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Do Something: Day Boulevard & Farragut Road

What’s it going to take for the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to do something about cars speeding on William J. Day Boulevard and Farragut Road?  A mother and son to get hit in crosswalk on Farragut Road after a baseball game?  That happened a few weeks ago.  A woman crossing the street after a walk along the beach?  That happened back in 2016.  Or how about a man running back to the L St. Bathhouse in the crosswalk getting struck and killed?  That happened in 2013.  Last night, a family dog on a leash in a crosswalk was hit by a car.  One car stopped to let them cross, another car came around in the right lane and hit the dog.  The dog will luckily be ok.

This is has been going on for decades.  If you’ve ever tried to cross the street on Day Blvd. or Farragut Road, you know what I’m talking about.  I could go on and on sighting more accidents, incidents, tragedies and near misses over the past 60 years.  So what’s it going to take for something to be done for pedestrian safety on these roads?

Since it’s been a topic of public safety at neighborhood meetings in the past, I’m wondering why are city and state officials not trying anything.  And those rubber signs that read “pedestrian crossing” in crosswalks don’t work.   Those signs are already all beat up from cars hitting them.  Even crosswalks with traffic lights don’t seem to work.  I’ve been at those crosswalks plenty of times with my family with the walk signal and cars blow right through the red light.

Here are some things that might be worth trying:

Blinking traffic lights at every crosswalk, just like Wollaston Beach in Quincy. When pedestrians hit the walk button, the lights change.  More lights should slow the traffic down especially at busy pedestrian times.

Since this could take some time with infrastructure and new wire installation, maybe try my next suggestion.

Let cars park on the beach side of Day Boulevard from I Street down to O Street.  This will slow the traffic flow to one lane and may even discourage commuters who use this as a cut-through to downtown. 

Try angle parking on Farragut Road.  I know this is not a wildly popular idea with residents in this area but these are only suggestions.

Try a “bump-out” and a stop sign at all the intersections along Farragut Road.  By all intersections, I mean 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th streets as well as the current ones at Broadway and 1st Streets.  This would slow traffic into one lane and bring the stop signs out into better view.  This could work in conjunction with the bus route being moved from P Street to Farragut Road. 

Lastly, enforcement.  I understand that Boston and State Police resources are, at most times, probably better deployed doing things other than traffic enforcement, but setting up a speed trap a couple of times a week could serve as a deterrent to regular drivers in these areas.  I know I always slow down going around the curve on Morrissey Blvd. at Malibu Beach because I’ve seen the state troopers pull people over there many times.

These are just some suggestions.  I’m sure there are many other good ideas out there.  It’s time to stop talking about this very old and dangerous problem and try something.

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About the Author

Peter Gailunas

Peter Gailunas is a lifelong Southie resident and Boston firefighter who sometimes takes it upon himself to tell people what's what. Favorite day of the week is trash day. Big fan of the 311 app, food shopping and cooking. Self-proclaimed "Fastest Man Alive." Married to the editor.

Comments

  1. The city wanted to put in angled parking and bike lanes on Farragut but all the neighbors objected. Wonder if they would be open to it now?

  2. If you make L street one way Broadway to beach (GREAT IDEA) however, they will cut up I street and N street to get back on broadway.To bad their wasn’t a road to get to downtown without cutting through the neighborhood.

  3. As much as I hate to even suggest the idea, because they drive me crazy, perhaps some speed bumps along Day Blvd (and Farragut) would help. My guess is that the people speeding down the road are hyper-focused on getting to the beach or Castle Island. It’s hard to see people waiting to cross at crosswalks, especially when they are entering from the side where cars are parked along the road (I say this having experienced it as both a driver and a pedestrian). I imagine that if the speed bumps are strategically placed it would help prevent the fast and furious mentality of these drivers. Sidewalk bumpouts at crosswalks, as I’ve seen mentioned, are a great idea! Just food for thought. 🙂

  4. Although I’m not a Southie resident, I agree with all of the ideas posted on this composition with regards to making the intersection of Day Boulevard and Farragut Road safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers alike, except for the idea angular parking. There is some angular parking on Somerville’s Bow Street, in the Union Square area, which many people, including myself, are not crazy about, first of all because of the fact that people can only back into those angular spaces, which can be extremely difficult to do, because there’s a lot of fast-moving vehicular traffic on Bow Street, and in the Union Square area, generally. Secondly, it’s an extremely cramped area to begin with, and that doesn’t help, either.
    Many people who live in Somerville (myself included), are really not crazy about the angular parking.