Mayoral Candidate: Tom Koch

Twenty-four people have been killed while walking and biking in Quincy since 2015.  How do you see yourself working to increase bicycle and pedestrian safety throughout Quincy?

I will continue the work already being done. The safety of our most vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists, is of the highest priority to me and my team, and I believe the work we’ve completed to date reflects just that. I directed my staff to create and publish the City’s first Transportation Safety Action Plan. This document analyzed serious and fatal crashes in the City, identified trends, and created a roadmap to prioritize and address safety issues across Quincy. This plan includes many strategies already being utilized across the city, including the addition of separated bicycle lanes, new pedestrian crossings at demonstrated desire lines, the installation of RRFB crossing beacons and other crosswalk visibility treatments, and the addition of speed feedback signage on key corridors. The City has been tremendously successful in targeted improvements to address specific crash trends. An example of this type of success is the road diet on Quincy Avenue, where previous to the improvement was the site of several serious pedestrian crashes, including multiple fatalities. To reduce pedestrian exposure crossing the roadway, we reduced the road from four lanes to three, added a key crossing, and redistributed the available road width to add bicycle infrastructure. Since this improvement was made, there have been ZERO serious or fatal pedestrian crashes in the area of the project. I am committed to continuing to use the strategies being enacted currently to ensure we are making Quincy a safe place to walk, bike and roll for road-users of all ages and abilities.

How will you support building more separated and protected bike infrastructure in Quincy?

We are in the midst of an unprecedented period of investment in our roads and subsurface infrastructure. The resurfacing of roads is allowing us an opportunity to modernize our roadway network and add bicycle infrastructure wherever feasible. Since 2018 we have added 18 miles of bicycle lane, with another several miles in various stages of planning. In addition to bicycle facilities being added to Quincy’s main roads, my team is currently working on a broad analysis of low stress bicycle routes and complementary infrastructure including bicycle racks, bicycle repair stations, and wayfinding signage to key areas in the City to help cyclists better navigate our roadway network.

Currently, only a few of our schools have partnered with the state funded Safe Routes to School program.  What will you do to bring the Safe Routes to School curriculum and programs into our schools across the city?

I will work with the Superintendent and Principals of schools to identify appropriate staff members, particularly in our Elementary Schools, to serve as liaisons and get them trained to expand the program in Quincy. Education plays a key role in transportation safety, and we owe it to our young residents to start their traffic safety education as early as possible. The City has recently been awarded a grant through the Safe Routes to School program to furnish and install new school zone flashers and speed feedback signs for Atherton Hough school. I look forward to continuing and expanding our relationship with the Safe Routes to School team at MassDOT to bring education and safety improvements to our schools. I will also continue to sponsor youth-centered educational opportunities such as the DPW bicycle rodeo, and look forward to continuing our partnership with Quincycles, particularly with the Learn To Ride program, for which the City funded the on-site storage of bicycles this past summer.

Do you support measures to calm traffic in Quincy? (i.e. speed humps, curb extensions, etc. Learn more here) . If so, what would you do enact these measures in Quincy?

Yes I do, and a number of these measures are currently being implemented. We are constantly working to expand traffic calming measures on our main arteries and our neighborhood street to combat speeding issues and to ensure pedestrian safety. A prime example of traffic calming and prioritizing multi-modal safety sits right in front of City Hall. Once a four-lane highway, the Hancock Adams Common is not just a beautiful park, but a wonderful place to walk and bike. The improvement provided signalized raised crossings for pedestrians, bike lanes, and curb extensions to shorten once treacherous crossing distances. These facilities are extremely important to the health and safety of roadway users in the urban core of the City, and have helped to make Quincy Center vibrant once again. Another example of a traffic calming measure my team has implemented is the intersection of Southern Artery and South Street, adjacent to 1000 Southern Artery, home to a number of Quincy’s senior citizens. At this location, curb radii was reduced and the sidewalk bumped out to slow turning traffic in a critical area where older, more vulnerable residents are often walking. The reallocated sidewalk space was able to be used for a bicycle rental platform. This improvement was 100% funded by a Shared Streets and Spaces grant through MassDOT. I will prioritize these types of traffic calming measures and continue to leverage my relationships in government to get them done with state and federal funds.

Quincy has had a Complete Streets policy in place since 2018 but has not yet created the called for oversight committee tasked with reviewing the city’s progress and creating metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of Complete Streets projects.  What will you do to support the full implementation of the city’s Complete Streets Policy?

The policy was enacted in 2018, and since its creation there has been tremendous improvement and expansion of multi-modal infrastructure city-wide. Since the policy’s enactment, Quincy went from having just a single bike lane on a portion of Adams Street to a wide network of 18 lane miles. All newly constructed roadways are being constructed with new ADA compliant sidewalks and ramps, a major goal of the policy. The oversight of this policy lies with the engineers and planners that are making meaningful changes throughout the City and working to comply with the policy. These facilities are discussed through the design process, in coordination between multiple departments. The engineers that design our roadways work hard to be inclusive of all users, though due to constraints there are sometimes design exceptions. We look forward to the continued expansion of the bicycle network and improvements to pedestrian connections to provide better access and continuity.

Candidate Contact Information

Tom Koch

1635 Hancock Street


Facebook: @mayortomkoch

Instagram: @mayortomkoch