“The Street Project” Investigates Road Safety
Film screening to support regional “MV Vision Zero” effort
NEWBURYPORT, MA — Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in the United States are skyrocketing. In 2021, about 7,500 pedestrians and nearly 1,000 bicyclists were killed on the nation’s streets, the most in 40 years. Bicyclist fatalities went up 16% from 2019 to 2020, and another 5% from 2020 to 2021. Here in the Merrimack Valley region, all non-motorists (including pedestrians and bicyclists) have experienced 115 serious injuries and 30 fatalities since 2017. Newburyport alone has seen 5 pedestrian fatalities in the past decade. There is clearly a need to address the systemic safety issues on our streets.
The Street Project is a new documentary film that highlights the global, citizen-led fight to make our streets safer. In order to help raise awareness and spur conversation about street safety, local advocacy group Newburyport Livable Streets and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) are hosting a screening of the film, which will be its first Massachusetts screening north of Boston.
After looking at the experiences of cycling-friendly meccas in Europe and US cities like New York and Phoenix, The Street Project takes a deep dive into how Americans view our streets and how we can make them safer. The film looks at how we got here, including the history of street use and how it has changed, what makes effective street design, the impact of zoning laws on street transportation, and much more.
MVPC is participating in this event as part of its outreach for “MV Vision Zero,” a regional safety action plan that is just getting underway. Elizabeth Maldari, MVPC Regional Mobility Planner, explained that this planning effort will combine transportation planning expertise with insights from local residents. The plan is called “MV Vision Zero” because its goal is to achieve zero roadway deaths and fatalities in the Merrimack Valley.
Maldari stated, “As we map high crash corridors and intersections through data analysis, we are grateful to partner with safety advocacy groups like Newburyport Livable Streets to shed light on the vulnerable user experience and encourage safety culture through community activities and local actions.” She continued, “At MVPC, we are inspired by the community action depicted in The Street Project and are therefore delighted to co-sponsor this film screening.”
The Street Project will be shown at The Screening Room at 7:00 pm on Sunday, November 12. The film will be followed by a brief presentation about MV Vision Zero and an opportunity to discuss local safety issues and concerns. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at https://bit.ly/streetprojectfilm.
* * *
Newburyport Livable Streets is a local nonprofit dedicated to making our streets safer and more comfortable for everyone. NLS works to support and improve the health and well-being of our community through education and advocacy related to transportation infrastructure and policies.
The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) is the regional planning agency for 15 communities in the lower Merrimack Valley. MVPC assists the Valley’s communities in the planning areas of transportation, the environment, land use, economic development, and GIS mapping.