US Pedestrian Deaths Spiked Despite Pandemic Lockdown

Covid-19 may have been a once-in-lifetime event, or so we hope, that led to business and office closures in Massachusetts and throughout the nation for most of 2020 and into the early part of 2021. As a result, there were far fewer vehicles on the road as those who were still working could do so at home or in areas outside of their normal offices. With traffic volumes drastically reduced in 2020, we would expect traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities to have fallen as well. 

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Brockton Among Worst for Pedestrian Fatalities in Massachusetts

Residents of Brockton, Massachusetts have been aware of the dangers faced by pedestrians from motor vehicles in their city for a number of years without much response or action from city officials. Nationwide, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, pedestrian accidents and fatalities are on the increase. Between 2009 and 2018, the foundation reported a 55% increase in pedestrian fatalities from motor vehicle accidents. 

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Grants Will Help Fund Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Upgrades

Four cities—Norwood, Plymouth, Lawrence, and Westford– recently received grants from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation as part of the Shared Streets and & Spaces program. These grants will enable these municipalities to implement or make design changes to streets, curbs, parking spaces, and parking lots. Its aim is to promote the public health, to facilitate bicycle and pedestrian mobility and safety, and make it easier to access businesses. 

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Cyclist Killed in Boston Crash Involving Tractor Trailer

In April of this year, another tragic accident occurred on Massachusetts Avenue at its intersection with Harrison, just across from Boston Medical Center when a tractor-trailer struck and killed a bicyclist who was apparently walking his bike through the intersection when he was struck. There are traffic lights at this intersection and reports did not indicate if the cyclist was crossing on a green light or if he was struck while walking in the same direction as the truck.

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Springfield Officials Clash Over Safety Concerns for Urban Cyclists

If you have ever seen or at least heard of the 1953 film noir classic, “The Wild One,” starring a brash and anti-authoritarian hero Marlon Brando who rode menacingly into a small California town with his band of outlaw motorcyclists, you might think about comparing it and its existential message to Springfield resident and self-proclaimed urban cyclist, Joshua Diaz, founder of 413 BikeLife. This group of young, mostly high school aged cyclists, while not exactly taking over and terrorizing the town like Brando and his group of rebel motorcyclists, have taken to the streets of Springfield on their bicycles in what Mr. Diaz claims is merely an expression of their dedication, athleticism, and devotion to the art of bicycle riding. 

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Smart City Pilot Coming to Boston

Cambridge and Somerville are two communities that are in the forefront of improving pedestrian and bicycling safety by employing the latest technologies designed to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on city streets. These two cities have been chosen to implement new technology in a Smart City Pilot Program that is designed to measure human activity in certain urban areas as a tool for minimizing the risk of pedestrians injured by motor vehicles. These cities are already dedicated to an international project known as Vision Zero whose goal is to essentially eliminate traffic-related fatalities by mid-century.

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Somerville Pedestrian Crosswalk Fatal Hit and Run Accident

Hit-and-run accidents are irresponsible, insidious acts, especially if the perpetrators flee the accident scene leaving victims seriously injured or even dead. Their failure to come to the aid of a victim and to take responsibility is outrageous to the victim, the victim’s family, friends, and to the community. A tragic hit-and-run incident occurred in early February in Somerville when a 40-year old woman was struck in the crosswalk at the intersection of Powderhouse Boulevard and Hardan Road by an unidentified motorist in a pickup truck around 7:00 p.m. The woman, a teacher with the Watertown Public Schools, later succumbed to fatal injuries. A companion walking with her was also struck but only suffered minor injuries. The family of the victim and residents of Somerville were left dazed by the incident, with some expressing disbelief at how anyone could flee and not stop to assist a person whom they had just injured.

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