There is simply no reasonable explanation for a middle-school child to have been hit by a car in a crosswalk on Needham Street. This isn't something that we should accept as one of the inevitable and, therefore, acceptable costs of the benefits of living in a motorized society.
The goal should be zero pedestrian injuries or fatalities in the city.
It gives me no pleasure to point out the irony that
- Needham Street is dangerous and pedestrian unfriendly in large part because of the chaos and confusion created by the multitude of driveway entrances along the street
- The Board of Alderman unanimously approved a special permit for a large development on Needham Street — Paragon Place — and did not require the developer to allow for a future easement that might have closed two of the driveways
- The injured young man was hit in the crosswalk directly in front of the site in question
The TAB article describing the new development is on the front page of the paper, but is not yet online. (It's only fair to note that the developer is contributing to putting a signal at the intersection.)
I have requested from the police statistics on the number of citations issued in the city for failure to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Enforcement is rarely the long-term answer to traffic safety issues, but I think that a little constabulatory attention to crosswalk violations might make drivers a little more careful.