Tag: Boston

WGBH News – “Pressure Mounts For Walsh to Deliver On Safer Streets”

WGBH News – “Pressure Mounts For Walsh to Deliver On Safer Streets”

WGBH News: “Pressure Mounts For Walsh to Deliver On Safer Streets

Brendan Kearney, spokesperson for the pedestrian advocacy group Walk Boston, echoed that point: “We know where the problems are,” said Kearney. “We now need to make changes to the streets.”

Council members, meanwhile, attested to the enormous volume of calls they get from residents concerned about dangerous streets and intersections in their neighborhoods – an issue Councilor Michael Flaherty recently called the “single greatest issue” facing the city’s residents.

“No one likes to receive these complaints over and over again over the course of years and not have an adequate response, it’s really unsettleing,” said Council President Andrea Campbell. “At the top of our list, even higher sometimes than our housing constituent cases … are traffic and speeding concerns.”

May 9, 2019

Boston Herald: “Report: Traffic crashes in Boston resulting in less fatalities, but not injuries”

Boston Herald: “Report: Traffic crashes in Boston resulting in less fatalities, but not injuries”

Boston Herald: “Report: Traffic crashes in Boston resulting in less fatalities, but not injuries

Advocates took issue with the fact that Boston doesn’t report its crash statistics to the Department of Transportation as most other municipalities do. The current system the police department uses for crash reports isn’t able to submit data to MassDOT, according to the city. The police department is working with a vendor to fix that, a spokeswoman said, though no information was available. Brendan Kearney of WalkBoston, a nonprofit involved with Vision Zero, said fixing that should be a top priority. “If they’re not able to report this data, they are potentially missing out on funding for safety efforts,” Kearney said.

Posted April 17, 2019

One Minute, One Slide: Language defines a story

One Minute, One Slide: Language defines a story

Below is a “One Minute, One Slide” presentation shared by a member of the WalkBoston staff.
Text provided is as prepared for this year’s annual event on March 18, 2019.

Brendan Kearney

Language matters when talking about crashes: A recent study shared at the TRB (Transportation Research Board) Conference titled “Editorial Patterns in Bicyclist and Pedestrian Crash Reporting” examined ways that media coverage of crashes could influence public perception, looking at word choice and agency.

An example from a crash in Boston: You wouldn’t know someone was driving this truck by the initial news report, since “a city-owned truck struck a pedestrian.”

We (politely) reached out to the reporter and station on Twitter, and asked them to clarify that a person driving was behind the wheel in this crash. The news station was responsive, & made changes to the story.

Just as road design influences behavior, media coverage & local reporting influences public perception.

About 40,000 people in the United States die as a result of car crashes each year. This isn’t just about drivers hitting people walking, it includes people both in and outside cars – roughly 350 people die in crashes each year in Massachusetts alone, while many thousands more are injured. We need to reduce illegal speeding to help prevent and/or reduce the severity of these crashes. So a big THANK YOU to all the reporters and news organizations that are willing to take a look at how they are presenting crashes. Local reporting helps shine a light on common-sense ways we can make our streets safer for people: fixing the way our roads are designed.


WCVB – “Boston mayor’s transportation plan targets rideshare, MBTA, speeding”

WCVB – “Boston mayor’s transportation plan targets rideshare, MBTA, speeding”

WCVB: “Boston mayor’s transportation plan targets rideshare, MBTA, speeding

“I would say he is working hard, his heart is in the right place.” But the head of WalkBoston says Boston lags behind New York and San Francisco when it comes to more expensive changes, like building safer crosswalks and installing cameras to catch red light runners and speeders. “This is something the City is working on, but we would like them to be working faster to get those things done.”

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.


Dorothea Hass, Senior Project Manager
Brendan Kearney, Communications Director

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