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Boston City Council: We need safe streets and we need them now

It seems like the Boston City Council has had it up to here with bad drivers racing on our roads! According to Universal Hub, City Councilor Andrea Campbell has suggested cameras at major intersections to catch drivers in the act of blowing red lights and speeding. A ticket will be issued and then sent in the mail compliments of the City of Boston. After just five months, the city of Providence, RI, issued nearly 40,000 traffic tickets – and brought in $1.8 million in revenue from cameras catching speeders. But it also generated a federal lawsuit by drivers who said the cameras violated a state law requiring signs warning drivers of nearby cameras.

Another proposed idea? A dedicated full-time traffic enforcement BPD unit.

Back in late August, the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police Troop H conducted a joint enforcement initiative on Day Boulevard in South Boston and streets feeding onto it aka L Street and Farragut Road to name a few. Both troopers and officers cracked down on crosswalk enforcement, speeding, and other unsafe driving behaviors. Approximately 500 citations for traffic violations were issued between the two departments!

Since tragic events in the summer, the City of Boston – including City Councilor Ed Flynn – has taken measures to calm traffic including lowering the speed limit from 30mph to 25mph. adding bike lanes, speed board signs, bumping out pedestrian crosswalks and enforcement. Enforcement seems to be the most effective in slowing down motorists.

This past week, BPD officers were on East Broadway during the evening rush hour pulling people over for traffic infractions. We say let’s keep it going!

Hopefully the city council can get some momentum going with these ideas because people are still speeding, not allowing pedestrians to cross and running stop signs and red lights every single day.

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.

Comments

  1. Traffic Cams are 100% the way to go. They pay for themselves in a matter of months & don’t discriminate.

    The state police have had enough to eat for this decade. Maybe a BPD officer lingering around from time to time wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

  2. Too bad we couldn’t give the convention authority special cops some type of power to help out on d street, im sure the authority would be more than happy to donate the overtime and help the community!

  3. Red Light cameras? Be careful what you ask for. Lots of horror stories out there about these things. Might want to read up on it before going all-in. On a related, but smaller scale, why aren’t there more pedestrian activated cross walk lights on Broadway? G st is a great example and it works well. There are some other scary spots like M, N, and O st where these would drastically improve the ability to safely cross. Maybe a couple of spots on L too. It seems like these have not been considered and not sure why.

  4. All for safe streets, but I can’t all be blamed on drivers. People Jaywalking is a huge problem too. Why don’t they increase the fine for Jay walking from the current fine of $1 (yes $1) to $50?

    • Jay walking is part of Boston’s moral fiber. You wouldn’t be able to get anywhere without it, and considering only half of drivers even stop at crosswalks (hence the multiple deaths & other incidents) just gives it that much more validity.

      Most Jay walkers do so without impeding anyone, it’s the very small proportion of inconsiderate people that give you any sort of fodder for this argument. These are also the same people that stand still on the left side of the escalator. In my opinion these people should be allowed to get trampled, but that’s just me. They also represent themselves disproportionately if you know what I’m getting at.

      • Part of the moral fiber? That’s rich. A lot of other items were considered “part of the moral fiber” but those have thankfully gone for the most part by the wayside.

        Have you been near south station lately? the Jay walkers do impede traffic and for both pedestrians and drivers. The jay walkers stop the vehicles from getting through the intersection with the light then that car is stuck in limbo when the walk signal comes on.

        All that said, I know what you are getting at, which scares me a little.

        • Wouldn’t you agree that taxi’s/Uber’s stopping on summer southbound blocking the curbside lane are more of a traffic issue than pedestrians? I think that issue is clearly more pressing than Jay Walkers.

          • I don’t think it has to be a choice one or the other…they are both major issues. (You may want to walk back that whole ‘Moral Fiber’ thing–just sayin)

    • Based on decades of personal experience Brian. And that was a generous number, it’s probably closer to 30%.

  5. I think cams and more lights are the way to go….after you pass L Street there are no lights the rest of the speedway – I mean Broadway to Farragut statue…..I’ve said it before more and more accidents or near misses are happening with everyone darting out of O Street to shoot across to get down the beach way and along the Blvd to “go home”….also that blinking light means nothing saying school is in session…they do have a crossing guard for the kids coming and going but they leave after maybe like 2-3 o’clock….so absolutely look into more lights for all different parts of Broadway – and while we grew up basically thinking yellow meant speed up and get thru before it changes to red….RED means stop – not the mentality of I was going to be the next one to get thru…..and that blinking thing on L Street is a joke…they are going say 35 the thing blinks they slow down to what 25 – then are right back it after they pass it – and they think we are the crazy ones because heaven forbid we are trying to cross the street “in the crosswalk” as they are stopped in it – you can judge that you are not getting thru the light people can’t be sitting in the crosswalks and intersections……. and I’m not sure if anyone has surveyed the light at L & 5th…but it should be a little longer for the seniors that are trying to cross the street – I know all these things aren’t quick fixes but maybe its time we had action to some of these things that have been talked about for months now instead of putting bandages on them…..Thank you and go Pats

    • The Pedestrian light(s) should also be a little longer, not only for Seniors trying to cross the street, but for those with babies in carriages or strollers, for those with small children in tow, and for those who are carrying groceries and whatever, who are also trying to cross the street.

      I also think that Jaywalking should not be encouraged because it endangers the people doing it, and, yes, it can get drivers upset and uptight when jaywalkers block traffic while jaywalking in droves, if one gets the drove.

  6. Please think about the increased traffic on both West and East First street. The intersection of West Frst, Pappas Way , East First and Dorchester Street is very dangerous. Vision is poor and it is hard. to see oncoming and turning cars-people breeze through stop signs and crosswalk are largely ignored.