Friday, August 27, 2010

What the hell is going on?

Updated: As Universal Hub reports, the man who died was a Andrew McAffee, an emergency-room physician and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He was, apparently, riding a scooter, not a motorcycle. The comments to the Universal Hub post include the text of an e-mail sent to hospital staff.


Yet another death on Newton streets on Newton-area streets. The TAB/Wicked Local reports a motorcycle rider died in a crash with a car on Beacon Street and Reservoir Road near BC.


Adam Gaffin said...

Boston Police report it was a scooter. And it looks like he was an emergency-room doctor at Brigham and Women's.

Anonymous said...

Cops arent doing their jobs, thats whats going on.

Run some crosswalk stings. Then speed stings, and I mean if someone is going 32 in a 30, cite them. Pull people over for failing to signal, unsafe merging etc.

If beacon street gets a reputation as some kind of "nazi enforcement zone" guess what happens? People drive right, people start to pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Very sad. People drive way too fast on that section of Becaon St. Especially now that the college students are back in town.

Anonymous said...

I agree regarding the enforcement. I travel that stretch of Beacon most mornings on my Vespa commuting from Newton Center to Back Bay. The stretch from where I get on Beacon at Glen to Chestnut Hill Ave is crazy. The speed limit is 30 mph but I routinely have SUVs "tailgating" me and even passing me on the shoulder or over the center line just so they can make it to the next red light before me. This should be a VERY easy stretch of road to set up speed traps. But there is zero police presence.

If I have an especially aggressive driver behind me I will ofetm just pull over and let them pass (I am not allowed by law to travel in the bike lane which is where I think they want me to be)

It isn't just the cars. I see plenty of scooters and MC passing in the bike lane and creating anomosity from people in cars. All irresponsible behavior should be policed.

My condolances to the doctor's family

Molly Schaeffer said...

how many people have to die before Newton police and government do something other than talk.

the carnage this summer has been terrible and nothing but hand-wringing from our elected officials.

i ride from reservoir to centre street on beacon street every day year round and it's a free for all. the speed limit is too fast, there's zero police presence and the signage and striping are confusing for both motorists and cyclists.

it looks to me like anyone who isn't driving an SUV, truck or mini-van (cyclists, scooters, motor bikes, peds) are fair game in Newton. it's pretty hypocritical for Newton to dub itself a "green community" when it does absolutely NOTHING to encourage people to use alternative transportation.

what's it going to take for bicyclists to get angry and demand that our streets be made safe for us?

Anonymous said...

Mollie, I think cyclists and those of us on two wheel motorized vehicles need to join forces to push this issue. It is not that complicated as all it takes is some enforcement of existing laws. The speed limit from Newton Center past the resevoir to Chestnut Hill Ave is 30 mph, but traffic routinely well exceeds that. Cars honk at me to move over to the bike lane and even pass me in the bike lane even though I am 1) traveling at the speed limit and 2) prohibited from riding in the bike lane.

There are plenty of places that speed traps could be set up if Newton, Brookline and Boston Police really cared about this issue

Molly Schaeffer said...

By all means, people who ride bicycles and other two wheeled motorized conveyances, as well as pedestrians should join forces on enforcement and general all around safety improvements. Newton lags far behind other communities in this regard.

The Mayor has created a Transportation Advisory Committee and there are a number of subcommittees needing volunteers. Meanwhile we should lobby the Mayor and our Alderman individually as well as through organized groups such as Bike Newton and the Bicycle Pedestrian Task Force.

Anonymous said...

The Newton Transportation Advisory Committee has a subcommittee on Safety and it happens that they are meeting tomorrow night at City Hall. All meeteing are open to the public. I plan on attending

Minutes from the July 27th meeting show an agreement to:

"Identify the causes of accidents and fix them".

On the agenda tomorrow night is the issue of enforcement

dr2chase said...

Been biting my tongue for a while. but

Identify the causes of accidents and fix them

There's one common factor in all the fatal and serious crashes so far, and that would be "cars". Not necessarily the "cause" of the accident, but definitely a big help in producing a really bad outcome.

I am sure the NTAC will find a way to dance around this without noticing the obvious answer. (And to be slightly fair, since cars are so common, it is unsurprising to find them involved in most crashes, but on the other hand, they weigh at least a ton, is it any surprise that they are so dangerous in a crash?)

Anonymous said...

Dr2Chase...don't bite your tongue...we need to get some public pressure to get some facts. I have no confidence that any one is trying to solve for the cause. There have been ZERO facts reported since the woefully unacceptable reporting on the initial accident. It is nice that the Tab write such move post-mortum features of deaths of amazing people like Andrew McAfee and Marcia Kearney. It would be better if they would shred some light on ho these deaths could have been avoided

Anonymous said...

By Katrina Ballard, Globe Correspondent

A retired Harvard Law School professor whose car allegedly struck and killed a woman riding a motor scooter in Newton last summer has been cited with motor vehicle homicide, prosecutors said today.

Detlev Vagts, 81, of Cambridge was cited in the July 8 collision on Ward Street that resulted in the death of Marcia Kearney, 54, of Northampton, the Middlesex district attorney’s office said in a statement.

A court date has not been set.

An investigation by the Newton police and Massachusetts State Police Reconstructionist team showed that Kearney was riding her Vespa west on Ward Street when she applied her left signal to turn onto Grant Avenue. As she was making the left turn, she was struck from behind by Vagts’ car, the DA’s office said.

Investigators allege that Vagts was traveling partly in the opposite lane on Ward Street when the collision occurred. Following the crash, Vagts drove another 448 feet before heading back to the site of the collision, the DA’s office said.

In an interview after the crash, Vagts said that he got lost driving his wife to the dentist in his 2010 Subaru Legacy when the collision occurred.