Man walking on Memorial Drive struck and killed by car

UPDATE: State Police identify the victim as Mark Keiser of Boston.

State Police report a collision around 7 a.m. on the eastbound side of Memorial Drive just past the Mass. Ave. Bridge ended with a 50-year-old Boston man dead.

The reason why the pedestrian was on the roadway is unknown at this time and is part of the investigation.

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I believe that he had

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I believe that he had actually jumped right in front of the car. Quite possibly was someone attempting to commit suicide.

One of the responding

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One of the responding agencies at the scene passed on that information. Again, they have not confirmed it yet, but they think it's what happened.

"To get to the other side"

is a perfectly reasonable answer to that question, given that MIT is on one side and a beautiful riverfront view is on the other. He might also have been walking to or from the MIT boat house.

to get to other side.

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It is a difficult place to cross if it is just east of Mass Ave bridge where the underpass traffic merges with east bound traffic from the Mass Ave bridge. I usually am looking to the right to check on cars coming from the Mass Ave bridge if I am driving in that right lane on Memorial Drive.

He was nowhere near the

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He was nowhere near the boathouse. The crash happened across from Killian Court.

Memorial Drive is notoriously bad for pedestrian crossings. Between the BU Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge, there are just four signalized crosswalks. The unsignalized crosswalks may as well not exist, as cars almost never respect them.

The speed limit along Memorial Drive is too high and should be lowered, and there needs to be proper enforcement of said limit.

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The MDC wanted only two

There was a big fight with MIT to get even the few that are there. That was during the era when MDC cops were harassing cyclists using what are now the bike lanes on the Longfellow. Whoever was running that shitshow at the time thought he was a highway commissioner and pretty much declared war on non-motorized movement.

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You can't possibly blame a

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You can't possibly blame a lack of signalized crosswalks for this incident. If this guy was crossing in front of Killian Court, there is a nice signalized crosswalk at Mass Ave! And you don't even need to cross anything more than the ramps from Memorial Drive, since it's in an underpass. It's a whopping 250 ft away, which is hardly unreasonable.

And you can't blast the fact that some crosswalks are unsignalized because this guy wasn't even in one of those!

Finally, 35 mph is not an unreasonable speed limit for a 4-lane divided road. In fact, I'd say that's a tad on the low side, especially given that the 85th percentile speed is almost certainly significantly higher than 35. I'm not arguing about enforcement, but the speed limit does NOT need to be lower, and lowering it wouldn't make anyone drive slower anyway - it would only generate more revenue for the MSP ticketing drivers for exceeding it and make politicians feel better about themselves because they 'took a stand for pedestrian safety!'

Please leave things like setting speed limits to the engineers. Thank you.

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Sure you can.

Please leave things like setting speed limits to the engineers.

Cause they did such a great job designing Cambridge Street in Allston and have been so wonderfully nimble at anticipating the growing shift away from motor vehicles for getting around, however small in actual numbers.

Not all engineers are alike. Electrical and materials engineers are pretty impressive.

Civil engineers leave some pretty wretched messes in their wake.

Software 'Engineers' are easily the worst given that their crap code conceits make a running hash of their field.

Also, too.. Did the four engineers wear orange brassieres?

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Nailed it! Speed is hardly a

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Nailed it! Speed is hardly a factor most times. Considering that area is notorious for people just walking out in front of cars to get them to stop. I travel that stretch of road everyday and there literally hasn't been a day where someone has darted out side of the crosswalk in an attempt to cross the road. Doesn't matter if you're doing 15mph or 100mph....these fools love to play frogger!

Yes

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MGL Ch89 Sec11.

When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk marked in accordance with standards established by the department of highways if the pedestrian is on that half of the traveled part of the way on which the vehicle is traveling or if the pedestrian approaches from the opposite half of the traveled part of the way to within 10 feet of that half of the traveled part of the way on which said vehicle is traveling.

No driver of a vehicle shall pass any other vehicle which has stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross, nor shall any such operator enter a marked crosswalk while a pedestrian is crossing or until there is a sufficient space beyond the crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle he is operating, notwithstanding that a traffic control signal may indicate that vehicles may proceed.

Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.

It's never occurred to me to

It's never occurred to me to cross Memorial Drive anywhere but at a signaled crossing. Doing otherwise seems crazy.

Hope the driver is doing OK, and condolences to the dead man's family and friends.

Nothing more than feelings.

You do realize that part of being a grown up is having to do things you don't prefer cause it's the way of the world?

Yeah Memorial sux for pedestrians and it is a fairly risky crossing.

So you either manage the risk more skillfully than the hapless deceased or you walk that vast 1/4 mile traverse.

You must really pout when confronted by the river due to all that water preventing your urge to stroll a nice straight line to Boston.

I routinely do hell road traverses in places like Route 1 in Sharon and opt for the skillful risk management approach.

But, is crossing at a

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But, is crossing at a Memorial Drive crosswalk actually any more dangerous than crossing at any signalized intersection anywhere in town?

Anecdotes aside, how many pedestrians have been injured or killed in non-signalized crosswalks vs. at traffic lights?

Please don't construe this post as insensitive to the pedestrian who died yesterday. We don't know the circumstances of his death, whether he was in a crosswalk, and whether he darted out right in front of a car going 35mph or was struck by a driver looking at his phone and not the road. I am asking for some numbers.

"You do realize that part of

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"You do realize that part of being a grown up is having to do things you don't prefer cause it's the way of the world?"

You mean like stopping at a marked crosswalk as required by law? Those kinds of things?

It's pretty messed-up when someone who wants to cross a street legally at a marked crosswalk is being harangued by someone else for not being "a grown up" simply because they draw attention to the fact that their desire to cross legally at said crosswalk is often dangerously impeded by people illegally ignoring the crosswalk. Where's all the "grow up" talk being thrown their way?

As designed by the MDC

Which I would not put anyone there in the "expert" category at the time, there was nearly a mile between crosswalks on the east side.

That isn't a minor inconvenience. As Saul pointed out, above, it was a fatal conceit of the "engineers" who forgot that roads are not just about through-traffic drivers and their convenience.

Just as the other end of the spectrum, "ignore good practice" can be seen on Cambridge Street in Boston - which, thanks to resident whining, is now a clusterfuck of a limited access highway crossed with jaywalking platforms and an ungodly amount of space wasted on a central linear brick flowerpot.

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I think the idea behind

I think the idea behind central median was to slow traffic down, and eliminate the "highway" aspect of the street. I used to spend a lot of time walking and crossing Cambridge, and it was no fun.

That's unfair

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Just as the other end of the spectrum, "ignore good practice" can be seen on Cambridge Street in Boston - which, thanks to resident whining, is now a clusterfuck of a limited access highway crossed with jaywalking platforms and an ungodly amount of space wasted on a central linear brick flowerpot.

DOT/MassHighway created the "clusterfuck of a limited access highway" long before any residents said anything. The current layout of the street dates back to the Mass Pike extension in 1963, which was rammed through by Callahan, who wasn't going to care what any resident may or may not have said.

Matthew, I think she means the other Cambridge Street

..along the North Slope of Beacon as it is a place she regularly tangles with.

Let me know if I'm wrong Swirls, I just realized the city has at least two Cambridge streets.

The Allston version barely has much flower pot encroachment yet while the Beacon version is rather rococo with whole flowerpot systems and brick as thick as any Hill Denizen could ever want.

The details tell the tale and if I've learned anything about Swirly, it is that she cherishes detail and manages it very well.

By the way, looks like Cambridge has whole new sets of traffic calming elements in the reworked Western Ave.

Good point

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You're probably right. Sometimes I forget that the other Cambridge Street also sucks. Swirly's right on that one. Although the original sin there was the city knocking down buildings to widen it in the 1920s.

There need to be more

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There need to be more pedestrian bridges over Memorial Drive. Last year I nearly hit two pedestrians (the crusty traveler kids who hang in the Pit) who darted into traffic near Harvard Sq. The driver one lane over didn't see either. We had a minor fender bender because I had to swerve to avoid hitting them. I'm just glad I saw them in time.