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Tag: charlestown

Statewide Fatal Crashes in MA, January 2021

Statewide Fatal Crashes in MA, January 2021

Each month in 2021, we plan to post about the fatal crashes in Massachusetts from the previous month, and share any trends that we see. Last month, we took a look at the year 2020 in review. In this post, we’ll look at crashes in MA in January 2021. The information in the chart below is compiled from news reports, and was checked against the MassDOT Crash Portal Dashboard “Fatal Information by Year.” The Google Street View images included below use the address listed in the crash portal.

  • Of the 20 fatal crashes in Massachusetts in January in the MassDOT Crash portal, 5 were people walking.
  • 3 of those 5 crashes were hit & runs.
  • The crash portal does not include names. The names of 2 of the people walking who died have not been made public yet.
  • The name of the person driving was only identified in 1 of the 5 crashes in news articles.

Date1/2/2021, 11:00 PM
Location200 Locust St.
TownSpringfield
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age
SexM

An unidentified man was killed in a hit and run crash on Locust Street in Springfield. There have been no follow up articles that we’ve seen identifying the person who died, or anything about the person that fled the scene. WesternMassNews says the Police Department has located the car and vehicle owner, and expects more from the District Attorney’s office.


Date1/5/2021, 11:30 AM
LocationChelsea St. + 13th St.
TownBoston
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age92
SexM

Francis McGrath, a 92 year old man, was killed in a hit and run crash on Chelsea Street in Charlestown. The driver dragged him for nearly a mile. The crash location is listed as Chelsea St & 13th (entrance to the Charlestown Navy Yard), while StreetsblogMass reports the Boston Police said it happened even further back at Chelsea St & Terminal St. While there had been speculation that the driver of a large truck was involved, there have been no follow up articles that we’ve seen about the person that left the scene. We spoke to the Boston Herald about the safety issues large vehicles present for people walking/biking, and the increase of drivers speeding during the coronavirus pandemic.


Date1/13/2021, 7:19 PM
Location235 Main St.
TownOxford
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age55
SexF

Wendy Hibbard was crossing Main Street in Oxford when a driver hit and killed her. Based on Google Maps Street View, a crosswalk across Main Street was made ADA-compliant sometime between October 2018 and October 2019. The street is one lane in each direction with a sidewalk on each side, but it looks to be approximately 50 feet from curb to curb using the measuring tool on Google Maps. According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Main Street/Rt12 is under MassDOT jurisdiction.


Date1/19/2021, 9:30 PM
Location38 Upland Rd.
TownBelmont
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age35
SexM

District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office shared on January 25th that Dean Kapsalis, 54 of Hudson, will face additional charges of murder and leaving the scene causing death in connection with striking and killing Henry Tapia on Upland Road in Belmont. Kapsalis was previously arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a civil rights violation causing injury and leaving the scene causing injury. The Boston Globe reported that “since getting a driver’s license around 1987, Kapsalis has been cited for speeding at least 17 times, was involved in at least 7 surcharge crashes, and had his right to drive suspended at least 6 times, usually for a cluster of traffic violations in a short period of time, according to RMV records.”


Date1/23/2021, 8:42 PM
Location687 Ocean St.
TownMarshfield
TypePEDESTRIAN
Age56
SexM

An unidentified 56 year old Marshfield man was hit and killed on Ocean Street in Marshfield. An article from 95.9 WATD quotes a police lieutenant that the “early investigation shows the victim was walking in the roadway along a dark stretch.” The street is one lane in each direction, but there is only a sidewalk on one side of the street.


Updates

If you have an update about a community member who was killed in one of these crashes, please contact Brendan so we can update our 2021 list. WalkBoston has maintained a list each year since 2016, pulling the information from news reports, social media, and from people like you that share the information with us.

Yearly trackers: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021


Reminder about the data from the MassDOT portal

DISCLAIMER:  The compilation of data is based on preliminary data we receive from a variety of local sources.  Some of the data may differ slightly from information provided by NHTSA as this dashboard does not use imputation methods.  Information is subject to change when/if updated information becomes available. Data updated daily as reported by police departments.

Boston Herald: “Horror in Charlestown: Pedestrian killed after getting struck, dragged for a mile by vehicle”

Boston Herald: “Horror in Charlestown: Pedestrian killed after getting struck, dragged for a mile by vehicle”

Boston Herald: “Horror in Charlestown: Pedestrian killed after getting struck, dragged for a mile by vehicle

During the first five days of the new year, there have already been multiple fatal pedestrian crashes in Massachusetts, including a hit-and-run in Springfield over the weekend, said Brendan Kearney of the WalkBoston advocacy group.

“The number of large vehicles involved with fatal crashes, especially involving people walking or biking, is a huge concern,” he said. “And that’s not just in Boston, but across the state and across the country.

“There are bad sight lines on these vehicles,” Kearney added. “And it’s putting everyone in a bad situation when we have large vehicles and streets where people can drive fast.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, there have been fewer cars on the roads but drivers are speeding at a higher clip, he said.

“That’s something we’ve seen across the state,” Kearney said.

Posted January 5, 2021

Austin St Pop-up and Safe Access to Parks

Austin St Pop-up and Safe Access to Parks

On Wednesday, July 17, 2019, WalkBoston joined many departments from the City of Boston for a Sidewalk Series/Austin St Pop-up in Thompson Square in Charlestown. 

Safe access to parks is an important part of creating a safe and walkable neighborhood. We encouraged attendees to add a green sticker to a map for places that felt safe for pedestrians, and a red sticker for areas that needed improvement. Many people then explained why it didn’t feel safe, and how they would fix things to make it better. We also heard great ideas about this section of Austin Street being something other than an extra slip lane for vehicles, all because it was opened up for a few hours to help people see the possibilities. We’ll be sharing all of the feedback we received with the city.

Thank you to the Age Strong Commission, New Urban Mechanics, Office of Neighborhood Services & Public Works for asking us to participate & making the day a success – and thanks to everyone that stopped by at the pop-up and shared your feedback (or just played with the bubble machine for a while)!

Comment letter on Waterways Application #W18-5358: Proposed bike/ped path from 80 Alford St/Route 99 to Draw Seven Park Ch 91 license

Comment letter on Waterways Application #W18-5358: Proposed bike/ped path from 80 Alford St/Route 99 to Draw Seven Park Ch 91 license

January 24, 2019

Jerome Grafe
MassDEP Waterways Program
1 Winter Street, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02108

RE: Waterways Application # W18-5358: Proposed bike/ped path from 80 Alford St/Route 99 to Draw Seven Park Ch 91 license

Dear Jerome,

WalkBoston is excited to hear of the proposal for a new bike/ped path connecting Draw Seven Park in Somerville to Route 99 in Boston/Charlestown. This path, atop the new MBTA sea wall at 80 Alford Street, will be a terrific boon to the Mystic River path network.

We support the Friends of the Community Path (FCP) and the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) in asking for the following revisions to the proposed path design:

  1. Widen the path from 10’ to 12’-14’ wherever possible.
  2. Ensure that the path design will be harmonious with the ongoing Mystic River bike/ped bridge design, so that there will be an appropriate path connection to the future Mystic River bike/ped bridge at the Draw Seven Park edge of the MBTA busway property.
  3. Ensure that the path design does not preclude a signalized crosswalk over Route 99 for safe bike/ped access to Ryan Playground, the Schraffts building, and the Boston Harborwalk. Plans for a safe bike/ped crossing at this location will also need to take future roadway projects on Rutherford Avenue into account.
  4. Connect the path to one of the public roads (Beacham Street or Moosal Place/Sherman Street) that connect to Broadway, so that pedestrians and cyclists need not go all the way to Assembly Square and then turn back in order to reach Broadway.

We also support FCP and STEP’s call for a public meeting about this proposal. Given that this path will be an important link in the Mystic River path network, many stakeholders and members of the public have a compelling interest in these issues. WalkBoston looks forward to continued engagement to ensure that this critical path connection moves forward.

Sincerely,

Wendy Landman
Executive Director

WalkBoston comments on Craigie Dam/Bridge Design Alternatives

WalkBoston comments on Craigie Dam/Bridge Design Alternatives

Date: January 2, 2019

To: Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Andy Paul, Jackie Douglas,
James Kersten, MassDOT, Commissioner Leo Roy, Jeff Parenti, Dan Driscoll, DCR

Re: WalkBoston comments on Craigie Dam/Bridge Design Alternatives

We are relieved that MassDOT and DCR are committed to acting to improve the safety of people walking and biking on this critical roadway segment.

We have reviewed the options that were presented to the community on December 18th and have several comments that are detailed below. However, we do not think that the relatively modest improvements that are planned for Spring 2019 are adequate to providing truly safe walking and biking conditions, and we urge MassDOT and DCR to develop more significant plans for safety for the Charles River bridges.

One approach that WalkBoston would like to see explored is the adoption of a pilot 20 MPH speed limit on all the Charles River Bridges from Harvard Square to the Craigie Dam/Bridge that would test an automated speed enforcement protocol. Over the last month we have attended meetings regarding safety and operations for the BU Bridge, the Longfellow Bridge and the Craigie Dam/Bridge. In each case, the completely fixed and limited right-of-way does not allow for the provision of protected bike accommodations within the roadway right-of-way without reducing the number of vehicle lanes. WalkBoston was distressed to hear suggestions by community members at one of these meetings to dedicate one of the sidewalks to bicycles rather than pedestrians in order to free up roadway space for vehicles (a suggestion that we were pleased was simply given, but then not taken up or discussed by any of the state or municipal staff).

MassDOT has already expressed its interest in adding automated enforcement to the state’s safety tools and we urge MassDOT to vigorously support a pilot program for the bridges. Setting and then enforcing a 20 MPH speed limit on all the bridges would significantly increase the safety of bicyclists using on-street bicycle lanes while at the same time allowing the number of vehicle lanes to remain as they are today.

Comments on Design Options A and B

Craigie Dam/Storrow Drive Intersection

Take the following steps to minimize conflicts between people walking, biking and driving:

  • For turns from Craigie into Storrow Drive put in place (and enforce) a permanent No Right on Red regulation and include the permanently illuminated NRTOR sign
  • Set the vehicle for Craigie Dam traffic approaching Leverett Circle stop line back from the intersection (with Don’t Block the Box markings and enforcement) to allow bikes to queue in a bike box ahead of traffic
  • Provide marked bike lanes from Craigie to Martha Way through Leverett Circle
  • Tighten the turning radius of the corner from Craigie onto Storrow Drive and provide a bike ramp to the Paul Dudley White Path at the corner rather than having bikes get on the sidewalk before reaching the intersection. The very tight sidewalk space should be reserved for pedestrians.

Museum of Science Driveway and Museum Way/Craigie Intersection

  • Add crosswalk striping across the Museum of Science driveway.
  • Narrow the driveway to the greatest extent possible given the truck and bus movements needed for Museum of Science operations.
  • Consider signalizing the driveway entrance to the Museum of Science in coordination with the Museum Way signal.
  • Eliminate the conflicting left turn arrow across the WALK signal at the Museum Way crosswalk across Craigie.
  • Improve the street lighting of the crosswalk across Craigie at Museum Way

Craigie/Land Boulevard/Gilmore Bridge Intersection

Configure the signal timing at the Land Blvd/Craigie/Gilmore Bridge intersection to allow safe pedestrian and bike movements. A detailed description is provided below of the maneuver needed to ride a bike safely through the intersection under current conditions. This is in urgent need of improvement.

  • “At the intersection with Edwin H Land Blvd/ Gilmore Bridge, to feel safe as a bicyclist I will often violate traffic signals. The problem is that, whether traveling either inbound or outbound, if you wait for the light to change, traffic builds up next to you. When the light turns green, you are forced into the middle of a pack of fast-moving traffic, with cars and trucks rapidly accelerating and changing lanes.

    The situation is particularly dangerous when traveling outbound and making a left on Cambridge Street (a route most bicyclists take, as Route 28 gets faster and more dangerous beyond the Cambridge St. intersection). As a bicyclist, if you leave the Gilmore intersection with vehicle traffic, you then have to work your way across 2 lanes of fast-moving traffic to get into your left turn, and then must hold your ground in the middle of four lanes of outbound traffic in order to end up on the right-hand side of the two lane Cambridge St. turnoff. You can also hug the left-hand side of the road by the median strip, but traveling on the left side of the road can be dangerous too.

    I have found navigating the Science Bridge is actually safer when breaking the traffic signals. For example, when traveling outbound, if I hit the red light at the Gilmore intersection, there is a break in the signal when I usually run the red light on my bike. The break occurs between the green light for vehicles coming from Charlestown towards Cambridge, and the following green light for traffic moving inbound on 28. Taking the light this way has dangers too – at least one or two vehicles coming from Charlestown almost always speed through their red light (committing their own traffic violation), and you need to be absolutely sure those vehicles have stopped. Nevertheless, this method still allows me to make my way over to the Cambridge St turnoff without needing to cut across vehicle traffic, and feels much safer to me.”

Cc:
State Senator Joe Boncore
State Senator Sal DiDomenico
State Representative Jay Livingstone
State Representative Mike Connolly
Joe Barr, Cara Seiderman, Cambridge
Chris Osgood, Vineet Gupta, Charlotte Fleetwood, Boston
Becca Wolfson, Eliza Parad, Cyclists Union
Stacy Thompson, Steve Miller, LivableStreets Alliance
Galen Mook, Tom Francis, MassBike
Nate Fillmore, Cambridge Bike Safety