With deteriorating roads, rampant potholes, unsafe walking and cycling conditions and lots of congestion, it’s likely that every candidate for office this year will talk about Malden’s transportation and traffic problems. Amanda sets herself apart by advocating for a cadre of proven solutions that promote safety and sustainability while easing congestion and strengthening our local economy.
Malden must elect leaders who understand how to plan for the needs of residents who get around in many different ways — walking, transit, bike, scooter, with small children, and with mobility challenges such as wheelchairs, low vision, canes, and walkers. Amanda is an avid cyclist and runner who walks, drives, commutes by bus and train, and even accompanies her 5-year-old by scooter to navigate the West End for trips to school, work, errands, the park and beyond. She has lived the daily challenges related to getting around our neighborhood, and she’s excited to work on a slate of solutions to help all residents.
Amanda believes we must carefully craft our policies so that we treat motorists and non-drivers with equal consideration. Our roads must be safe for all users. When we choose to make non-car options viable for most trips, more people will choose to leave their cars at home (or will own fewer cars per family) in favor of walking, biking, or taking the T. Investing in bike lanes, when done properly with physical barriers separating cyclists from vehicular traffic, reduces congestion and enhances safety for all users, no matter how they are traveling. When cyclists feel safe riding in our city, they are more likely to choose a bike for everyday travel, which alleviates traffic congestion and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that harm our environment and air quality. We must put climate and sustainability at the forefront of our local transportation planning.
Amanda will work with the city’s newly-funded transportation planner and the existing citizens transportation committee to audit walking and biking safety in Ward 3, and she will work proactively with our legislative delegation to make sure local priorities reach the ears of DCR, MassDOT, and other state agencies whose decision impact our roadways, bus routes and train stations. We have just begun to make good progress in shortening crosswalks, adding pedestrian safety enhancements, and building ADA-accessible sidewalks in Malden this past year, but we shouldn’t have to wait for more accidents to continue to take action on these measures. The West End of Malden has one of the highest rates of commuters who utilize the MBTA to access Boston each day in the entire system, so we must work to ensure our residents can get where they need to go with safe walking routes and reliable, regular buses.
Amanda believes in bold steps that invest in long-term transportation solutions, like a Silver Line Extension from Chelsea and Everett to Malden Center, offering a direct connection to Logan Airport in one direction and linkages to employment centers at Kendall Square in the other. An MBTA report suggested this idea several years ago as the Silver Line Extension to Chelsea was underway, and greater public and political advocacy could make this a reality and strengthen Malden’s downtown.
Malden Center Station is one of the busiest MBTA subway stations outside of Boston, with daily ridership higher than Davis Square. As workers north of Malden abandon the commuter rail due to escalating costs and increasingly drive to Malden Center to take the Orange Line, it creates traffic on our roads, increases congestion and emissions in our air, and exerts wear and tear on our local roads, which were never designed for such volume. Amanda supports policies to encourages transit use, discourage non-Malden traffic, and capture new funding for road maintenance.
Amanda is an advocate for reducing parking minimums at new, transit-oriented developments, which needlessly promotes vehicle ownership and in turn creates traffic. She supports Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) strategies such as rush-hour-only dedicated bus lanes and signal prioritization on key routes. Making buses faster, more reliable, and more attractive is a proven strategy for reducing congestion and speeding up commute times for everyone. Reducing parking minimums helps to reduce construction costs for developers, who can then afford to build more workforce-priced housing to keep Malden residents in their community, or to create ground-floor retail spaces better designed for small business owners.
Amanda also supports the new permit parking program which will help Malden capture excise tax revenue from residential cars that aren’t currently registered here, and she wants to keep a watchful eye on the roll-out of the program to ensure it primarily benefits Ward 3 residents who already bear the burden of cut-through commuter traffic from Route 93 and the Fellsway to Malden Center. With the additional funds from a city-wide permit parking program, greater enforcement, and updated pricing structures in our public garages, we can invest more money in road repairs and Complete Streets projects, allowing our DPW to plan ahead and fix problems before they get worse.