Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wanted: pedestrian signal on Parker

Yesterday morning, waiting for the bus, car A hit car B while car B was stopped for a child crossing Parker Street at Daniel Street. When car A hit car B, the child was well over half way across the street in front of car A. In fact, if car A had hit car B much harder, car A would have been forced into the crosswalk and may have hit the child.

In case this isn't clear enough, the driver of car B not only failed to see a child as he crossed over the opposite lane, he failed to see a car right in front of him that was paying attention and had stopped.

Saw the whole thing with my own astonished eyes.


required field said...

Unfortunately, this has and will happen again. An identical collision occurred last year at the Kingman/Berwick crossing of Walnut Street, where Mason-Rice schoolchildren use the aqueduct behind Whole Foods as a somewhat safe route to school. (Their crossing of Beacon Street is more hazardous b/c it's not a designated crossing.) We need 3 things: better signage, police enforcement (of both cars in crosswalks and inconsiderate pedestrians jaywalking in village centers), and an effort to educate walkers and drivers. A single solution won't work.

Adam said...

That is scary. I wonder, was driver A on a cell phone? Anyone who uses the 59 bus knows about the game of "Frogger" played every morning by middle school students crossing to take the bus outbound.

There is a conspiracy in the works to get just such a pedestrian signal at this location. To learn more, come to the September meeting of the Secret Society of Traffic Planning (aka City of Newton Traffic Council).

Slightly off topic, I observed a vehicle on Beacon heading west through Newton Center at Union Street honk at pedestrians trying to cross. Not unusual, except that a cruiser was right there running a trap for signal violations, and of course the officer did nothing. Would enforcement help? Probably not, but it would have been satisfying.

Steve Runge said...

I'm not at all surprised or astonished. I've been crossing there twice daily for a year, and I've watched cars blow through while the crossing guard was in the middle of the road.

I think this crossing is especially bad because of the very long downhill straightaway. From the crest of the hill, a driver can see clear to the Route 9 entrance, and there is only one marked crossing in that whole length. A nice wide, straight, unimpeded road resembling a highway. Why not drive 40? 45? 50? and in the winter, when the portable crossing sign is in cold storage, there's nothing at all to signal the crosswalk. It's invisible until you're almost on top of it, and then it's too late.

Yes, flashing light!

Blink said...

Why is it every time there is an accident, somone feels the need to fabricate a solution. Sometimes, an accident happens and there is no solution. It doesn't sound like flashing lights in the middle of the day would have prevented this. If you are so distracted that you don't see the car in front of you, why would you see a flashing light even further away?
Just a waste of money, energy, and an annoyance to the people who live there.

Adam said...

Blink, people in the neighborhood have been asking for a pedestrian signal here for almost 10 years. It's a school crossing, an MBTA bus stop, and a very busy street crossing. This is not a response to a single accident. I've seen very little respect for pedestrians at this intersection. I hope this helps enhance pedestrian safety and confidence, but some drivers undoubtably will do stupid things anyway. Why shouldn't the city provide more pedestrian signals at busy crossings? Would your pessimism change if I told you a pedestrian signal might be paid for by a federal grant?