Changing Lanes: Children's play inspired by BRT capability to tie the city together

Planning, communities, and consensus were the topics of a play, Changing Lanes, put on by Boston’s Neighborhood School, where the students showed how different interests and ideas clash, and attempt to reconcile, in deciding how to improve the transportation system in fictional Fairview Junction.  Transportation changes were on the students’ minds since the beginning of the school year, as major roadway rehabilitation was underway in their school’s neighborhood. The theater production itself was directly inspired by a trip the students made to the exhibition of interactive participatory planning tools developed at MIT and piloted in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood in a series of public workshops held last October to examine bus rapid transit (BRT) potentials in the city. A kid-powered ‘version’ of those tools even made a cameo in the performance, as the town’s various constituencies debated how to allocate roadspace to various uses (pedestrians, bicycles, buses, cars).  Changing Lanes ends with the important question: “what kind of city will we build together?”  These talented and inspirational young students provide hope that it can be together.

BRT play 1

BRT play 2