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Boston to experiment with lowering speed limits as way to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries

Where the speed limit will be lowered to 20 mph in Boston: Jamaica Plain and Dorchester

New 20-m.p.h. zones in Jamaica Plain and Dorchester.

Boston officials plan to drop the speed limit to 20 m.p.h. in small sections of Jamaica Plain and Dorchester - and to seek state permission to reduce the default citywide speed limit to 25 - as part of efforts to reduce the number of crash-related injuries and deaths in the city.

The "Neighborhood Slow Streets" proposals for the Stony Brook and Talbot-Triangle areas could then become blueprints for reducing bad crashes on neighborhood streets across Boston.

They're part of the city's Vision Zero program, which aims to reduce the current 20 pedestrian deaths and more than 200 serious pedestrian injures a year to zero.

Work on reducing speed limits and installing traffic-calming devices in the Stonybrook and Talbot-triangle areas could start in early 2016. Some side streets off Centre Street in Jamaica Plain already have speed humps aimed at forcing drivers to slow down. City planners are also looking at ways to reduce crashes in Codman Square in Dorchester and along Mass. Ave. from the Charles River to Melnea Cass Boulevard as part of the Vision Zero work.

Longer term, city officials are looking at a combination of slower legal speeds, redesigned intersections, traffic-calming systems such as speed humps, more bike paths and greater enforcement - which would include looking at ways to change "[legal] barriers around automated enforcement technologies to crack down on dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, red light running, and failure to yield to pedestrians." Also possible: A large increase in the number of cameras "to anonymously count the movements of cars, bicycles, and pedestrians over time to inform planning decisions."

Vision Zero Boston prioritizes safety and takes a people-first approach to transportation and community building. Most trips in the City of Boston are made by people on foot, bike, or transit. Everyone, including drivers, benefits from a transportation system that's made safer for the most vulnerable road users.

In a statement, Mayor Walsh adds:

Driving, walking, or riding a bike on Boston's streets should not be a test of courage.

We know how to build safer streets. We know how to protect our most vulnerable road users, who are suffering disproportionately because of speeding traffic and distracted drivers.

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Comments

what good will this do when speeding and traffic laws in general aren't enforced in the city of boston?

Well, the idea is well intentioned. They should implement this on mass ave through the south end - a lot of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in that area.

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Washington Street in the South End as well -- total nightmare trying to cross that street.

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Everyone (including the buses) fly down Washington in the South End I've lost count of the times I've almost gotten run down by drivers that seem oblivious of the fact that it contains crosswalks *in addition to* stoplights.

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and just said the cars and bikes have to stop for everybody. Blinking yellow lights at the intersections. I bet traffic would move faster overall but without the mechanical interruptions.

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Having traffic control based on people choosing/knowing when to take their turn becomes a disaster around rush hour, and unpleasant at off hours. Guarantee it would increase the number of traffic deaths due to people blowing through intersections because "the light wasn't red."

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Pedestrians also have to keep in mind that a crosswalk isn't a safe haven and if the light is green for drivers, peds need to STOP. You don't just cross because "you're in the crosswalk"

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just speed up & lay on the horn. this works better with a loud and large vehicle/horn i've noticed.

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Motorists have to keep in mind that people with low vision, blindness, and numerous other disabilities are everywhere. The onus is on drivers to not collide heavy machinery into human beings.

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you cant walk/wheel/or even see in a crosswalk you should not be wandering outside alone. you are a danger to yourself and others. you dont deserve to get hit by a car but there is an element of personal responsibility on the pedestrians too in my opinion.

now, one of my neighbors is blind and uses a white cane to get around. he has the fortune of (seemingly) knowing the area very well and takes a lot of advantage of such things as audible crossing signals.

but if you cant safely navigate a public area on your own you shouldnt attempt to do so, is basically what i am saying. unless you are willing to accept the risk.

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The streets and roads belong to people, not cars.

If you insist on piloting a machine that can kill, you have a responsibility to respect other PEOPLE using that public way. If you can't manage that, you need to hand in your license.

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Massachusetts mandates yielding when a pedestrian is upon the same half of the roadway or within 10 feet of the motorist;

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it ain't empty cars whizzing around, it's people using vehicle lanes to get places they need to be, and they have exactly as much right to do so as the pinko pedestrian crowd that doesn't like the idea that anyone can own a motor vehicle. That's why we have car lanes for cars, bike lanes for bikes, and sidewalks for pedestrians, with traffic lights to deconflict them.

If the city street doesn't have a sidewalk, then pedestrians don't belong there. If it doesn't have a bike lane, bikes don't belong there, and if it doesn't have a car lane, cats don't belong there.

If it's lacking in traffic lights, it's not designed for safety, it's designed for cheapness at the expense of safety. No other major metro area has the preponderance of uncontrolled crosswalks than Boston does. Everywhere else they are all signalized, or at least have a stop sign. Lower speed limits will just make the hit and runs less fatal, putting traffic lights into the crosswalks will actually make it safer by deconflicting pedestrian and vehicular use of the same part of the street without slowing traffic nearly as much as an uncontrolled crosswalk.

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Besides the fact that I fundamentally disagree with your assessment of road space...

What's wrong with making automobile collisions less fatal?

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But I'd rather have fewer incidents, period, not just the same number of slightly less severe incidents.

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Your thinking is both dangerous and incorrect. Bikes and peds have every right to be there, with or without markings. It's the law.

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> That's why we have car lanes for cars, bike lanes for bikes, and sidewalks for pedestrians, with traffic lights to deconflict them.

Right. It's a crosswalk. That is, other users have a right to cross against the walkers, so long as they do so carefully. Your problem is that you envision crosswalks as parts of the road that motorists have to share with the pedestrians. That viewpoint is all wrong.

Crosswalks are parts of sidewalk that motorists are allowed to cross under certain conditions. The onus is 100 percent on motorists to operate their vehicles on crosswalks carefully and respectfully.

When you finally come to terms with the perspective that crosswalks are parts of sidewalk not parts of road, you'll easily and quickly get to the conclusion that it is 100 percent a motorist's responsibility for making damn sure he or she is adhering to the law, including yielding to pedestrians on said crosswalk.

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Wrong! The streets belong to the govmint. The people own squat.

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You are so right and when they cross they are so rude by walking slow. There gonna catch someone having a bad day and some dumb sh#t happens

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All the confusing signage is part of the problem:
In mass if there is a light pedestrians must wait for signal to cross - no light they can walk at will and cars must give them right of way.
Well that makes no sense to a driver who just got a green light and now has to stop short at an unmarked intersection. And pedestrians just walk into the street sometimes unaware that the driver might not see them. As for the crosswalk signs in the street - most are poorly marked and guess what it snows here so drivers can't see that either. Our confusing/lack of proper signage and crazy rules is what makes walking and driving so dangerous here.
I am from here and both driver and pedestrian - can't imagine how bad it is for visitors

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I totally agree with the previous commentator Sometimes it's the pedestrains that cause problems and accidents. And sometimes drivers who think they can stop in the middle of the road to greet a friend or put blinking lights to wait fo pick up a friend. Where are the cops who are eager to give tickets. This is where they can make tons of money for illegally stopping int he middle of the road. What about stopping suddenly in moving traffic to allow someone from a side street to enter the road????. This seems to be a major problem in Boston streets.

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Jp Center and other business districts throughout the city need 20 mph speed limits with signs.. so cars can stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.. 25 mph speed limits in all residential areas..

Why isn't this being done now?

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part of the problem around here is that speed limits, all too often, are not enforced, which creates even more possibility that such incidents as injuries and fatalities will occur.

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East Boston has a major problem with cars speeding down 25 mile per hour speed limit streets, I see cars speeding all the time, I'm not talking about just on 2way main thoroughfare streets, these are one way side streets near schools and heavy conjested pedestrian areas of Eastie. All my years living in Eastie I have noticed much more cars driving on the streets mixed in with larger 18 wheel trucks driving through side streets. Where are these cars coming from? Are there more people moving in, Airport traffic, just yesterday an older driver was lost and asked me for directions on how to get to the airport .

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Drivers already exceed the current speed limits as well as blow through crosswalks, etc. Why? There is virtually no enforcement.

When I drive in certain areas of Cambridge I know there is a good chance there will be a traffic cop on duty. Not that I am not normally careful, but it serves as a reminder not to break traffic laws. And, I suspect others do the same. When was the last time you saw a Boston speed trap or even police presence at high pedestrian traffic areas? It almost never happens.

How about we enforce the laws we have right now before lowering some artificial limit?...a limit that for all intents and purposes already means nothing.

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When was the last time you saw a Boston speed trap or even police presence at high pedestrian traffic areas?

Last time I saw this, it turned out to be actors filming a scene for an A&E made-for-TV movie. I shit you not.

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Corner of Joy and Mount Vernon. A few years back. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

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When was the last time you saw a Boston speed trap or even police presence at high pedestrian traffic areas? It almost never happens.

It was pretty awesome, though. There was an obvious cop car by the pedestrian crossing by the Children's Museum. Whenever someone would fail to stop for a parent with a stroller or a small child, bam, ticket right there. And basically this happened in a constant stream, as soon as one ticket was done, time for the next.

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When a group of us asked D-4's commander to put somebody on enforcing the crosswalk at Stuart and Trinity he said "we don't have manpower for that kind of thing". One of the group was well connected and went over his head so BPD put some "Special Operations" cops there to watch the crosswalk. They ticketed hundreds of violators in just a week there. Eventually BPD stationed a cop there to direct traffic during rush hour and then BTD did some usage studies and recommended a traffic light, which is now in place. Take home lessons: BPD considers enforcing crosswalks a "Special Operation" and in some locations enforcing crosswalks pays for itself in tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

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When they reduce the speed limit drivers will still drive fast, if they install tabletop crosswalks drivers have to slow down.

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but i am skeptical that this will work

speed limits need to be enforced to work and frankly (i admit i dont know the physics) i cant imagine the difference in reaction time and impact power is a ton different between 25 mph and 20. both of them sound painful.

on the plus side, i don't see how this idea could hurt

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If a pedestrian is hit at 20MPH they have a 90% chance of survival. If they are hit at 40MPH there is only a 20% chance they survive. This is why speeding needs to be taken seriously and dangerous drivers should have their licenses terminated.

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it sounds like perhaps actual enforcement would be a more appropriate step then. which, i guess we all knew anyway.

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It doesn't really matter what the speed limit is if it's not enforced. In fact, none of the traffic laws matter if they're not enforced. Hence Boston's reputation of having the worst drivers.

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Its not just a reputation. Studies have shown Boston drivers are the worst in the country. We need cameras to catch dangerous speeding drivers but it is currently illegal because drivers don't want to be held accountable for their reckless and selfish behavior.

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The ACLU fights tooth and nail against cameras that would catch murderers. What do you think they care about speeding?

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There are distinct positions between a constantly recording camera (your "cameras that would catch murderers") and a device that captures several frames at an instant when a crime has occurred, as a speeding/red light camera does.

One of these captures all activity for long periods of time, meaning 99.999% of what is recorded is legal activity.

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In some cities, red light cameras have made the problem worse. People slamming on the brakes on yellow with cars behind them to avoid having being caught in the intersection when the light changes, tickets for cars with their front bumper in a crosswalk, tons of $$$ going to the companies that install the cameras.

Send out cops to different intersections every day, and ticket like mad. The problem would go away in a year.

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Its about time we take drivers killing pedestrians seriously. Your ability to quickly get to Target isn't more important than other people's lives. My wife was hit on the sidewalk by a car turning into a parking lot just last month(very thankfully she is OK). When I asked the cop if the driver, who was clearly at fault, was going to get a citation the cop acted like that was a ridiculous suggestion.

So the driver hit my wife and suffered no consequences. While my wife was still talking to paramedics the driver had already left and headed into a restaurant to have dinner. That is a great example of how drivers don't give a shit about anything but themselves and how the law lets them get away with the mayhem and carnage they cause.

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What is it about Target? I had a grotesquely huge SUV swerving back and forth behind me as I entered the turnoff to a shopping center, only to blast by me and nearly shear off a mirror in his haste to ... get to Target. At like 10am on a weekday morning. Whatever was happening there must have been super exciting to him.

I have a special place in my heart for the ones who do this and also frantically lay on the horn while their children in the car. Great example you're setting there, parents.

I swear I'm not crawling around at 5mph. I generally go the speed of traffic -- sometimes that's under the limit, sometimes that's over, but I respect the consensus. I guess the difference is that I give pedestrians a say in that consensus, and if I know there are crosswalks coming up and certainly if I see pedestrians on the sidewalk (not that it's always easy to tell if they intend to cross when they're all glued to their phones), I'm not going to blast through at 60mph.

This makes some people INCREDIBLY angry, for some reason. Why the heck are drivers so angry? If they're in such a hurry they should have left the house earlier. A few seconds waiting for a pedestrian will not make or break their schedule.

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I've attended numerous meetings in Beacon Hill where lower speed limits were discussed. Every time it was brought up it was said that Boston wouldn't reduce the limit below 30MPH because of state law. Local state reps were pushing to allow the minimum speed limit be less than 30. The law allows for exceptions in case of schools or where a study shows that a speed limit less than 30MPH is required, however it appears that most towns in the state ignore the law and post 25MPH limits where they please. Boston didn't seem willing to do the same. But now it is different.

I haven't been able to find the statute in 3 minutes of searching, so I am not sure if city officials were just blowing smoke up this point.

Anyway, a good thing although I can't image seeing it enforced for more than a few weeks.

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prima facia speed limit. There is nothing to prevent a city or town from posting a lower speed limit provided that lower speed limit has been approved by both MassDOT and the RMV Registar -it's known as a special speed regulation.

What Boston is looking for is a special rule to allow them to reduce the prima facia speed limit within Boston to 25 mph. While well-intentioned, this is more motivated by politics than any actual safety benefits - the old "reducing the speed limit will slow traffic down" argument - which BTW has been throughly debunked.

There is precedent for this - parts of Melrose are posted at 20 mph and designated as a "Special Safety Zone" established by Legislative Act (forget the act number, but it's actually posted on the signs.

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I just saw roadman's comment - and, with respect to what I said below, roadman's comment does make sense.

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While well-intentioned, this is more motivated by politics than any actual safety benefits* - the old "reducing the speed limit will slow traffic down" argument - which BTW has been throughly debunked.*

* [citation needed]

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Get ready - I have seen roadman cite to a manual on something similar before (granted, it was from Michigan, but still).

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http://melrose.wickedlocal.com/article/20091223/NEWS/312239654

http://www.mapc.org/speed-limit-reduction-local-roads

http://ecode360.com/8711697#8711697

all links related to reduced speed limits, first and third melrose specific

still couldnt find the state legislation thing though, unless its buried deeper in one of those links

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I haven't had a chance to look at Chapter 89 (which is where I think this would be), but it just doesn't sound right.

I can think of at least one state road off the top of my head where the limit for a significant portion is 25 mph.

Further, at least half of my commute in the morning is on town roads with a 25 mph (or lower) limit (with no reason other than the narrowness/curviness of the road). These roads usually have a police officer sitting somewhere on them doing speed enforcement. I cannot believe that they would be doing that if the limit was unenforceable.

Lastly, it just doesn't make sense that the state would have such a law. I can see having a maximum limit (especially since all of the highest speed roads in the Commonwealth are state roads built to state specs), but to tell the towns in the Berkshires or elsewhere where motorists on town roads encounter hairpin curves, etc. that they cannot set a speed limit lower than 30 mph does not make any sense.

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you think that those motorists out in central/western MA arent doing 55 around those hairpin turns? people drive way faster out there.

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I enjoyed your description of norovirus earlier today (really did lol, as I was in the same situation a long time ago). However, w/r/t to this comment, you say this like I'm not out there often, like I don't have a car that is built for performance and like I don't have some specialized driver training.

That is wrong on all counts - and even I don't do anything near that speed on the curves I'm thinking of and neither does anyone else.

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maybe we have experienced different curves

also, glad you liked my story, maybe ill start a combined car/poop blog and just call it Movement

edit: you also seem to think i was implying that people were necessarily ~successful~ in their endeavors.

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Just repeating what I heard in meetings. Certainly I am with you on the 25MPH all over the place. I look briefly at Chapter 89 and it wasn't popping out. And I got the impression that the 25MPH didn't get the " approved by both MassDOT and the RMV Registar", but I really don't know.

As I said, this was the reason given by the city for not lowering limits in Beacon Hill (how you can reasonably exceed 25MPH on those streets is another thing).

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Almost every comment says the same thing. Nice idea, but it has zero chance of changing anything.

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This will achieve jack sh~t. 30mph = everyone does 40mph. 20mph = everyone does 40mph. When there's no enforcement, the law doesn't matter.

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Driver speed is affected by speed limits (as long as the limits are posted). People still speed, but the center of the speed distribution shifts up or down according to the limit, with or without enforcement. But the biggest problem is that Boston drivers are, more and more, ignoring red lights. It is now routine that cars are still in intersections when the opposing walk sign is lit. This can be completely fixed in a short time with red light cameras and automated ticketing.

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"it wont work people speed anyway"

Bullshit.

Look, if the speed limit is 30, people will speed and go 35. And they wont be stopped. This is true anywhere and everywhere, fine.

But if the speed limit is now 25, speeding at 35 is much more egregious. Youre not just slightly over, you blowing by at a full 10mph faster. A cop is more likely to take notice AND the violation will be harsher.

The result? People continue to speed, but at a slower speed than previously. So now people break the law at 30mph rather than 35mph.

So yes, it works.

Also, the article mentions traffic calming techniques which are proven countermeasures for speeding.

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That works in most places, but not here. Practically no one ever gets pulled over and cited and drivers go as fast as traffic allows them to go because there is no enforcement.

If you think most drivers are only doing 30 in 25 mph zones, you must have your head in the sand.

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A great and much-needed initiative. Lowering speed limits does get more drivers to adjust and slow down somewhat, which is a start. A lot of this is about changing how motorists view an area and recognizing it's dense residential and not a speedway. Enforcement is key as mentioned elsewhere. Good to see that traffic calming infrastructure is part of this, time to get up to speed (no pun intended) with what other cities and countries are doing there.

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For cops to fund their department with the least amount of effort. I like the raised crosswalks idea. I dont even think they have bike lanes in that area. Also, stop signs would provide more of a visual cue for drivers than just inconspicuously changing the speed limit in "certain (vulnerable)" areas of the city.

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I live in the Forest Hills area being targeted and there's already lots of stop signs throughout the length of Brookley, Rossmore & Williams St. I personally haven't felt like speeding is an issue in this area. When you have to stop every 100 feet for a stop sign, you can only pick up so much speed before you have to slow down again.

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but they won't let that get in the way of a political campaign!

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I lived on Williams for many years and am still over there a lot to see friends. I've never known of any pedestrian fatalities or accidents there. I ride my bike there and don't feel unsafe, unlike many other parts of JP or other neighborhoods.

Seems like an odd pilot location for this initiative when there are so many genuinely terrifying intersections in Boston. Even just to the south, in the midst of the Casey Arborway construction, I regularly see cars run the lights at high speed, block intersections, and pose much more danger to pedestrians than in the internal Stoneybrook neighborhood. Rarely do I see any police enforcement in there, where it's genuinely needed.

So why here? Has BPD explained what data they used to pick these two neighborhoods?

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too. That part of Washington St. is one where I often sit in traffic that isn't going anywhere fast.

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Yeah, you guys have all totally made me see the light: enforcement is a pipe dream. Since murderers don't obey the law against killing people, why don't we just legalize homicide?

If this brings the average speed on city streets down, it is a net win. If this means that one more driver is actually prosecuted for running a pedestrian down in the crosswalk, even if it's only because "speed was a factor," it is a net win. If this moves the burden of proof away from aforementioned pedestrian run down in the crosswalk, and on to the motorist who ran him down, then it is a net win.

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Most of the 'speeders' are the residents themselves. I challenge anyone to actually drive 20mph through an entire neighborhood and see how slow it really is... Once enforcement comes around the residents will get tickets, and then complain "No, it's those other people that are speeding..."

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20 miles per hour on streets with frequent crosswalks--I can't stop fast enough at 30 mph. But someone is sure to (and reasonably, given that the speed limit is 30 mph) get behind you. It is totally possible, and actually easy.

(and yet, I was nicknamed "leadfoot" at the Skip Barber high performance driving school)

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I have to say that Boston drivers are not the best. Everyone that has ever been here knows this and anyone who lives here should certainly be used to it by now.

I am a pedestrian and don't even own a car, so as a pedestrian I have had my fair share of run ins with crappy drivers. However, I have also been a passenger many times, and have seen the way many pedestrians behave from a driver's perspective. While the traffic laws favor pedestrians, I have personally witnessed so many instances of rude and reckless behavior that needs to end. They arbitrarily walk slowly in front of vehicles and not at a crosswalk, expecting the drivers to notice them in their dark clothing at night, and stop. Anyone who doesn't believe me should try taking the stretch of Dartmouth street between Huntington and Columbus after dark.

I would never behave this way. Even if I am at a crosswalk with no signal, I always wait for the driver to notice me and stop. It is the polite thing to do and safer. I think they should start issuing jaywalking tickets to the worst behaved pedestrians, the same way that they do in California.

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if we fined people that were crossing against signal/not in the crosswalk in harvard square alone

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One thing that I've noticed that's particularly disconcerting is the fact that neither bicyclists or walkers bother to make themselves sufficiently visible while walking or bicycling at night. All too often, both cyclists and walkers alike don't even bother to wear any light-colored clothing, or to at least carry something light-colored, to enable them to be seen at night while walking or bicycling. If people displayed more common sense, it would go a long way towards making the changes that're necessary.

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The Health Impact Assessment driving this: http://www.mapc.org/sites/default/files/Speed%20Limit%20HIA.pdf

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Hard to believe, but the Boston area is the safest in the country for pedestrians

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/05/the-most-dangerous-us-cities-for-...

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Unposted speed ltd too high

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No enforcement, so it won't matter. Furthermore, too often when pedestrians are hit and killed, the driver isn't charged. Delivery trucks not only park in crosswalks, but recently I've been seeing many park on top of the sidewalk in places where's there's a bump-out! It's already difficult enough to see oncoming traffic at crosswalks when there's an SUV parked / couble-parked near an intersection, but when it's a FedEx truck? Forget it, can't see a thing! Even if a car stops for us when we're at a crosswalk, all too often a bike will zip on by and then the cars will follow suit and no one let's us cross. Let's get some crossing guards at busy intersections and start FORCING cars and cyclists to follow the law!

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As I've said repeatedly to our elected officials camera enforcement is the only way to solve the problem and generate revenue. Glad to see this project is "looking at ways to change "[legal] barriers around automated enforcement technologies to crack down on dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, red light running, and failure to yield to pedestrians." Also possible: A large increase in the number of cameras "to anonymously count the movements of cars, bicycles, and pedestrians over time to inform planning decisions."

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Just no.

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Care to elaborate?
What is it about cameras that scares you so much? Is it that you won't be able to speed or run red lights anymore?

Cameras are the solution to these problems, not changing the speed limit. Like everyone else is saying, there's no enforcement to begin with. Half our cops are working detail, not patrolling the streets. Even they are aware of how bad it is. Their attitude is "what, am I gonna pull over every driver? They're all speeding!" I've NEVER seen a driver get pulled over for running a red, and I've seen cops witness it many times. The only trap I've ever see. Is a cop taking up a whole travel lane on Mass Ave in front of the Hynes T stop. What the hell does that do to help??

Cameras can do this job quickly and efficiently without taking cops away from their precious detail shifts. Within weeks I guarantee you there will be a significant change.

So please, tell me WHY you say "no" to cameras? Cause I'm guessing you can't afford to get caught.

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Especially when said enforcement is outsourced and/or viewed as a revenue source. Witness Chicago's experience with red light cameras.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/redlight/

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If you have access to a good printer, you can go out and have a great time racking up tickets at somebody else's expense.

This is called "plate cloning" in the UK, as the UK has a lot of camera traps (as does much of the EU).

Case in point.

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is not people using fake license plates to game the system, but rather the enforcement systems periodically misreading the license plate and fining the wrong owner.

This happened to a friend of my sister in Illinois, who one day got a very large bill for unpaid tolls and fines allegedly incurred when blowing through the EZ-Pass lanes on the Illinois Tollway system. Turns out her license plate number was identical to the violator's plate, with one key difference. The violator had Illinois plates, my sister's friend had Indiana plates. However, the enforcement system couldn't tell the difference.

She eventually got the fines dropped, but it took her almost six months to resolve the issue. And the burden of proof was on her to prove that she hadn't been on the Tollway when the violations happened - in other words, guilty until proven innocent.

Despite advances in technology,there are some things where humans shouldn't be replaced. Traffic enforcement is one of them.

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Plus in Texas they had to suspend the program for a while after the photos mailed to the offender's house frequently showed the face of a passenger who, ahem, did not live at the same residence - much to the ire of the other person who did live there and opened the mail.

They tried blurring faces for a while but it was still a huge mess and the last I heard, they dropped the whole thing, just leaving the disabled cameras up and hoping people didn't notice they no longer flashed.

I'm no apologist for adultery but it's really not the place of the government to get involved by sending photographic evidence to an unwitting spouse. (That's Facebook's job.)

Studies have shown that traffic cameras actually increase accidents. They're for revenue generation, nothing more.

I'm all for traffic enforcement - sick of getting honked at by other cars when I refuse to mow down pedestrians. But it needs to be human enforcement.

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In Australia - at least in Victoria, where I lived - there were cameras at most (if not all) traffic lights. If a car blew through a red light, the camera took a picture and sent it through whichever tubes to VicRoads, who then matched the license plate to the registered owner, and mailed them a ticket that they'd have to pay. In the absence of actual police enforcement, cameras seem like a decent idea.

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Many intersections have shorter than standard yellow light times based on the travel speed of a road. Oh, and that needs to be set by the default speed or doing a speed survey.

With too short yellow times, drivers getting camera tickets can contest them and win.

These cameras will also produce inconvenient data like the number of cyclists blowing through red lights too!

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traffic counts or vehicle classification data. And you've got the yellow timing issue backwards. Traffic signals are generally timed with an adequate yellow cycle based on the conditions at specific intersections - there is no "one size fits all" approach here. There are established Federal standards (MUTCD) and other industry guidelines (ITE and AASHTO) that govern the design requirements for signal timing, including yellow cycles.

One of the issues that has arisen with red light cameras is that a number of municipalities have been deliberately shortening the yellow times below the minimums called for by accepted engineering standards. This has one of two effects - either more drivers blow the red light because they don't have time to react to the yellow light and stop before entering the intersection (thus more automatic tickets, and more revenue for both the municipality and the private company administering the enforcement system), or drivers are more likely to suddenly stop on yellow, thus increasing the chances of read end collisions.

I suggest you read the Chicago Tribune article linked in my other post on camera enforcement.

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Red light cameras and the like can't be used in MA because the SJC ruled that the MA constitution requires a human to witness, ticket, and testify.

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Geesh. What a bunch of cynics here. "It'll never work!". "Boston Sucks!"

A) Pedestrians are much worse than drivers in this city. Yeah, I know it's the cars can kill, but get your damned head out of your phone, and stay on the curb until the little guy in the lit-up box turns to Walk.

* And yes, the city could help a lot here by fixing timing. Nobody's going to stay on the curb for a Don't Walk sign if it doesn't seem logical, and the simultaneous walk/green is pretty confusing in many places.
* I walk and drive daily in the city, and bike now and then. My fellow pedestrians are amazingly selfish when they ignore cross walks and lights.

B) Maybe I'm the only one, but I see fairly frequent traffic enforcement on certain streets in the South End and Back Bay. My hunch is that these are streets with active neighborhood associations, but I've seen plenty of people getting tickets. I'm surprised there isn't enforcement in JP and other busy walking neighborhoods.

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More lives taken by opiates and saved by Narcan. Distribute more more Narcan to save more lives!

The interactive crash data from the vision zero site? I had to use Explorer, wouldn't work in chrome. You can look at just pedestrian collisions and toggle to look at just fatalities (1) or just injuries (60) (9/2015) by the slider by month. If you move the slider across the range from 7/2014 to 9/2015 you will notice that there are few fatalities in total, so Vision Zero's work is nearly done and they can disband!

There are no pedestrian fatalities in the JP area proposed for the speed limit reduction! For injuries, there are much worse areas. There was one in Roxbury during 6/2015.

Was it explained how the areas were chosen? National crash data and indeed Boston results would not suggest JP, but Roxbury, Dorchester, and parts of the south end because black children are the most likely to get hit by motor vehicles. Next are elderly Asians. Given how the elderly are more likely to die from injuries, speed reduction helps them survive more.

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There was a health impact assessment done by the Commonwealth's Bureau of Environmental Health that I posted that doesn't necessarily agree with all your picked cherries here.

Then again, you probably think that having to slow down would cause you to shrivel and die, which isn't worth the avoided fatalities, of course.

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They completely ignore the harmful effects of stress and how "traffic calming" devices and other anti-car measures produce more unhealthy stress for the great majority of the population in order to convert a few to bicycling.

They are one-sided studies that don't take all factors into consideration.

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How about people that walk across the street and riding bikes be more careful and stop jaywalking?

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pretty much only applicable to NYC with its non-exclusive walk signals on crosswalks.

How about this study with pedestrians 59% at fault?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20728631

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23643657_Modeling_fault_among_a...

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/03042/part...

A Florida study found pedestrians at fault 80% of the time (footnote 8) and a UK study found them at fault 90% (footnote 9). http://www.popcenter.org/problems/pedestrian_injuries/

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NY studies are also way more relevant than Floriduh for Boston conditions.

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Fifteen years ago a bunch of us in Hyde Square in JP successfully lobbied the city to install speed humps, curb extensions, street trees, and raised crossings. It took a *lot* of work and activism. We had to teach the BTD staff how to do traffic calming. And when it was done, it slowed down cars on those residential streets! The "pilot" was made permanent, and those roadway changes are still there today. (We even won a Golden Shoe award from WalkBoston!)

You don't need enforcement if your streets are designed for a lower speed. Signs don't actually help much. You need narrow travel lanes, wider sidewalks, better pedestrian crossings with good sightlines, trees to visually narrow the roads, etc., etc.

Later the city started painting bike lanes, came up with the complete streets guidelines, and never really did anything again on traffic calming in the neighborhoods.

Squeaky wheels get the grease (or at least they did under the Menino administration), so I expect that noisy neighbors are why they're doing these projects.

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Teaching Bostonians that they are not immortal, and that staggering into the street without looking whenever they want, wherever they want isn't a good idea, longevity speaking.

Not only do we have the worst drivers in the country, we also have the worst pedestrians. People in other cities find our pedestrian habits to be jaw-dropping. Try some the crap we do as a matter of course in another city and you're probably twice a likely to get killed, because the drivers won't be expecting you to be in the insane place you are.

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that Massachusetts ranks #1 for least number of auto accident fatalities? So apparently, those horrible Mass drivers are actually pretty good compared to 49 other states.

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1. Montana is apparently the worst state for driving safety, per some study or other.
2. Who are the other people in which other cities?
3. Clueless children who are more focused on their Yik Yaks and their Snapchats than reality will perhaps wander out into traffic, but the college students around here aren't much different from other children elsewhere. What's the solution? I don't know.

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It's now officially quicker to drive to R.I. or N.H. from Boston, than it is to get from one end of the city to the other? MBTA street cars CRAWL along the streets (for fear if they go 'fast', somebody might get hurt or killed?), and now traffic will be slowed down even further than it is already. Now we need to pass laws to force people to walk slow, for fear they might bump into and kill someone.

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It has two wheels, moves quickly enough and doesn't waste space so you can get around easily, and can be parked almost anywhere.

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It will take many months, maybe a year, to heal (hopefully without surgery). I can't walk without an air walker brace. Yeah, I'll just hop on a bike to work.

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And you drive an automatic.

Consider this as well: the more that those who are able to bike use bikes, the more room there will be for those who are not able to use bikes or transit to use their cars. My late father loved all the bike and transit infrastructure in Portland, Oregon because it meant that there was less traffic for him (he had a handicap permit).

All the best for your recovery. It can be tough to have your transport options limited due to an injury.

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Maybe bikers and pedestrians need to go to training school on how to behave on the road. Speed limits are already to slow.. how will we ever get home from work. I think it is smart to increase bike lanes and their accessibility mostly because most bikers can't bike and those who can take to many risks. Why don't we just control everyone's lives monitor everyone and hold each other's hands all day.. this is absurd.. survival of the fittest. If you can't bike or cross the St don't do it.

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Maybe motorists need to go to an actual comprehensive training school on how to behave on the road. Speed limits are already ignored by entitled brats in cars who can't figure out how to get home from work without violating traffic laws that they find inconvenient. I think it is smart to increase bike lanes and their accessibility mostly because most drivers can't drive and like to pretend that it is the cyclists and pedestrians who take too many risks. Why don't we just control everyone's lives monitor all motor vehicles and hold each other's hands all day.. this is absurd.. it should be about following rules, not survival of the fittest. If you can't drive, can't follow the laws, and can't be bothered to wait your turn or share like you were taught in kindergarten, don't do it.

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Gonna flog this dead horse again-- that area in JP, which covers a place I lived for years, needs speed bumps. At the very least, on Boylston and Brookside.

And that stretch of Norfolk in Dot has one of the most poorly designed intersections on the planet, near Whitman. If they haven't put a light there yet, it needed it the last time I was regularly in the neighborhood

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Again, I brought this up in a meeting about 10 years ago in Beacon Hill. They put new speed bumps on Pickney St when it was repaved around that time. Grandfathered in. But the city said they would not put in new ones. It was 10 years ago so I don't recall the reason they said they couldn't put in new ones.

Anyway, this restriction seems to have been dropped.

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One thing that would really help a lot is if BTD would coordinate traffic signals for a 20 mph progression instead of a 30 mph one. If drivers know they can get a wave of green lights by driving at 20 mph, they will do that. Right now, most of the signals are timed for 30 mph, which is much too fast, and moreso is unrealistic for most times of the day when traffic is heavy and there are lots of drivers turning, pulling in and out of parking spaces, yielding to pedestrians crossing the street, etc. This may actually help with drivers running red lights, too, because right now the system is basically ensuring that you will get a red light because you can't actually go 30 mph. It encourages people to gun it to beat the lights.

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I live in Boston and get to see all the pedestrians crossing traffic wherever and whenever they want. Then there are the bicycles going the wrong way and using crosswalks like they are pedestrians. Don't forget the scooters, mopeds, and illegal dirtbikes or four wheelers that the police do nothing about. Oh yes, the cars....limited space and every conceivable distraction. Boston roads are bad for vehicle traffic. Vehicles have the right of way.. Instead of complaining about how cars go to fast and don't stop for everyone else the laws need to be amended to control pedestrians to cross where and when is appropriate. Right now its like wild west on the roads. If we had better education and learned some basic courtesy, maybe people would walk in front of a 3000 pound car going 30 miles per hour and expect it to stop on a dime claiming that they can cross wherever. Although they might be right, they still end up going for an ambulance ride.

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