Since June 2021, Consult LeLa has assisted the Boston Transportation Department in raising awareness about the Mattapan Square Redesign. Though we have spoken to many people, we have spent the majority of this time focused on the youth population of those who live, work, and play in Mattapan. Find more information on this page about what we have achieved thus far! To learn more about the Blue Hill Avenue Transportation Action Plan and become engaged in the process, please visit the Boston Transportation Department's website.
We have led over 20 workshops to more than 200 youth in Mattapan providing them with the background of transportation planning and soliciting their feedback via survey. Some of the places we've reached youth have been at the Mattapan Teen Center, Mattahunt Elementary School, Boston Nature Center, Gallivan Community Center, Mildred Avenue Community Center, and Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition's Vigorous Youth.
We believe in providing residents with information that they do not have go out of their way to access. We have been present at the Mattapan Square Farmer's Market, the Urban Farming Institute Farmer's Market, the Boston Parks and Recreation Neighborhood Concert Series, Mattapan Square bus stop, the Mattapan Community Health Center Health Fair, Blue Hill Avenue Open Streets, and other locations visible to community. To date, we have reached over 250 people through our pop-ups.
In July 2022 we partnered with SPARK Boston to host their Mattapan Social for residents who are over the age of 21. It was our version of an all-encompassing public meeting to provide a full picture of the planning processes occurring in Mattapan. We believe that planning our future should be fun and accessible to all, and perhaps even include delicious free food.
In the Summer of 2022 we launched the Youth Engagement Committee with five Mattapan youth between the ages of 9 and 14. Partnering with WalkBoston, the youth learned about walkability, pedestrian safety, and how to lead a walk audit. These young people conducted a walk audit of Mattapan Square and presented their findings to Boston Transportation Department planners on August 3rd. They requested heat mitigation tools, like trees and misters at bus stops, in light of Mattapan Square being a heat island amongst other recommendations.
Building on the amazing work that Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition and Powerful Pathways have done with their Transportation Talks, we partnered with them to host a Youth T-Talk in February 2022. Together, we facilitated a conversation between 15 youth who live or go to school along Blue Hill Avenue and Boston Transportation Department planners. Young people identified key areas that were dangerous for them, changes they would like to see on Blue Hill Avenue, and their excitement of being able to speak directly with planners and be engaged in the planning process.
Currently, there are two potential design options for Mattapan Square that Boston Transportation Department has on the table. Consult LeLa is focused on gathering concrete data from those who live, work, play, and travel through Mattapan about which design option works best for them so that we can provide BTD with data to inform their decision. To date, we have received over 200 survey responses from people 6 years old to those over 65. If you are someone who lives, works, attends school or places of worship, or travels through Mattapan Square, please take some time to fill out this survey.
Our Winter 2023 Youth Engagement Committee planned an event to raise awareness and bring more Mattapan residents into the process of redesigning Mattapan Square.
This is Consult LeLa's rendition of a fun, accessible, informative public meeting on July 28th, 2022.
Our Youth Consultant Ishmael D. Hazelwood presented the Youth Engagement Committee's findings to the Boston Transportation Department planners on August 3rd, 2022.