We recently asked our community to contact Somerville City Councilors about the Mayor’s mid-year budget request for the Mobility Department — it worked! One of SASS’s top asks was for an increase in the staff of the city’s Mobility department. This team manages the planning for all of our public streetscapes. As a comparison, Cambridge has at least three times our staff and only 30% more streets (and fewer state roads, highway off-ramps, and less cut-through driving).
Last week, SASS representatives spoke to the Finance Committee of City Council to support this request as a step towards safe streets and equitable mobility. The five members of the Committee voted unanimously to approve the request and each remarked on SASS’s broad coalition of residents advocating for the increased staffing and praised the work of SASS. The approval of the Finance Committee was accepted by the Council of the whole and these hires can now move forward!
With luck and diligence, we will have more City staff focused on SASS priorities during this construction season.
We need to keep the momentum going for Safe Streets in Somerville. But to do this we need more residents rolling up their sleeves to help.
If you would like to get more involved in SASS, we have a few specific volunteer and advocacy opportunities that we’re working on, such as helping to design safe streets, working to develop a Safe Streets budget for FY22 City Budget, helping with outreach and communication, and outreach to businesses to enlist their support. If you are interested in getting involved, please fill out this form.
One more thing you can do right now is to share your thoughts for the redesign of the Alewife Brook Parkway and Powder House Boulevard Intersection. The state is working closely with the city on the redesign of this dangerous intersection and there will be a public process to determine the final design. Fill out this survey to share your thoughts.
And, if you haven’t yet, please sign and share the SASS Declaration! Stay safe and get involved!
All the best,
SASS Organizing Committee