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Comments on West Roxbury Pedestrian Crashes

Comments on West Roxbury Pedestrian Crashes

Councilor Matt O’Malley
Boston City Hall
1 City Hall Plaza
Boston, MA 02108

February 14, 2019

Re: Pedestrian Fatalities in West Roxbury

Dear Councilor O’Malley:

We understand that you’ve taken a leading role responding to the fatal crashes in West Roxbury on 11/7/18 and 2/5/19. WalkBoston is writing to express our support for your effort to address these two pedestrian fatalities. To meaningfully reduce traffic fatalities, we need to address the common denominator: road design. Both occurred on arterial roadways with very limited street crossings.

November 7, 2018 at Washington/Stimson

A pedestrian was struck and killed at this intersection. From the Boston Globe:

Steve Primack has an office on Washington Street near that intersection, but wasn’t there when the man was hit. Primack said lights and other traffic calming measures are needed there. “I’m not really surprised. It’s a very, very dangerous intersection,” he said. “There’s a number of blind spots, and people fly down that road. It’s a shame that somebody had to die. It could have been prevented.”

February 5, 2019 at Centre/Hastings

A pedestrian was struck and killed at this intersection. A parent and child leaving the Lyndon School witnessed this fatality. Parents say they have had many near misses on this stretch of Centre Street such as double threats (a driver in one lane yielding at the crosswalk and waving a person to cross, with drivers in the other lane not slowing down). As with Washington Street, residents have been saying for years that traffic moves too quickly along the roadway and that a road diet is long overdue.

When Centre Street was being redesigned 15 years ago, WalkBoston – with the support of many residents and small business owners – asked the City to design a narrower roadway with one vehicle travel lane in each direction, plus turning lanes where needed. People drive much too fast along this main street of a densely settled residential neighborhood.

When two pedestrian fatalities occurred on Tremont Street in the South End, the Transportation Department quickly installed flex posts and signage, while a planning process is now under design for a road diet. WalkBoston urges the City to take steps now to slow traffic on Washington and Centre Street, and put these arterials on road diets.

In the City Council 20mph hearing on 11/13/18, you suggested a hearing on automated enforcement. Senator Brownsberger has filed a bill this session (SD1461) at the State House. We would be happy to discuss this as another tool for creating safer streets.

Sincerely,

Dorothea Hass, Senior Project Manager
Brendan Kearney, Communications Director

cc: Commissioner Gina Fiandaca, BTD
City Councilor Michelle Wu, Planning Development and Transportation Committee Chair

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