As a Public Health Emergency

BOSTON – Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn held a hearing on Monday to discuss pedestrian safety and infrastructure improvements, traffic enforcement, and speeding cars as a Public Health Emergency. This was a joint hearing on the two hearing orders filed by Councilor Flynn and his co-sponsors on this issue: one was on pedestrian safety, traffic enforcement, and Vision Zero, while the other one was to discuss speeding cars as a public health emergency. The hearing was was attended by officials from the Boston Transportation Department, as well as transportation advocates and concerned residents.

The hearing was held in response to serious and fatal car crashes that happened in recent weeks in various parts of the city. Two pedestrians were fatally struck by vehicles in South Boston, one at Andrew Square and another on First St, and another pedestrian was struck by a pickup truck at the entrance of the Public Garden when the truck crashed into a stone pillar. Last month, there were four separate incidents in just one week where cars crashed into buildings or light poles in South Boston – on L St, East Broadway, West Broadway, and on Old Colony Ave -causing not only injuries, but also displacing families and businesses. In Dorchester, there was a motor vehicle crash that resulted in an SUV rollover with a baby inside, as well two pedestrians struck while in the crosswalk during broad daylight – both on the same day.

In the hearing, Councilor Flynn highlighted the importance of pedestrian safety, and advocated to recognize speeding cars and road safety as a public health emergency, so that traffic safety will be provided the urgency needed to make the infrastructure improvements required to address this public health and safety issue. He also spoke about the need for changes to concurrent signals that give both pedestrians and vehicles the right of way at the same time, as well the need for speed enforcement. The Boston Transportation Department for their part highlighted some of the ongoing projects that they are working on in key corridors in the city, including reducing lanes, expanding bike networks, and updating pedestrian crossings.

“Pedestrian safety is one of the most critical issues we face in the City of Boston, and this hearing was an opportunity to continue our advocacy for traffic calming measures and safer streets,” said Councilor Flynn. “To prevent the serious and fatal crashes we’ve unfortunately witnessed in our city, it will take a constant focus on infrastructure improvements like speed humps, raised crosswalks and road diets, as well as lowering the speed limit in our residential neighborhoods and enforcement.”

For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 or [email protected].

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