Mission StatementMORE »
WalkBoston makes walking safer and easier in Massachusetts to encourage better health, a cleaner environment and vibrant communities.
WalkBoston makes walking safer and easier in Massachusetts to encourage better health, a cleaner environment and vibrant communities.
|Fiscal Year||Jan 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016|
For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.
In 1990, four WalkBoston founders sat at a table in a small Boston diner discussing their passion and united commitment to advocate for safe walking environments. They joined concerned residents and from their combined efforts WalkBoston was created.
WalkBoston is the first pedestrian advocacy group in the country and people have looked to us to lead the way on walkability issues in Massachusetts. On the state level, we work with cities, towns and statewide groups and serve as the primary pedestrian voice on many transportation and health projects. On the local level, we develop effective programs by reaching out to grassroots organizations, local communities and residents, responding to their requests for assistance and technical advice.When physical barriers or lack of safety prevent people from walking in their communities, life is less fun, less healthy, less social and less vibrant. WalkBoston has been changing that every day for the past 26 years by making walking easier and safer across Massachusetts.
Across the Commonwealth, there is a strong desire for more walkable environments and WalkBoston translates that desire into action. We help neighborhood residents gain the confidence and skills to advocate for streets that encourage walking. We advise school staff and design teams on developing site plans that provide safe access for students. We discuss safer crosswalks and snow shoveling at bus stops with the Federal Transit Administration, MassDOT and the MBTA. Finally, we create mechanisms to meet the state’s forward-looking mode shift goals using such tools as the Strategic Highway Safety Plan and revisions to the Highway Design Guide. Behind all of WalkBoston’s diverse programs and projects is a vision of a walkable Massachusetts.
Our work has numerous ripple effects in the communities we serve. A municipal employee in the City of Revere recently stated that the implementation of the Revere Walk-to-School program is raising local awareness of street, sidewalk and crossing conditions. It has led to other efforts to encourage people to walk including walking clubs and a fitness challenge walk on the newly established Urban Trail. Walk-to-School numbers led to the identification of the need for more morning activities and the creation of wintertime before-school walks and games at the school gym. Finally, perhaps the largest impacts of Safe Routes to School on the community: having children walking has made neighborhoods feel safer; people recognize more of their neighbors; and the community feels more walkable.
Walkable communities are livable communities for all of their residents during all times of year. Whether able-bodied or disabled, young or old, rich or poor, every resident benefits from the implementation of those features and activities that make our streets more navigable by foot. Better walking provides health, social, economic, and environmental benefits for all members of the community. For the many Bostonians and Massachusetts residents who are dependent on walking for their daily mobility, walking is a prerequisite to social and economic justice.
Walking is the club that everyone belongs to and nobody joins, and while walking is the most basic form of transportation it is often left out of the transportation equation. WalkBoston helps to re-balance that equation to make sure that walking is taken into account when plans are being drawn and roads are being built. My passion for the issue has only grown over the years, spurred by hearing a man in a wheelchair describe being trapped in his apartment building for 12 days by snow-covered sidewalks, or teens describe their delight at reporting unpainted crosswalks to the City and seeing them re-painted within 30 days. While it is critical that walkable neighborhoods offer the opportunity for healthier living and access to jobs and schools, my job is framed by my belief that streets designed for walking also create delight, a sense of community and a frame for civic engagement and responsibility that comes from our shared experiences.
It’s a great honor and privilege to be WalkBoston’s Board President. These days I’m a land use/commercial real estate attorney at Robinson & Cole. But before obtaining my law degree in the late 1990s, I worked as a transportation planner on promoting alternatives to single-occupancy travel. WalkBoston’s mission is one I’ve worked on and thought about for a long time.
As we see broader acceptance of the gospel of walkability as a quadruple bottom line winner – human health, social connectivity, reduced carbon emissions and economic development – walkability seems a central thread for the re-urbanization of our central cities and inner suburbs. Increasingly, pedestrian-friendly designs appear in new development, even in auto-oriented suburbs and rural areas. In other words, the playing field is tilting in a manner that’s never been more favorable for WalkBoston’s mission. At WalkBoston, we believe we can take advantage of this wave of recognition to carry our work forward in new ways and in new locations so that walking and walkability become a central part of many more public and private investment decisions.
WalkBoston’s programs have reached over 100 communities in Massachusetts. 30% of our programs are within Boston and neighboring cities and towns and 45% reach communities across Massachusetts. 20% of our programs are statewide initiatives. Approximately 5% of our programs are national. We co-founded America Walks, which represents and speaks out for safe, walkable communities on a national level.
|WalkBoston provides technical assistance to municipalities across Massachusetts to help them evaluate the walking environment, develop plans to improve walking conditions, engage local residents and municipal staff in walking activities and market walking as a convenient, healthy and inexpensive transportation choice. We work with public works, school, health, planning, transportation and economic development departments as well as local non-profit organizations. Our assistance includes training workshops, walk audits, survey assistance, Safe Routes to Schools programs and development of marketing and strategy plans.|
|Category||Community Development, General/Other|
|Program Short-Term Success||The active engagement of multiple communities in work with WalkBoston to improve walking conditions.|
|Program Long-Term Success||Municipalities across the state will have the in-house capacity to include walking in the mix of community issues that are regularly included in planning, operations, maintenance and capital plans such that walking is easier, safer and more convenient for all.|
|Program Success Monitored By||Our success can be measured by an increase in the number of communities that solicit our assistance and actively engage in walking programs.|
|Examples of Program Success||
Over the last five years, WalkBoston’s reach has expanded geographically and we have substantially increased the number of communities in which we are working. In 2014, we will work closely with Brookline, Natick, Somerville, Milford, Springfield, Revere, Barnstable, Hyannis, Williamsburg and Boston, and anticipate that others will be added to that roster.
|WalkBoston carries out walking-focused project planning and design reviews under state and local environmental and public participation efforts. The reviews are focused on pedestrian safety, comfort, convenience and service. Among the specific issues that our reviews address are intersection design improvements, sidewalk widths, pedestrian connections, modified and improved signal operations, and the evaluation of different project alternatives or designs that could provide better pedestrian access.|
|Category||None of the above|
|Program Short-Term Success||Short term success is measured by project changes that reflect WalkBoston's comments - these have included tighter turning radii at corners (which slows traffic and improves safety); longer signal times for pedestrian WALK signals; wider sidewalks; and building entrances that have focused on sidewalk access rather than parking lot access.|
|Program Long-Term Success||The long term success of this effort will be improved project designs that provide better accommodation for pedestrians including safer street crossings, wider sidewalks, more amenities such as shade trees, benches, public restrooms and water fountains, and better networks of convenient pedestrian routes.|
|Program Success Monitored By||WalkBoston works with state and local regulatory agencies to monitor the ways in which our comments are acted on by project proponents. We also work extensively with state and municipal transportation and engineering staff to discuss and modify project designs that we have reviewed.|
|Examples of Program Success||See answer above.|
WalkBoston has successfully developed lasting SRTS programs that increase walking and that engage students, teachers, parents and community members in the program. Our approach to building community support and working to increase physical activity among youth at high risk for obesity, leads to changes in parent and administrator perceptions about the importance of walking, and engages the school in this critical venture. In 2012, WalkBoston began a multi-year SRTS effort in Revere and hired an on-the-ground Walk To School coordinator responsible for increasing awareness and encouraging students to walk to school as a form of physical activity. As of Spring 2013, 4 of the 6 elementary schools had launched weekly walk-to-school days and 5 out of 6 schools provided pedestrian safety education to second and third graders.
|Budget||$5 - $50,000|
|Category||Education, General/Other Extracurricular Activities|
|Population Served||Children Only (5 - 14 years) Families|
|Program Short-Term Success||Over the short term, SRTS programs result in more walking trips by schoolchildren which can provide the benefits of additional physical activity, improved attention span among children who walk, reduced traffic congestion near schools and fewer idling vehicles and the air pollution they cause around schools.|
|Program Long-Term Success||Long term success of SRTS programs will be a permanent shift of the mode of travel for schoolchildren from private vehicles to walking, with the shift carrying over from one generation of children to the next. As communities become more supportive of children walking to and from school, they will also support walking by all members of the community and thus see health, environmental and civic benefits for all residents. As shown by research around the country, more walkable communities promote more physical activity, healthier retail districts, and more engaged citizens.|
|Program Success Monitored By||The most basic tool for measuring program success is the tracking of school trips through student and parent surveys, with steady increases in walking rates being tracked over several years. Additional measures include participation rates in school programs, policy changes adopted by schools and municipal government to support the program, traffic safety and design changes implemented to support walking, and observation of traffic reductions in the vicinity of schools.|
|Examples of Program Success||
WalkBoston's SRTS activities range from multi-year programs to one-day safety education efforts, and our successes include the following:
Community SRTS Program: Over the life of the CSRTS program, walking to school become an acknowledged policy in the four communities with accompanying actions that included: expanding the number of participating schools in Brockton from 2 to 5 and paying parent liaisons to carry out CSRTS functions, enforcing safety in drop off/pick up areas in Newton, proclaiming October as National Walk to School Month in Watertown and developing a walk with medallion markers and accompanying map widely used by students and residents in Stoneham.
2nd Grade Safety Education: More than 10,000 students at 80 schools in 50 cities and towns have learned how to walk more safely through WalkBoston's training programs. Of equal importance are the approximately 800 teachers, staff and parents who learned about the importance of safe walking environments.
Boston is one of 20 U.S. cities to commit to Vision Zero, which aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries to ensure safe mobility for all. The concept, created in Sweden in 1997, is credited with a significant reduction in fatal and serious crashes on Sweden’s roads. The national Vision Zero Network supports communities in developing strong leadership, policies and practices to achieve this goal. WalkBoston is helping lead the Vision Zero movement in Boston and Massachusetts.
As the Vision Zero movement has gotten underway, WalkBoston has played a leadership role in convincing Boston to sign on to Vision Zero, and convincing MassDOT to implement targeted pedestrian safety efforts. 2016 is the year when much of the groundwork can be transformed into action on the ground to improve pedestrian safety.
Vision Zero = Zero Deaths
WalkBoston is inspired by the belief that even one fatality is too many. Over the last several years WalkBoston has worked diligently with the City of Boston to secure a commitment to eliminate traffic fatalities for walkers, bicyclists and vehicle drivers and occupants. The City’s Vision Zero Action Plan and website were launched December 9, 2015.
The Vision Zero Task Force is leading the City’s efforts in the transportation, public health, disability, elderly, school and police departments. WalkBoston is the walking representative on the Task Force. Over the next several years WalkBoston will fully engage in promoting and achieving Vision Zero.
|Category||Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Transportation Systems|
|Program Short-Term Success||
Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition advocates for the implementation of Vision Zero in Boston and for the adoption of Vision Zero throughout Massachusetts. The new and growing coalition will engage more community-based organizations, nonprofits, businesses, civic groups and individuals representing communities across the state.
Public access will be provided to in-depth crash reporting data. This effective advocacy tool will inform and engage community members, first responders, and press on Vision Zero efforts in Boston and across the city.
Residents of high crash neighborhoods (often low income/low resource neighborhoods) will gain community acceptance of safety measures which may lead to lowering of speed limits, elimination of parking and narrowing of roadways.
|Program Long-Term Success||
One of the core principals of Vision Zero is: all traffic deaths are preventable and unacceptable. The long term success of Vision Zero efforts will be the elimination of fatal and serious traffic crashes. WalkBoston is inspired by the belief that even one fatality is too many.
|Program Success Monitored By||See answers to prior questions.|
|Examples of Program Success||See answers to prior questions.|
Re-introducing people to the lost pleasures of walking – whether for transportation, health, being outdoors or fun – is at the heart of WalkBoston’s varied and locally-specific walking maps. The walking maps include time and distance so that map users can see how easy it is to choose a variety of interesting and useful routes. The maps encourage walking as part of everyday activities and show connections to transit, to useful commercial and civic locations, or to interesting open space or historic resources. Showing 5-minute walking increments and timed routes tells users how easy it is to walk. In addition to walking maps, wayfinding signs can provide further surprising information to potential walkers. By providing signs at specific locations that give both directions and times to destinations, wayfinding can encourage walking. Spacing signs in 2-minute walking increments offers useful information about numerous destinations. People are surprised to learn how quickly they can walk to their destinations. The maps literally “connect the dots” for potential walkers. Revealing the easy walking proximity of key destination and attractions encourages people to walk, which can often be quicker than driving, or even taking public transit.
|Category||Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Public, Society Benefit, General/Other|
|Program Short-Term Success||We can see our success in the number of maps that are used and the increase of requests from communities asking for wayfinding signs.|
|Program Long-Term Success||The long term goal of the walking maps and wayfinding signs are to generate more excitement and enthusiasm about walking and to see more people walking more often. Measuring the success of the maps and signs are not easy, but the feedback that we are receiving is very enthusiastic, and when we have secured funding to provide community maps and wayfinding signs, we have received double the number of applications as we are able to provide.|
|Program Success Monitored By||See answer to prior question.|
|Examples of Program Success||Cities and towns across the region ask for our maps, the maps on our website generate hundreds of "hits" and downloads each month, and each year the number of maps we prepare increase. Communities across the state have approached us with requests to install wayfinding signs. We have seen a substantial increase of requests over the last year and in 2016 we anticipate installing wayfinding signs in at least five communities.|
|CEO/Executive Director||Ms. Wendy Landman|
|CEO Term Start||Sept 2004|
Wendy Landman is Executive Director of WalkBoston and leads the organization’s advocacy around walking for transportation, health, the environment and vibrant communities. Among WalkBoston’s services are: technical assistance to Mass in Motion communities (through Massachusetts Department of Public Health) and others to improve walkability and promote walking; Pedestrian Safety Training for 2nd graders; Good Walking is Good Business training; Guidance on Rural walking options on rural roads and public land; Age friendly city design study to promote safe walking conditions for seniors and children; and walking marketing strategies to promote the use of existing walking resources in towns and cities across the Commonwealth.
WalkBoston also reviews private development projects and major transportation projects around the state, works to improve sidewalk snow and ice clearance, and creates wonderful walking maps to attract new walkers and encourage municipalities and large employers to get engaged in advocacy. Wendy came to WalkBoston with 25 years experience in urban planning; spanning all modes of transportation, as well as master planning, smart growth and environmental review. She holds SB and Master of City Planning degrees from MIT, and a Diploma in Urban Design from the University of Edinburgh.
|Co-CEO Term Start||--|
|Mr. Matt Hobbs||Jan 2002||Dec 2003|
|Ms. Stacey Beuttell||Program Director||
Stacey Beuttell manages the technical assistance programs at WalkBoston that provide support to municipalities across the state concerning the addition of walking to municipal planning efforts. She conducts assessments of existing walking conditions and makes recommendations for improving the physical walking infrastructure. Stacey also participates in training programs that describe the health, economic and social benefits of a good walking environment.
In addition to her work at WalkBoston, Stacey is an adjunct faculty member at Wentworth Institute of Technology where she teaches in the Department of Architecture, Design and Construction Management. Prior to joining WalkBoston, Ms. Beuttell was a Senior Associate at Sasaki Associates where she practiced as an urban planner and landscape architect for over thirteen years.
|Ms. Dorothea Hass||Director of Special Projects||
Dorothea Hass co-founded WalkBoston in 1990 and has continued to work with the organization, now serving as a senior project manager. Dorothea is committed to walking because she believes that when people regularly walk they build positive communities through the casual familiarity and connections that are made with other residents.
To this end, Ms. Hass champions advocacy efforts in Boston neighborhoods and the City of Springfield. She participates in walkability assessments and advocacy trainings throughout the region. In past years, Ms. Hass managed the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program as well as other community initiatives. Through her work as a board member of AmericaWALKs, Ms. Hass also helped launch the National Safe Routes to School Program.
|Mr. Robert Sloane||Senior Project Manager||
Currently the Senior Planner at WalkBoston, Robert Sloane works in map preparation and production in conjunction with municipal agencies and private institutions, reviews pedestrian access in proposed public and private developments, provides technical assistance on walking issues, prepares technical reports, and surveys pedestrian needs.
Mr. Sloane has more than 35 years of experience. Before coming to WalkBoston, he worked as a Senior Consultant at Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, a transportation consulting firm, where he investigated issues in strategic planning, focus groups, public involvement in transportation planning and project development. He was Senior Editor at the Maine Lawyers Review, a bi-weekly journal of case summaries, features and commentary, published in Maine. Prior to that Bob held the position of Assistant Secretary of Transportation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he chaired a 6-agency board governing regional transportation policy, drafting legislation and regulations, and representing the state in transportation policy discussions with citizen groups.
Mr. Sloane’s education includes a JD from Northeastern University School of Law. He was a University Fellow in obtaining a Masters in City Planning at Michigan State University.
|Advocacy Organization of the Year||National Alliance for Biking and Walking||2012|
|Green Star Award||Enivronmental League of Massachusetts||2012|
|Environmental-Energy Merit Award Leadership by a Non-Profit Organization||Environmental Business Council of New England||2010|
|Excellence in Promoting Physical Activity||Society of Behavioral Medicine||2010|
|Boston Innovative Transportation Award||Women in Transportation||2009|
|Outstanding Service Award||BU Medical Campus and TranScomm||2007|
|Best Foot Forward Award||America Walks||2006|
|Exemplary serivce and dedication to pedestrian advocacy in the Commonwealth, helping to encourage walking throughout Massachusetts||Common Wealth of Massachusetts Jane Swift Governor||2002|
|This Region is a better place to live thanks to you!||National Parks Service||2002|
|Certificate of Recognition for the Shawmut Peninsula Walk Guide||Common Wealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs Department of Environmental Management||1999|
|Member of state association of nonprofits?||No|
|Name of state association||--|
|External Assessment or Accreditation||Year|
|Number of Full Time Staff||4|
|Number of Part Time Staff||5|
|Number of Volunteers||75|
|Number of Contract Staff||2|
|Staff Retention Rate %||100%|
|Ethnicity||African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Not Specified 0
|Organization has Fundraising Plan?||No|
|Organization has Strategic Plan?||Yes|
|Years Strategic Plan Considers||3|
|Management Succession Plan||No|
|Business Continuity of Operations Plan||No|
|Organization Policies And Procedures||No|
|Whistle Blower Policy||Yes|
|Document Destruction Policy||Yes|
|Directors and Officers Insurance Policy||No|
|State Charitable Solicitations Permit||No|
|Management Reports to Board?||Yes|
|CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency||Yes Annually|
|Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency||Yes Annually|
|Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency||Yes Semi-Annually|
|Board Chair||Mr. Matt Lawlor|
|Board Chair Company Affiliation||Robinson & Cole LLP|
|Board Chair Term||Sept 2013 -|
|Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation||--|
|Board Co-Chair Term||-|
|Mr. Joseph Beggan||Director of Transportation Harvard University||Voting|
|Newsletter Chair Hillary Borcherding||Community Volunteer||Voting|
|Ms. Betsy Boveroux||Retired||Voting|
|Ms. Amy Branger||Collins Institute University of Massachusetts||Voting|
|Ms. Nina Cohen||Retired||Voting|
|Nominating Chair Karen Cord Taylor||Journalist||Voting|
|Ms. Joyce Dibona||Retired||Voting|
|Communications Chair Nina Garfinkle||Designer Garfinkle Design||Voting|
|Ms. Paula Gold||Plymouth Rock Assurance||Voting|
|Founder Ann Hershfang||Founder of WalkBoston/ Retired||Voting|
|Ms. Betsy Johnson||Community Advocate||Voting|
|Counsel Erik Lund||Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP||Voting|
|Mr Jerry Pucillo||Real Estate Developer Center Green||Voting|
|Mr. Bill Reyelt||Principal Planner MA Dept. of Housing & Community Development||Voting|
|Treasurer Greg Rogers||Edelstein & Company LLP||Voting|
|Secretary / Development Emma Rothfeld Yashar||DLA Piper||Voting|
|Vice President Linda Sharpe||Volpe Center||Voting|
|Ethnicity||African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other (if specified): --
Not Specified 0
|Board Term Lengths||1|
|Board Term Limits||0|
|Board Meeting Attendance %||--|
|Written Board Selection Criteria||Yes|
|Written Conflict Of Interest Policy||Yes|
|Percentage of Monetary Contributions||100%|
|Percentage of In-Kind Contributions||100%|
|Constituency Includes Client Representation||Yes|
As a long time resident of the city of Boston, a one-car family and having worked in the city for over 30 years, I happily became a walker many years ago and always felt fortunate to have such an easy commute to work. Walking was so much a part of my life that I walked the Boston Marathon to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Having seen the impact of WalkBoston’s efforts on making it safer and easier to navigate the streets, I became a believer in their cause and have been a long time supporter. Now retired with more time to walk, it is my main source of exercise and a means for social interaction. And interestingly, when my suburban grandchildren visit, they are amazed with the easy access to walking as a means of transportation around the city.
With the growing concern for better health among all ages, WalkBoston informs and educates a broad spectrum of constituencies of the benefits of walking…. from community residents to those who plan and design communities’ transportation needs across the state of Massachusetts.
And for this reason and the health of my grandchildren, I choose to support WalkBoston and encourage others to learn more about their meaningful work. - Joyce DiBona
|Fiscal Year||Jan 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016|
|IRS Letter of Exemption|
|Indirect Public Support||--||--||--|
|Investment Income, Net of Losses||--||--||--|
|Payments to Affiliates||--||--||--|
|Total Revenue/Total Expenses||1.05||1.20||1.00|
|Program Expense/Total Expenses||76%||76%||72%|
|Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue||16%||16%||25%|
|Total Net Assets||$395,841||$371,009||$276,961|
|1st (Source and Amount)||
|2nd (Source and Amount)||
|3rd (Source and Amount)||
|Spending Policy||Income Only|
|How many months does reserve cover?||--|
|Are you currently in a Capital Campaign?||No|
|Capital Campaign Purpose||--|
|Capital Campaign Dates||-|
|Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount||--|
|Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years?||--|
|Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities||15.34||14.93||10.14|
|Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets||0%||0%||0%|
The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.