Barr Foundation Knowledge Center

This collection includes publications and resources from our partners and in our program areas, both current and legacy. These resources are completely free to access and download. Most of these works were funded by the Barr Foundation. We may occasionally feature items relevant to our program areas which were not funded by Barr. Please be aware that views expressed are not necessarily those of the Barr Foundation. We encourage you to search our collection and suggest potential content to include (use "Suggest an Addition"). For questions or assistance, please contact feedback@barrfoundation.org.
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Featured

Get it Rolling: A brief guide to mobilize bus improvements in Greater Boston

June 21, 2021

This guide lays out a recipe to help local staff members, leaders, and advocates identify the right ingredients to launch successful bus improvements in high ridership, high delay corridors in their communities. These projects can seem daunting in their complexity, but they are important tools in achieving climate, equity, and transit goals, as well as improving quality of life for the thousands of people in our region.The guide identifies crucial stakeholders and project milestones. It offers examples of successful strategies, and it distills lessons learned. We identified six bus priority projects that started turning the wheels of change in the region. These projects were the first to involve quick, temporary, and easy to change elements in order to influence the permanent design.The information this guide sets forth was drawn from over thirty in-depth interviews with stakeholders involved in the six different projects we identify below:Everett's inbound bus lane on BroadwayBoston's inbound bus lane on Washington Street in RoslindaleArlington's inbound bus lane on Massachusetts AvenueCambridge and Watertown's inbound bus lane on Mount Auburn StreetBoston's inbound bus lane on Brighton Avenue in BrightonSomerville's inbound and outbound bus lanes on BroadwayThese six projects are described in detail in the individual case studies found after the workbook. You'll find examples from these projects throughout this guide that illustrate the different strategies municipal staff and their partners have used to accomplish progressive bus improvements.Every project's recipe will be different, and will require different ingredients, as well as different amounts of each. The projects showcased in this guide may not be directly applicable to your community, but they offer a framework for considering strategies to improve bus transit. With the ingredients presented in this document, we encourage you to innovate and experiment. Not all will apply to your situation, and not all will follow the same order as we have them listed here. This guide is not prescriptive, but instead offers direction based on the experience of people involved in the six local bus improvement projects that were studied.

Climate - Mobility

Metro Boston Perfect Fit Parking Initiative

February 28, 2017

Parking is a point of contention in communities across Metro Boston, and a matter of great importance to the region's housing, transportation, and economic future. Yet many deliberations about the topic occur in the absence of hard data about the amount ofparking that is actually utilized. Parking requirements for new housing developments tend to rely more on precedent, neighborhood concerns, and instinct than they do empirical analysis. While some municipalities are taking data-driven approaches to parking management in their downtowns, few have yet to take a systematic approach to creating demand-based parking requirements for multifamily residential developments. A demand-based parking approach uses field observations and statistical models about likely parking demand as the basis for determiningoff-street parking requirements, and uses parking policy as a tool to discourage vehicle ownership and reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in highly transit-accessible and walkable locations.The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) has begun an initiative to develop the data and tools that communities need to establish informed, sustainable, and economical parking policies. This report summarizes Phase 1 of that effort, which entailed field surveys of 80 multifamily residential developments to measure actual parking utilization, and statistical modeling of the results to assess what neighborhood and building factors are associated with parking demand. Phase 1 was limited to five municipalities north of Boston: Arlington, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, and Melrose. Future phases of the work will include data collection in additional parts of the region, refinement of the parking demand model, and creation of digital tools to support community decision-making.A full set of resources including a dataset and infographics are available here: http://perfectfitparking.mapc.org/

Climate - Mobility

Formative Evaluation Report on the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Energy Initiative

June 1, 2012

This Interim Report provides the results of process evaluation activity undertaken to review the MAPC's Clean Energy Division's first year of operation (July 2011-June 2012). MAPC proposed to support cities and towns within the MAPC region to focus on clean energy and energy efficiency. Their theory of change involves recognizing that cities and towns are interested in developing their own clean energy solutions but lack the internal technical and logistical capacity to identify, develop and implement best practices and programs. MAPC proposed to fill this gap with a range of technical assistance, collective procurement, regionalization and policy projects. The evaluation found that the MAPC intervention identified significant potential energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions, and strategies to realize these savings.

Climate - Clean Energy

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