LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
JULY 27, 2020
See our other COVID-19 related posts by clicking here.
Lynn City Meetings to be held this week:
Lynn School Committee: Monday, July 27th at 6pm (rebroadcast later)
Zoning Board of Appeals: Tuesday, July 28th at 7pm (Live on LCTV)
COVID-19 Testing this week in Lynn
The City of Lynn has been selected to be a part of the state’s “Stop the Spread” Initiative. The program began on, Friday, July 10th and lasts until August 14th. Please call the Lynn Community Health Center at 781-581-3900 to make an appointment or Health Innovations to schedule a test at the mobile van location at 774-264-0604. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Testing will be available at the following locations for Massachusetts residents regardless of their insurance, immigration status or if they have any symptoms:
- Lynn Community Health Center – 9 Buffum Street, 7 days a week.
- Lynn Community Health Center – 29 Market Square, Monday-Thursday
- Health Innovations will have a van that will be traveling to various locations throughout the City to administer tests. Locations below:
- 7/27-7/31 Parking Lot at Lynn Classical High School
- 8/3-8/7 Parking Lot at Wall Plaza on Church Street
- 8/10-8/14 Parking Lot at Lynn English High School
Please click here for more details on the “Stop the Spread” Initiative.”
Dr. Patrick Tutwiler will be holding a listening session for staff today at 5PM live on his YouTube channel, found by clicking here.
Mail-in Ballot applications
- Fill out the Application
- Don’t forget to sign the bottom!
- If you are Unenrolled, you will need to pick a party for the state election so we can send you that ballot.
Didn’t get the application in the mail? Click here to download the application from the City of Lynn website.
Find out more about changes to this year’s election due
to COVID-19 by clicking here.
We are currently working with Chief of Elections Janet Rowe on an interview about the changes to voting this year. Stay tuned!
Americans with Disabilities Act 13th Anniversary: MBTA Highlights Progress & Upcoming Accessibility Projects
On the 13th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the nation’s most significant legislation regarding the civil rights of people with disabilities, the MBTA reaffirms its commitment to being a leader in accessible public transportation.
“Thanks to the ADA and our riders who have advocated and partnered with us, the MBTA is more reliable and accessible than ever before,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We’re proud of the accessibility accomplishments we’ve made so far, but we’re committed to continuing to make improvements, which are fundamental to allowing our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family members with disabilities to use the MBTA safely and confidently. With that in mind, we celebrate this important anniversary and look forward to continuing our path forward.”
By the 1970s, the MBTA had already begun projects and programs with a focus on accessibility, including the T’s first elevator going into service at Quincy Center Station in 1971 and offering door-to-door paratransit service through the use of two lift-equipped vans in and around Brookline in 1977. Early Federal laws and state oversight through the Massachusetts Architectural Board helped to expand a focus on accessibility at the T and, by 1990 when the ADA was signed, around twenty-five MBTA stations were accessible. At that time, some buses were also accessible, though customers were required to call ahead to request these lift-equipped buses be assigned to a particular route.
The signing of the ADA in 1990 aimed to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities, including in public transportation. Expectations for public transit providers like the MBTA were clarified and called for all parts of service to be accessible, including reliable stop announcements, improved employee trainings, and accessible key stations and vehicles.
The existence of the ADA has also given riders a mechanism for holding organizations accountable for providing accessible service. While the T had made some progress since the signing of the ADA in 1990, a group of riders with disabilities along with the Boston Center for Independent Living filed a class-action lawsuit against the T in 2002 that cited many ADA violations, including broken elevators, inaccessible buses, and employees not equipped to assist customers as needed.
Following a comprehensive settlement agreement of this lawsuit in 2006, the MBTA has fundamentally shifted its approach, initiating accessibility projects and programs with the goal of becoming a global leader in accessible transit. In the fifteen years since the settlement agreement, tremendous progress has been made – to name a few:
- The MBTA now has over 232 accessible stations – including 200 elevators system-wide with elevator “up time” averaging 99.4 percent or better consistently over the last decade through new elevator maintenance contracts.
- The T’s bus fleet is 100 percent accessible with the newest fleet designed with feedback from riders with disabilities that has resulted in a layout that will provide more space and options for all customers, including wheelchair users and families with strollers.
- All front-line employees receive improved training in providing accessible and inclusive service to all customers, including one-of-a-kind training in assisting customers with disabilities during emergency situations.
- Recognizing that first-hand experiences help shape a more usable system, the MBTA continues to reinforce its efforts to include riders with disabilities in its decision-making processes by hiring talented staff who also have disabilities and improving rider engagement through groups like the T’s Riders’ Transportation Access Group (R-TAG).
The RIDE is also a leader in service quality, efficiency, and innovation among peer paratransit operations. Since the launch of this service on a smaller scale in 1977, the MBTA’s ADA door-to-door paratransit RIDE program currently provides service for eligible customers in fifty-eight surrounding towns and communities, including Boston. Of the 1.6 million trips provided last year on the traditional RIDE service, over 245,000 trips were taken as part of the innovative pilot partnership with Uber and Lyft, which provides customers with flexible options that best meet their needs and additional similar pilot service offerings to come soon. The upcoming software and technology transition to Routematch will also continue to improve the customer experience, enhance reliability, and increase efficiencies by providing customers with a new web-based trip booking platform, a compatible smart phone app, and interactive voice response prompts to assist customers in managing their own trips. The MBTA continues to explore better, more integrated ways to offer trips to its RIDE customers using both paratransit and fixed route service.
While the MBTA is proud of this progress so far, the T is committed to continuous improvement with more projects focused on accessibility in the pipeline. As part of the MBTA’s Plan for Accessible Transportation Infrastructure (PATI) that aims to make the system entirely accessible, major upgrades within the next five years include:
- The renovation of Symphony and Hynes Stations on the Green Line to improve accessibility;
- Improvements to nine street-level Green Line stops that make these stations fully accessible;
- Over fifty new elevators in design; and
- Many innovative technology pilot programs, including indoor navigation for blind/low vision customers.
To learn more about accessibility at the MBTA and how riders can get involved, visit mbta.com/accessibility, view a video spotlight of our riders, or connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA, Facebook /TheMBTA, or Instagram @theMBTA using the #TAccess hashtag.
Updates from state government
- As of Sunday night, DPH reported a total of 108,380 cases of COVID-19. The state has now confirmed a total of 8,310 deaths from the virus.
- Governor Baker on Friday morning signed the $1.1 billion COVID-19 spending bill sent to his desk last week, although he vetoed sections dealing with past MassHealth payments and a program spending floor.
- Read about Gov. Charlie Baker’s new travel restrictions unveiled Friday by clicking here.
- Massachusetts school districts are required to submit a preliminary reopening plan summary to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by Friday. It’s the first of two steps involved in the reopening plans, more comprehensive documents must be finalized, submitted to DESE and released to the public by Monday, Aug. 10.
- Absent a full fiscal 2021 budget the state has enough money appropriated to run the government for another week, with another $5.5 billion interim budget filed by Governor Baker to get the state through August.
- On Friday evening the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a sweeping police reform and accountability bill that seeks to certify all law enforcement officers in the state and curb the use of force tactics by police. Republicans and a significant number of Democrats opposed the bill, but Democrats who control the House were able to pass it on Friday at 10 p.m. on a 93-66 vote. The legislation will likely head next to six-member House-Senate conference committee for resolution. The Senate had already approved its bill on a 30-7 vote.
From Mayor McGee’s office: The Lynn Public Health Department has confirmed that as of today, the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 430 with 3 new cases today. 3,310 Lynn residents have recovered and 110 have died. The total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Lynn since March 21, 2020, including those who have died and recovered, is 3,850. Please visit the new City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.
Please visit https://www.mass.gov/
* Residents or visitors coming into Massachusetts from the following, lower-risk states are EXEMPT from this order: Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii.*
STOP THE SPREAD Initiative:
Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/