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New street mural on Elmhurst Street near Elmhurst Park in Dorchester

It's a first for Boston's Neighborhood Slow Streets Program.

The Boston Transportation Department, in partnership with Talbot-Norfolk Triangle Neighbors United (TNT), the Boston Art Commission and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, will join local residents, artist Alex Cook, and representatives from the Fairmount Greenway and the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, to paint the Neighborhood Slow Streets Pilot Program’s first street mural on Elmhurst Street, near Elmhurst Park, in Dorchester, on Friday, September 23, 2016, from 9 AM to 2:00 PM.  The mural, painted directly on the street, celebrates the neighborhood’s work as an Eco-Innovation District and brings new public art to the area.

The street mural is expected to remain on the street for approximately 18 months.  It is a temporary measure to create an active public realm that incorporates direct input from local residents.  It serves as an introduction to the more permanent steps to be taken in keeping with the Neighborhood Slow Streets program to help people walking, riding bikes and driving motor vehicles to feel safer in the neighborhood.

Neighborhood Slow Streets, a component of Vision Zero Boston, is an initiative of the Transportation and Public Works Departments to design and implement traffic-calming measures on streets within defined zones in Boston’s neighborhoods.  BTD has been working with the TNT community for several months discussing traffic safety problems and possible solutions.  The department’s proposed traffic-calming plan for the Talbot-Norfolk Triangle will be shared at a public meeting on Tuesday, September 27, at 6:30 PM, at the Prayer Tower Apostolic Church at #151 Norfolk Street in Dorchester.

“Through the Neighborhood Slow Streets Project, BTD has had the opportunity to work closely with residents to develop plans to slow down traffic on streets in the Talbot-Norfolk Triangle,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca.  “We appreciate the invaluable input from the community on the TNT Neighborhood Slow Streets Program and the assistance of our partners on this street mural”

The Neighborhood Slow Streets Pilot Program aims to slow down traffic on residential streets in Boston’s neighborhoods.  Traffic-calming tools include that may be used include speed humps to keep vehicles at a safe speed; curb extensions at corners to provide shorter crossing distances for pedestrians; and daylighting that offers greater visibility at intersection for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists by painting the roadway pavement and installing flex posts to physically block vehicles from illegally parking near crosswalks.

“A collaboration between Boston’s arts community, local residents and BTD to bring new types of public art to our neighborhoods is a great example of innovative and worthwhile work that can be accomplished through partnerships,” said Julie Burros, Chief of the City of Boston’s Arts and Culture Cabinet.

Materials for the mural are supported through a grant from the Boston Society of Architects to the Fairmount Greenway, which is working on a walk- and bike-friendly route along the Fairmount-Indigo MBTA Commuter Rail line.

A second Neighborhood Slow Streets Pilot Program is planned for the Stonybrook neighborhood in Jamaica Plain.  BTD recently presented a proposed plan for that neighborhood at a well-attended public meeting and is planning to begin implementing the plan this year.

A rain date for painting on Elmhurst Street is planned for Saturday, September 24.

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