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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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Pedestrians Hit By Drunk Driver in Beverly

In early December, two pedestrians were struck and injured by a hit-and-run motorist at the intersection of Cabot and Winter Street in Beverly. The accident occurred around 9:00 p.m. Police later arrested a Boxford man who was the owner and apparent operator of a car that displayed considerable front end damage, prompting police to suspect the young man of having caused the accident. Prosecutors have charged the man with drunk driving causing serious bodily injury, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and a crosswalk violation. The pedestrians’ injuries were not life-threatening according to city officials.

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Towns Receiving Essential Funds for Bike Safety

Bicycling has become more popular with millennials as an alternate mode of transportation. X-gens and baby boomers are finding that bike riding is a less stressful way of losing weight and maintaining overall health. Many cities have responded by making their communities more bike-friendly by constructing bike trails and marking city streets for bike lanes among other measures in order to accommodate more riders and to encourage bike riding.

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Cambridge Tackles Bike Accidents

More and more people are using bicycles in urban areas to commute, shop or visit friends and family as well as to exercise their legs and lungs.  Lighter bicycles, more gears for easier hill climbing, and no worries about parking, traffic jams, tickets or auto insurance account for some of the increase in usage.  However, bicycles and urban traffic also mean risks to bike riders. This fact of city life is no less evident than in the city of Cambridge that has decided to do something about its bike safety problem.

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Boston’s Bike Initiative

Bicycles have always been a part of Boston’s urban roadways as they are in other cities.  They are a cheap alternative to commuting as well as a means of exercise and to reduce traffic congestion.  Many cities and towns are providing bike lanes on roadways to encourage bicycle use and to keep bicyclists safe from inattentive or careless motorists.  Some, like the city of Boston, are implementing bike initiatives to achieve this very purpose.

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