Boy hit by van in Union Square, dies

Van in Union SquareThe van in Union Square. Photo by Melina Schuler.

Update: The Globe reports the victim, 12, died.

A pedestrian was hit by a van shortly after 7 a.m. on Cambridge Street near the intersection with Brighton Avenue, right by the fire station. Scott Eisen reports the person was in "traumatic arrest," which is not a good sign.

Traffic quickly gridlocked as police closed streets to allow EMTs to care for the victim and so that they could investigate what happened.

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Time is wrong

This accident happened shortly before 7 AM, not shortly after 8 last night.

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Thanks

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Don't know how I made that mistake, but fixed.

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Boy pronounced dead

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Boston.com reports that the 16-year-old boy has died.

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This is so sad. However, I'm

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This is so sad. However, I'm not at all surprised by the location. Can't tell you how many times I've had to slam on my brakes to avoid someone darting out into traffic at this exact spot. This poor kid's family...

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adapting to the circumstances

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Why didn't you start driving more slowly, instead of repeatedly having to slam on the brakes?

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Good point, but...

Good point, anon, but even if you take a nice 20mph jog, a person suddenly darting out will require a jam on the brakes.

This is a terrible loss for this family and his friends, I'm sure. Now let it not be a pointless loss: this should show to the community that children (and adults, sadly) need to be taught to be careful with traffic.

But why are people darting into traffic here? There must be something inadequate here. A new crosswalk needed? A curb bump out prior to crosswalks? Something deeper to this than people simply darting out, which we don't even know if this kid did.

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Crossing legally takes a

By on

Crossing legally takes a *really* long time because of the light timing. They need to re-engineer the intersection to account for pedestrians.

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Or, teach pedestrians

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to be paitent and WAIT for the light to change. But let's gridlock our streets even more so pedestrians can cross the street on demand.

Given that a pedestrian on foot is able to control their actions far more quickly than a person driving a multi-ton vehicle is, perhaps we need to reconsider our present right of way laws that give preference to the former.

And, when the pedestrian is at fault, hold them accountable (and finding the driver blameless in such cases is not the same thing).

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Shear numbers

In some places, it makes perfect sense to gridlock the streets - like those where tens or even hundreds of people cross in a single cycle while twenty or thirty drivers taking up much more space per person wait.

Having a car doesn't give you the right to claim priority at intersections because "I have a car and car go fast!". All it means is that, unless you are carpooling, you take up a lot of space while transporting yourself; you can drive between cities at higher speeds than, say, cycling; and that you stay warm and dry while you wait your turn.

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How bad would things have to

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How bad would things have to be for pedestrians before you'd agree that the city should improve them?

They're pretty bad at that intersection right now.

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City Council

Who's the councilor for Brighton, Ciommo? He ought to be lobbying for the re-design of that hellacious intersection.

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Sadly

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I'm guessing that its just because of the school being right there--always lots of kids around and the crossings could be a little nuts.

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How slow must one drive to

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How slow must one drive to make it possible to not slam on the brakes to avoid hitting someone if they jump directly in front of your car?

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I avoid the area all together

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I avoid the area all together now but thanks for your suggestion. Clearly it never crossed my mind. When someone jumps out in front of you, it doesn't matter how slow you're going, you still slam on your brakes.

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Slower traffic speeds = more J walking

Studies show that the slower traffic is moving, the more likely that pedestrians perceive less danger, and thus walk out into traffic when they don't have the right of way. This then begets more traffic slowdowns. A pedestrian crosswalk with on=demand, high intensity traffic signal is the best solution. Next best is a raised median so pedestrians can cross the street 1/2 at a time and safely wait in the middle for a break in traffic for the second leg. Much easier than waiting for both directions to have gaps at the same time.

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Deaf kids

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the school for deaf kids is right across the street. I used to get on the #57 bus with some of them.

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It would be nice if the mayor

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It would be nice if the mayor could take some time away from lecturing us on sugar consumption to address the need for traffic calming and safer streets. It's hard to walk about and be healthy in many parts of the city with highway-esque volumes of traffic. Brighton Avenue is a poster child for this and what is planned for Melnea Cass Boulevard only reinforces that the city still isn't into the complete streets/walk/bike thing unless there is good PR to be obtained in choice neighborhoods. Cars are just as deadly as guns and get less than half the attention when it comes to the threat to public health.

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Wow

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The first thing I thought when I saw this was not "blame the mayor."

Just a question, would it still be the mayor's fault if the driver ran a red light, was drunk and on his/her cell phone?

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Obviously not for this

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Obviously not for this particular death, but this intersection is notoriously bad for everyone who travels it. Traffic is always backed up, pedestrians often have to wait through 2 glacially long light changes to get all the way across, and bicycle riders are cannon fodder. It might take something radical like dis-allowing left turns from either direction on Cambridge, but whatever they do, it's time to fix it.

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Well both are public

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Well both are public health/safety issues, and are mutually exclusive from each other. So Menino does not have to "stop" trying to make Boston a healthier city while making our pedestrians safer. You sound like a conservative, anon.

"OBAMA SHOULD STOP TRYING TO HELP THA POOR AND STAHT CUTTIN THA DEFICIT"

One can be done without sacrificing the other. Whabam.

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Take your strawman and shove

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Take your strawman and shove it.

Mumbles has taken the time to lecture us on healthy this and that while he himself is not a paragon in that department. Meanwhile the city has a serious pedestrian safety issue and the mayor can't be bothered to address it unless it is a desirable neighborhood. Look at all the new crosswalks, streescape improvements, bike lanes, etc., almost always in desirable neighborhoods first. If you live in a poor neighborhood or some place with a defacto highway for suburban commuters, light Brighton Avenue, you get NOTHING.

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Cars provide an IMMENSE benefit

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to society and allow the vast majority of this country to work. Guns do not. It isn't a fair comparison. Fix and expand the fucking MBTA already so it's actually a reasonable alternative. Until then, I will keep driving, because I don't have it in me to bike 16 miles through Boston, thanks.

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Only a troll would exploit

By anon on

Only a troll would exploit the tragic death of a child by using it as a vehicle to bitch about the mayor trying to get people not to be obese. What a blackened heart you must have. RIP to the 12 yr old.

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The comment section on uhub

By anon on

The comment section on uhub is turning into right wing blabbering nonsense as of late. Instead of staying on topic and expressing concern for a kid who gets hit by a van, the conservatives decide to turn this into a rant about how it's their 'gawd given right as amuricans to fatten up themselves and their young'uns till they're all diabetics!'

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Citations please. Where is

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Citations please.

Where is this thread is anything you're talking about? You're ranting about phantom 'conservatives' when people in this thread are asking for liberal solutions to a traffic safety problem.

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The red states have the

By anon on

The red states have the highest rates of adult and child obesity. If you want a citation, put the deep-fried chocolate-dipped Twinkie down and google it yourself.

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Someone suggests to make

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Someone suggests to make streets more safe and walkable and cater less to high speed through traffic (which is healthy); yet you accuse them of being an extremist reich wing rethuglican, that wants kids to get fat eating highly processed junk food and not exercising, for calling on the Democratic mayor's lack of attention to the matter of complete streets?

WTF are you smoking?

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Baloney, dude!!!

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Cars are designed for transportation, while guns are weapons of war that're designed to kill other human beings.

I don't buy what you're saying, dude!

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I think the point that was

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I think the point that was that while cars are designed for transportation (with a lot of regulation to be "safe") they still dangerous enough to wind up killing more people than guns which are specifically designed to kill things.

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Catch the 66?

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I'm betting he was running to beat the 66 through the intersection and catch it at its Brighton Ave/Cambridge St stop.

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There used to be

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a 66 bus stop in front of Walgreens, but the MBTA got rid of it because it was so close to the other one.

It's a shame, because that intersection is a complete and utter disaster area, and the redundant bus stop reduced the need for pedestrians to cross that awful street. Something must be done.

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Agree.

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Agree. Losing that Walgreen stop was a blow for elderly, infirm, etc. on the north side of Cambridge. But the whole intersection is an atrocity. I live on Hano, and walk several blocks out of my way daily to cross only at lights.

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66 bus stop

Actually, the 66 bus stop was in front of the Jim Did It sign company building, which was torn down and replaced by the Walgreen's. The bus stop was eliminated about when the Walgreen's opened, and I think it was less because there were other stops too nearby than because traffic in and out of the Walgreen's parking lot would make it even more difficult for the bus to move from a stop on the right-hand side of the road into a 150-degree left-hand turn doubling back onto Brighton Avenue.

Some 66 drivers still stop to drop passengers off there, but I doubt any would pick someone up who was waiting at that stop. (The 64 and I think the 501/503 still stop there.)

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Jim Did It Sign Company! I

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Jim Did It Sign Company! I remember buying some neon sign transformers there when I was in high school for a mad science project (building a Jacob's Ladder). It's sad that they're gone and have been replaced by a Walgreen's.

Anyhow, I work in that neighborhood now, and the thing that really bothers me is that there are 66 stops on both sides of that corner for the bus going towards Harvard Square. They are not far from each other at all, given that you can just walk right around the corner and get to the other stop; it must be less than a minute to walk between them. But for the bus towards Dudley, they removed the stop, so you have to walk up to the intersection, and cross both Cambridge Street and Brighton Ave to get to the stop, waiting through two light cycles if you get there at the wrong time. Most of the time I jaywalk across North Beacon (since that's the direction I'm coming from) to avoid one of those light cycles.

I don't understand why they would have removed the 66 stop on the Walgreens side, but left the one on the firestation side which is just a few paces from the one on Brighton Ave.

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