Safety, Wellness Improvements Shine in Burkis Square
Prepared by Courtney Thraen and Evan Robertson of Downtown Framingham, Inc. with data contributions from the Framingham Police Department and Framingham Fire Department
October 11, 2019
In strong partnership with and through the active leadership of the Framingham Police Department and local service agencies, Downtown Framingham, Inc. marketed a wellness and safety campaign this summer to support businesses, residents, and local shoppers in Burkis Square, an area unofficially bounded by Waverly Street to the north, Claflin Street to the south, the Framingham MBTA Station to the west and South Street to the east.
Downtown Framingham, Inc. (DFI) gathered data on police calls and ambulance calls to compare trends in the month of July 2018 and in the month of July 2019. DFI will soon gather and release August trends in 2018 and 2019.
“Without research findings of statistical significance, no causal attribution can be stated. However, it is clear that a confluence of kindness, positive attention, and strategic efforts delivered these results,” said Courtney Thraen, Executive Director of Downtown Framingham, Inc.
Over 60 businesses and citizens contributed to the Burkis Square Betterment Project, funding two engagement workers that worked from 12 pm to 6 pm from July 15 to July 26 and August 19 to August 30. The engagement workers worked closely with the Framingham Police Department as they developed relationships with local business owners and conducted meaningful conversations with local shoppers and passersby. Furthermore, during these hot summer days, they helped ensure individuals remained properly hydrated.
Goals of the Burkis Square Betterment Project included a reduction in both police and ambulance calls to this area; throughout 2018, 146 total ambulances were called and 189 police calls were made to the focal area surrounding the Hollis and Irving streets intersection.
Following the first two weeks of the engagement pilot project, Burkis Square businesses shared positive feedback witnessed through increased productivity and customer comfort. In Burkis Square, 39 of 40 businesses are run by people of color, many of whom are women.
Ambulance Call Data in July 2018 and in July 2019 in Burkis Square
The Framingham Fire Department provided call data for the addresses annotated under the respective bar graphs. Calls were listed by time, date, and location.
Ambulance Calls by Street, Time of Day
Burkis Square Ambulance Calls by Week and Street in July
Police Calls to Burkis Square in July 2018 and in July 2019
Data was provided by the Framingham Police Department for calls to 20 Irving Street, 430 Waverly Street, 30 Hollis Street, and the Hollis / Irving streets intersection. Calls were listed by shift (day, evening, and mid) with corresponding reasons at associated addresses. Calls broken down per week in July were not available. DFI did not receive types of calls per street address. DFI only featured the most frequent call types for bar graph representations.
Police Calls to Burkis Square by Type
Downtown Framingham is a densely populated urban area, comprised of mixed-use structures that house a growing number of residents and small businesses. Per Weichart data, this neighborhood’s population exceeds 8,000 people per square mile. Moreover, at least 1,300 passengers embark at the Framingham MBTA station every business day.
Thank you to the more than 60 businesses and citizens who sponsored the Burkis Square Betterment Project, including the major sponsors shown below! Thank you to the many local elected leaders that supported this initiative, including Framingham State Representatives Jack P. Lewis and Maria Robinson.