closely examine the City, allowing ONS representatives to understand every facet of their respective neighborhood while engaging with constituents on the ground and building relationships face-to-face.   

 “Mayor Walsh has challenged each department to take a fresh look at the work that we do, and the best way to begin is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation,” said Jerome Smith, Director of ONS. “We always want to take a long view and find ways to better serve our constituents. By combing the City’s streets, and logging everything we find, we’re fulfilling the Mayor’s promise to increase efficiency while supporting greater transparency.”  

NEW Boston will be a cross-departmental effort, with ONS representatives working closely with the City’s Inspectional Services Department, Public Works Department, Transportation Department, and Parks Department, among others.   

ONS representatives will be equipped with connected tablets and data will be gathered utilizing mobile technology through existing apps such as Citizens Connect and City Worker. This is another step forward in Mayor Walsh’s pledge to upgrade infrastructure through technology, enabling ONS and the City to respond to issues effectively and in real-time, with greater transparency and accountability. The data from NEW Boston will be compiled by Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), and will be shared with the public through a web-based story map. The map will show the routes that have been covered, highlight the issues that ONS has identified, and display the progress of resolving each issue.   

This audit will begin on September 15, 2014, with a goal of completion by the end of the year. At the close of this audit, each ONS representative will generate a neighborhood report outlining their findings, to be shared with the public and presented to neighborhood associations.   The ONS representatives leading NEW Boston include: