BU student hit by car on Comm. Ave.

Bystanders try to comfort woman hit by car at Boston University

Charlie MacSteven photographed bystanders trying to comfort a woman after she was hit by a car on Comm. Ave. at St. Paul around 2 p.m.

BU Today reports the woman, trying to get to an inbound Green Line trolley, suffered serious leg injuries The driver stopped and stayed with her until EMTs arrived.

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You're right

It was none of those; the woman's quote just struck me as remarkable and worthy of comment -- not that there's anything humorous about a compound fracture.

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Not to mention

In shock, perhaps? Certainly in pain, and then on drugs.

None of which are rational thinking situations.

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That corner is a tough one.

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Always a little chaotic, lots of pedestrian traffic, car traffic, and yes, always people running for the train. Same corner where the cyclist was killed by the turning truck a few months ago. Maybe it will get some extra attention on how to make it safer for everyone.

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Bad sign

I don't remember which cyclist killed by a turning truck that was. They've blurred together over time.

Motor vehicles are incredibly

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Motor vehicles are incredibly dangerous. They just don't belong in the mix in these kinds of dense urban environments. If they could be routed away from this area it would be safer for everyone.

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How to Start

Commonwealth Ave around BU is treated as if it was still lined with car dealerships. The city can make some simple changes which would help considerably:

1. Retime the lights so that pedestrians get a chance to walk every <30 seconds, not 2-4 minutes as is currently the case. Alternatively, make the walk request buttons do something. (And make an oncoming trolly signal a green (white) light so the trolly filled with hundreds isn't waiting for a few cars to turn.)

2. Make the walk signals reflect the amount of time you have to cross. If they switch to "don't walk" while the light is still green people just learn to ignore the walk signs.

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Agreed with the above two

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Agreed with the above two suggestions, and I'd add a 3rd:

Synchronize the traffic signals for 20 mph rather than 30 mph+. If drivers now they will get all green lights by driving 20 mph, they will drive more slowly, and in the case when someone does run out into the road, they will be able to stop in time to not hit them.

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How about a 4th?

BU needs to allow sufficient time between classes for its students to get there without such antics. Not that some wouldn't still dash out into traffic, but BU students have explained to me how they often cannot get to their next class on time if they don't play frogger like this. The school has gotten a lot bigger and more spread out, and ten minutes is simply not enough anymore.

How about people just learn

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How about people just learn to be patient when crossing the road? I used to live at Harvard and comm and walk, bike or take the t down to BU campus every day. I would usually cross comm at least 4-5 times a day going to gcb, cas, the computer lab and the library. I don't recall ever waiting more than a minute for a lull in traffic or a red light that would allow me to cross the road. When the traffic was really heavy it would back up enough that you could walk between the idling cars without disrupting anyone's commute. People really just complain at the slightest inconvenience.

That said, it definitely is a problem that scores of students are walking back and forth across comm while traffic goes by at 30+ mph. BU needs to build 3 skywalks (or maybe even tunnels seeing as the t is above ground there) across its campus so that pedestrians can walk freely across comm ave, and probably something at the BU bridge as well. in the last 10 years they built the huge gym, stuvi 2 which has been listed among the top dorms in the country, and the new huge student center in kenmore. I think they can afford to rectify the stupid mistake of putting a college campus in an urban center

The only problem is there's probably a stupid reason they can't build them and even if they did, plenty of students would still just run across comm instead of taking the 20 seconds to go up and down the stairs.

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Walking... in a city? No way!

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I think they can afford to rectify the stupid mistake of putting a college campus in an urban center

Gosh. They are SO stupid! Who would ever think about WALKING in an URBAN CENTER! What a CRAZY idea!

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Footbridge a must

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The engineering of it would be tough, but perhaps from Warren Towers to the lot where Burger King used to be.

I refuse to assign blame on this one, as at various times while on campus back in the day I have seen bad behavior by drivers (speeding, blowing lights) and pedestrians (carelessly crossing, jaywalking without checking to see if it was clear,) and this was before Apple made it that everyone had earbuds on, and before bicyclists were plentiful in the area.

Fault grade separation all you want, but the University of Denver, with a similar campus (though more suburban) has built a bridge over Evans Avenue to keep the community safe.

Here's a better idea

Speed humps and lights timed to slow traffic to 10mph.

I find it odd that when pedestrians outnumber motorists - sometimes by orders of magnitude - the idea persists that motorists have some right to have a higher priority on the space.

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Are the lights timed for 30

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Are the lights timed for 30 mph today?

In my experience, if you want to make more than one light in a row on most Boston streets, you have to floor it, and maybe you'll get the next one while it's yellow at 50 mph. If you want to follow the speed limit, you'll hit every red.

The lights are timed for 35

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The lights are timed for 35 mph. The statutory speed limit is 30 mph. The city has now posted small signs begging drivers to please respect a voluntary 25 mph speed limit. Nobody does. Welcome to Boston.

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West of the BU Bridge

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There's two big problems with the pedestrian lights:

1) The WALK lights for crossing Comm Ave north/south aren't synced up properly. So you can cross the inbound side of Comm Ave and find the outbound traffic still flowing, or the walk sign expired by the time you get to the T median. It's a problem given the size of the T median and the volume of individuals crossing at peak times. This is incredibly dangerous at Pleasant and Babcock Streets becaue their T platforms are so narrow.

2) The WALK lights for crossing the side streets are different for each street. At Buick and Comm Ave, there's a pedestrian walk sign with a button. At Agganis and Comm Ave, there's a pedestrian walk sign with no button on the Agganis Arena/Fitrec side. At Babcock, there's a crosswalk and no pedestrian signal at all- just a traffic light.

As for the rest of the campus (excluding Kenmore Square, those were redone for the bus station) a huge problem is that the Don't Walk signs aren't remotely accurate regarding how long it takes to cross the street, so people ignore them, becuase most healthy young adults walk fast enough to make it across during the Don't Walk period.

The other problem is that the lights don't properly sync with the traffic along most of Comm Ave., even all the way out to Brighton. I can't count the number of times I've stood at a Don't Walk sign for a full minute with not a car in sight, only to have cars speeding at the crosswalk and slamming on their brakes the minute the WALK sign came on.

If the WALK signs don't reflect average user use (consistently situatuated, enough time to cross, sensible with traffic flow,) people start to assume they're broken and ignore them.

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You've obviously given this

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You've obviously given this some critical thought. Which is more than I can say about the BTD.

Some of the ped lights also say Walk when there's cars turning across the crosswalk (which is often ok), but say Don't Walk at times when it's impossible for a car to be legally crossing the crosswalk.

Where's Markk?

He should be around to blame the victim any time now. Maybe he's stuck in traffic.

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It was raining

I'll fill in for the absent Markk.

This BU genius shouldn't need a physics degree to know that wet roads mean longer stopping distances. If the MBTA would just replace the B Line with a bus, then we could add more traffic lanes, the bus could pull out of the way of cars and to the curb, and people wouldn't be running into the middle of the street to catch a train.

By the way, dayglo safety vests are a very good investment. Especially during inclement weather.

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Fake Markk

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Why would you even go to BU when there's no parking!!!!?!?!?!!

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They shouldn't

They shouldn't have to. Especially if there's a lane for cars to pass in.

For one, creating a sidewalk bump out keeps waiting passengers out of the way of pedestrians on the sidewalk. The addition of a bench or shelter also wouldn't be in the way of sidewalk pedestrian flow (recently, bus shelters were added to the 39 route near Northeastern, eliminating alot of sidewalk width). And it keeps people from parking or making deliveries in the bus box.

It also makes it easier for the bus to get flush with the curb while taking away as few parking spaces as possible. A 60ft bus would only need a 60 ft bump out, instead of a 90 ft bus box. Being flush with the curb also allows for easier wheelchair ramp usage.

And lastly, when the bus pulls out of the way, it often means cars will get in the way of a bus attempting to pull back into the roadway, slowing down service.

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I have a better idea

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Remove at least one of the BU B line T stops and students will have to walk instead of taking the T across campus.