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Citizen complaint of the day: Roslindale's newest racetrack

A concerned citizen files a 311 report about the carriageway heading north on West Roxbury Parkway:

There are NO speed limit signs anywhere along the ENTIRE lower West Roxbury Parkway. Cars use this as a speedway and to avoid the traffic on West Roxbury prkwy in the morning. It is extremely dangerous to walk along and the speeding cars getting worse.

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Comments

Maybe start by walking on the SIDEWALK.

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Voting closed 29

.. making the report is not walking on the sidewalk or that the sidewalk itself is safe from speeding drivers?

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Voting closed 18

But typically, and in this case specifically, sidewalks are grade separated from the roadway. In the case of this road, there is even a very small grassy median between the roadway and the sidewalk. In short, walking on the sidewalk is safer for pedestrians, as a vehicle would have to mount the curb to get to the sidewalk. Speed would not be a big issue (not that the speed should not be 25 MPH on this road, but that is a different issue altogether) with safety of people on the sidewalk.

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Unless all you do is walk around the block over and over, eventually you'll have to leave the sidewalk and interact with moving cars.

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And to be fair the citizen may have been thinking about crossing the road to the grassy part between the road and the parkway proper, but Lee is under the impression that one is inherently unsafe while on the sidewalk. Pedestrian on sidewalk is fairly safe.

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Fewer pedestrian fatalities occurred at intersections (18%) than at non-intersections (72%); the remaining 10 percent occurred at other locations such as roadsides/shoulders, parking lanes/zones, bicycle lanes, sidewalks, medians/crossing islands, driveway accesses, shared-use paths/trails, non-traffic way areas, and other sites.

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812493

And 18% of deaths are at intersections where crosswalks would presumably exist. This report does not seem to identify fault. It can be inferred in some cases because pedestrian was not in the street. It seems to imply fault by identifying pedestrians that under the influence, but I can't find any determination of fault.

But since 1 in 10 pedestrians killed in crashes are not in the street it seems reasonable to be concerned about pedestrian safety on the sidewalk.

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Voting closed 14

When someone subtly alters something or otherwise spins it to make a point that is not really made by what it says, but the person still puts it out there? I'm sure you've accused me of whatever the word is, but since I don't obsess on insulting people on the internet (unlike other people) I have not committed it to memory. In any event, your quote sure does mention a lot of things other than sidewalks, like parking lanes and roadsides. Parking lanes and roadsides/shoulders, if you have not noticed, are on the roadway, just on parts of the roadway where a vehicle should not be driving. At the end of the day, one is still a lot safer walking on a sidewalk than on the road, which your quote may just back up.

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The NHSTA gave its definition for what it considers roadway, and I quoted it clearly. In the context of Lee's comment about speeding drivers, I think it is reasonable to be concerned about one's safety on the sidewalk. All the slights were in your comments, all I did was disagree.

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And your “data” added nothing to the conversation about sidewalks.

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And per usual, you didn't bring any information to the discussion.

And public safety is better served by looking at the collected data.

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But yes, using accurate data to drive public safety is a good thing. Using undifferentiated data could end up with people opposing shared use paths since up to 10% of pedestrian fatalities occur outside of vehicular travel lanes (i.e., the data you brought to the table, which mentioned sidewalks, shared travel lanes, and shoulders of roadways.)

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It has more to do with blaming pedestrians for being hit by cars.

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Which is not to say that there isn't some data somewhere that would note that motor vehicles (or specifically the drivers of motor vehicles) are at fault in the majority of vehicle-pedestrian crashes, but the fact that 10% of pedestrian fatalities takes place in locations other than intersections or the non-intersection part of the roadway that vehicles travel on isn't that data, nor does that data apply specifically to sidewalks.

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10% off the roadway. It applies to sidewalks. It applies to places that pedestrian s are entitled to be safe.

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But you again conflated off roadway with sidewalks. The latter is merely a subset of the former, just like shared use paths, shoulders, and parking lanes. For all we know, it is 7% shoulders, 1% sidewalks, and 2% the rest.

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You are so insecure you can't take being wrong, even when it is the nhtsa. Look up "conflated", by the way. I pointed out that sidewalks are a subset of off road in each comment. All of your comments are arguing a subjective idea that a person is safe on the sidewalk. You believe that the sidewalk is safe by definition. I don't think so because of what I linked. If there is data showing only people hit on the sidewalk then link it. You took a snarky tangent and used it defuse the original post about safety on the lower parkway.

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If there is data showing only people hit on the sidewalk then link it.

I never made a claim that some data applies specifically to sidewalk, but since you were the one that brought vague data into the mix, feel free to come up with the concrete data to bolster your argument. Again, saying that 10% of all pedestrian fatalities occur outside of vehicle travel lanes does not equate sidewalks. Myself, I stick by my claim that sidewalks are safer than streets for pedestrians, and your factoid does not refute that. If it does, I'll walk the Neponset River Greenway warily as well, as it is a shared use path.

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You can insult and belittle as much as you want, but it doesn't change the facts. The NHTSA isn't vague. 10% of pedestrian fatalities occur off the roadway. This includes sidewalks. Lee's comment disputed that people on the sidewalk were safe from speeding drivers. You made a condescending comment defining sidewalks. I said

But since 1 in 10 pedestrians killed in crashes are not in the street it seems reasonable to be concerned about pedestrian safety on the sidewalk.
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and I included the link and a quote from my source.

You claimed to be insulted, and made misleading interpretations of my comment. I have repeated the same information over and over. It seems dishonest to say that the NHTSA is not concrete. You have been unable to demonstrate that this study is misrepresented. You don't have to agree with the NHTSA but as usual you don't present your opinion with any authority.

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I just keep on repeating that your data does not dovetail with your contention. You data includes scenarios where pedestrians were hit in places where cars could easily veer into (shoulders) and places where it would be exceedingly difficult for a car to hit a person (shared use paths, which I am assuming is where bicycles take out pedestrians in the dataset.) We are left without knowing how common it is for a person walking on a sidewalk to be hit by a car, which is important, since my claim is that sidewalks are fairly safe places for pedestrians. And before someone links to some story where people on sidewalks are hit by cars (and I won't claim it doesn't,) a story is an anecdote, and I could counter with the story of a car going airborne and entering the second floor of a house.

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I'm sure you've accused me of whatever the word is,

I have repeatedly stated the facts clearly and the link backs it up. You deny this, but poorly. The data does not included sharrows, and it states that clearly. I haven't linked any anecdotal stories because it doesn't prove the point like the NHTSA.

Now you have resorted to excusing cars for hitting pedestrians on the shoulder, and pretending that cyclists are the real danger to pedestrians. I don't know why you mind being in the wrong when you can't be bothered to research any topic that you snark about.

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Trump says the allegations against him are a crock. At the end of the day, both of you live in your own worlds where facts are subjective.

But you keep on being you.

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Yes, the facts I linked informed my opinion. I don't know if its official, but using Trump to insult someone when the topic has no relationship to Trump is verboten on Uhub. The NHTSA statistics are not subjective. Your whole argument is dishonest. I purposely expanded my quote to show the context of sidewalks included with other pedestrian areas. Without any contradicting data, you attempted to disqualify my point with logical fallacies. Now you compare me to Trump. I think that you are sad concern troll.

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Must be that road diet on the West Roxbury Parkway pushing all that traffic to the side streets. Am I right, WR Safety Association? Idiots.

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The 311 complaint is saying that in order to avoid traffic on WR Parkway (one lane in each direction), cars go on to the side streets/carriage way to avoid the traffic. I believe this is an example of what people living on the side streets off Centre don't want to happen if there is a road diet.

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If you look at the google maps street view of that road, you'll see in fact it has a prominent 40mph Speed limit sign.

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Hi Wiley,
Is that 40mph Speed Limit sign for the main, center road of the West Roxbury Parkway?

I've lived off of the lower "carriageway" (nice Adam) nearly my entire life and haven't ever seen more than a 30mph there.

If you do drive 40 mph, no matter the season, you're likely to bottom out your vehicle due to the sinking of the road from the drainage problems from the upper Parkway that "they" can't seem to fix.

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Parkway. Adam wasn't very clear, but i trust the 311'r was referring to the two road that run adjacent to the parkway. Anything un-posted is 25 mph.

Also calm road diet nuts, the neighborhood voiced their opinion, and the MAJORITY were hear.

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you'll see in fact it has a prominent 40mph Speed limit sign.

The lower Parkway was the complaint.. not the main Parkway.

I assumed the lower Parkway fell under the 25mph Boston thing. I have spent my whole life doing 30 there and it is a pain in the ass to try to go 25.

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That absent a sign, the assumed speed limit on the road is 25 MPH.

Of course, having a sign noting the speed limit wouldn't hurt.

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I'm not familiar with the road itself, since I live on the other side of the Charles; but other commenters below have said that it's patrolled by the State Police. If this is indeed the case, and it's a former MDC, now DCR, parkway, then the City of Boston speed limits would not apply. State speed regulations would be in force.

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My heart breaks for you having to reduce your speed! It’s all about you, isn’t it.

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It's not just the morning traffic; it's all the time, and unfortunately it's your neighbors. They should add speed humps or stop signs to the whole carriage road (like Beech) but I fear some would complain of a deep state stop sign/speed hump conspiracy.

It's amazing that we have one state trooper for all of the parkways in the area. Traffic enforcement is such a priority for the city and state...not.

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Voting closed 31

maybe the Staties can just deploy some robot dogs to wander around the parkways, forcing drivers to slow down to avoid damaging their vehicles?

I suppose one solution would be to make the street one way to Westbourne in the reverse of Beech St? Have to do something to prevent head on collisions of course there in the form of a barrier.

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.

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Just require Google Maps and Waze to alert drivers audibly to speed zones and changes.

"The speed limit is now 25 miles per hour. Please slow down." Repeatedly ever 10 seconds during speeding would help.

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I'm sure Waze, an app that prides itself in helping its users get places quicker than other apps, would LOVE to add this annoying safety feature. /s

I shut off the volume on my GPS anyways, and many others do too, because it's annoying. Now imagine users hearing something every 10 seconds if they're going 26 mph in a 25...

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Stop signs are right-of-way control, not speed control.

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There is very little traffic enforcement throughout West Roxbury. I suspect this is repeated throughout the rest of Boston.

The usual complaint is "not enough personnel." Why is it, however, there is never a shortage of "detail cops" assigned to construction sites.

Apparently this holds sway over speeding, running red lights and stops signs, passing on the right on single lane roads, tail gating, cell phone use, texting, ignoring school bus boarding and discharge protocols, obeying cross walk rules, etc., etc. etc..

Centre Street traffic issues are only the tip of the iceberg in West Roxbury. Road design and related mitigation efforts might help but those actions are minor compared to what a compressive commitment by law enforcement to ensuring people are driving rationally and obeying the laws. Bandaid approaches like lowering the speed limit is an insult to citizens.

What goes on now borders on willful negligence…the Major, the City Council, and every Senior Officers of BPD all own this. Stop making excuses, having foolish community meetings, commissioning studies and do something meaningful.

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Voting closed 44

Centre Street traffic issues are only the tip of the iceberg in West Roxbury. Road design and related mitigation efforts might help but those actions are minor compared to what a compressive commitment by law enforcement to ensuring people are driving rationally and obeying the laws.

You have it backwards. Enforcement will never be 24/7/365 and cannot be everywhere. It's impossible. Safe road design is the only proven way to substantially reduce crashes and compel safe driving.

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Voting closed 12

Never said or suggested "enforcement 24/7/365 and everywhere." But hey, add in whatever dogmatic statement you want if you think it helps your argument. The rest of us will try to have a rational discussion. Now let's get to the meat of your argument:

"Safe road design is the only proven way to substantially reduce crashes and compel safe driving."

Please cite the professional study or any study where safe road design was identified as the only PROVEN way to reduce crashes and compel safe driving. While you are looking, let me refer you to a recent, actual study that addresses the issue.

Report No. DOT HS 811 865: P., Kostyniuk, L., & Mack, M. (2013, December). "National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behaviors". Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administratio where comprehensive analysis of the actual factors that contribute to and mitigate road safety was examined.

Road design and automated enforcement schemes were included in the discussions but were assess as minor contributors to improved safety. I read the whole study, by the way, but couldn't find where it stated "road design" was the only PROVEN method.

Your turn, Slick.

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Two things:

Look at the groups conducting the studies - despite their obvious bias, nowhere in the reports do they state "road design is the only proven anything"

Secondly, the studies appear to ignore the topic of traffic enforcement in its entirety

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The studies I linked show that road design has a substantial effect on pedestrian safety. Because Infrastructure is permanent it's very hard to undo.

I'm not aware of any studies showing the effect of enforcement on pedestrian safety. But it is pretty obvious and that levels of enforcement are subject to Political whim and therefore By definition not long lasting.

Automated enforcement might have a real effect but there is little political will to put it in place.

Temporary solutions aren't solutions. So I agree that infrastructure is the only proven way to provide long lasting pedestrian safety.

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Westie has an officer dedicated to traffic enforcement. He's an older black gentlemen who drive a BPD SUV.

Everyone from the area knows exactly who im talking about. He replaced "ticket master" once he retired.

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There is very little traffic enforcement throughout West Roxbury. I suspect this is repeated throughout the rest of Boston.

I think you may be onto something here.

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Boston police are responding to motor vehicle crashes every hour. This is time consuming along with all of their other work. We need to have automated video enforcement. There is no other way to get people to slow down.

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Except when they are caught they should get fined...not an "education" from BPD. People will stop when their wallets get hit.

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NYC has more and more speed and red light cameras every year.

However, I feel far safer walking and driving in Boston.

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Yes, this weekend the Centre street enforcement patrol was in full force! So much so that we had double parking in front of Los Amigos, UPS truck on the sidewalk in front of the Boomerang's driveway so no one could see pedestrians walking on said sidewalk and cars stopped in the crosswalk so you have to walk around them and not in the actual crosswalk.

Great job by BPD!

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Voting closed 9

While I understand all of the arguments for and against police details, they are more for the general safety of the work crew and passing motorists/pedestrians, not ticket writing. The mere presence of an officer is usually enough to gain compliance from drivers. In fact, an officer assigned to protect a work crew would probably be told to "knock it off' by the sergeant if the detail officer began writing tickets at the job site. A police officer can always write a ticket and some detail officers do, but comprehensive enforcement is not the detail officer's role and won't solve much. What's needed is a dedicated squad of officers whose only job is traffic enforcement, see below.

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And road work details need to end.

Overtime to watch people work is pathetic.

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Per usual your comments are pretty much off the point and moronic to boot

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but when I am told that I am an "idiot," I am REALLY opposed.

Do you honestly believe that using that type of language advances your position?

Flash: It doesn't.

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I can tell that you'd support them if we were nicer to you.

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People are emotional about the road diet because innocent pedestrians are being killed.

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to taking completely reasonable measures that will prevent people from winding up crushed beneath a speeding sedan, but you really start to ENJOY the thought of people being crushed beneath a speeding sedan when someone on the internet calls you a name?

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Voting closed 42

... can break your bones.
Names can never hurt you.

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Pretty compelling argument to ignore proven, data driven safer street solutions.

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It's hard enough to drive, talk on the phone, shave, make a sandwich and scroll Instagram all at the same time without having to simultaneously defend your driving skills from strangers on the internet

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then don't publicly support idiotic positions.

Idiot.

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Now you have convinced me.

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Can I ask why you're opposed to the road diet? So far the only reasons I've heard people give are either that they're afraid traffic will be worse, they don't want to lose 16 parking spots, or they think there is some nefarious "bike lobby" that wants to install bike lanes.

The study that Northeastern conducted pointed out that traffic would not be noticeably different.

16 parking spots over a mile stretch of road doesn't seem like a big loss to me, especially given that more people would be walking and riding their bikes in favor of driving.

The bike lobby excuse just strikes me as tin foil hat conspiracy nonsense. If there is any lobbying around bike lanes going on (and that's a big if), it's at the behest of auto manufacturers and fossil fuel companies and it's not in favor of bike lanes.

None of these seem like reasonable arguments against the road diet, but maybe you've got one that makes sense. Care to share your thoughts?

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Not a motorway.
Emphasis on the park.

Is the 2 minutes saved (likely much less for such a short stretch) by speeding along worth being a Masshole and reducing the quality of life for the residents?

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I was on Centre St this morning going to an appt. in WR and at 8:30, traffic was light from Holy Name to around St Teresa's, both ways. Why on earth is this an issue to have three lanes instead of four? I really don't get it. JP survives with much heavier bus traffic and only two lanes with no turning lanes. I really don't think this would impact people very much, including myself.

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around 9:15 a.m. near the Lyndon School.

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Don't you DARE threaten those schoolkids with your car.

Like we do with your exhaust,
SUCK IT UP!

You'll get there, just chill or leave earlier.

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With Thanksgiving this week, traffic is lighter as many take the week off.

Try again in a week and head in the other direction. Inbound traffic is heavy in the morning.

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I"ve driven through Centre St at all hours for years. It's never very bad other than around the Holy Name Rotary and down by the Corrib sometimes.

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Nobody wants to call you an idiot for opposing the road diet. The trouble is once you’ve dug into the research and fact-based evidence on four lane roads in neighborhood business districts, there’s no conclusion except that a 4:3 lane reduction is the only way to make it safe. Further, real evidence disproves the alarmist horrendous impacts people are circulating.
You can only say “these are the facts” so many times without sounding preachy or like you’re calling someone stupid, or implying it.
A productive community conversation relies on seeking facts and moving towards decisions based on the best information we can gather. When people refuse to separate facts from assumptions and move forward, you get this kind of problem. It isn’t productive stand up and make factual statements to people that have already determined you’re talking down to them and that their “common sense” trumps conclusive evidence reached by peer-reviewed professionals.

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I hope you have better luck than me trying to get a speed limit sign posted in this city. I've opened multiple tickets the past two years trying to get signs posted in Mission Hill and nothing has been done about it.

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Also suffers from this. There aren't many stop signs and there are no speed limits posted. I've seen/heard tons of accidents at the carriage lane intersections because it's absolutely lawless.

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There are 25mph signs up and down Comm Ave, everyone knows the speed limit is 25mph in Boston, and if all that isn't enough there is a semi-permanent speed camera/digital sign parked right where the "CVS" turn was walled off to make it right turn only.
The speed limit for both the main road and carriage lanes is 25.

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617 or bust bebe. Vrrrrooooom vrooooom.

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Has anyone tallied the number of speeding tickets and written warnings issued for driving over the much celebrated 25 mph limit? It shouldn't take long to count if there's any. All the signs in the world won't be effective without enforcement, sorely lacking on the BPD and MSP. I have long advocated a BPD traffic enforcement squad comprised of officers who enjoy the motor vehicle aspect of police work and strictly work on enforcement, no 911 calls unless a dire emergency. As noted before, district patrol cars are too busy shagging 911 calls to enforce traffic laws unless something unavoidable happens in front of them and they have little choice to make a stop. Last I checked, MSP was running with one trooper on the desk and two on the road per barracks, barely enough to cover crashes and disabled cars, never mind setting up radar, which requires a bit of time and strategy. They are planning on hiring 500 troopers next year.

It was long argued that the former Registry Police "paid for itself" with the fines issued. The State Police also had a "55 Squad' that only did radar on state roads. Half of the revenue from most fines goes back to the city or town where the ticket was issued so BPD could easily do this if they wanted. MSP should have done it long ago. It's more likely that our leaders have decided it's easier to "let it go" than get caught in a ticket fixing scandal.

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Anyone else remember avoiding MDC roadways back in the day b/c of super heavy MDC enforcement (and the harsh treatment you would get if they pulled you over). Enforcement works.

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This 61sevener remembers.

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How many tickets written for the universal 25? By MSP? Probably close to none. DCR and state roads that the MSP would have jurisdiction mostly aren't bound by the City universal limit. Some do have 25 specifically posted.

Hiring 500 troopers? How many a year have they been hiring? If there's a substantial difference between that and 500, do they have the capacity to train/certify that many extra?

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On city streets that aren’t otherwise marked, I set my speed control to 25. And I really hope that you are in the car behind me.

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You loved it the first time, now get ready for West Roxbury Road Diet Part Two. Someone dropped a complaint on 311 so the city better haul ass to change up the entire road network.

And mark your calendars because Road Diet versions Washington St, Belgrade Ave, and Spring St. will be right behind it.

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Voting closed 7

So surely you recall that the reason that the whole road-narrowing thing started in West Roxbury started not because of a 311 complaint but because a woman WAS HIT BY A CAR AND WENT FLYING INTO THE AIR AND DIED IN FRONT OF HER HUSBAND - at an intersection where pedestrians have been hit before.

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Adam, you know that is totally incorrect so why mislead people. The road diet study was presented in May of 2017 by Northeastern and the Women was tragically hit near Hastings street in Feb of 2019 - not the other way around. You are just wrong. These are the facts so please dont let your bias skew narrative. And writing in ALL CAPS doesn't make your statement correct.

I am for Roadway improvements but let's try to keep it anhinest discussion. There is enough drama involved anyway without the managers of news sources adding to the misinformation.

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Yes, the Northeastern study came out in 2017. And you know what happened with it?

Absolutely nothing.

The professor who led it tried to interest BTD in the idea and they basically said "that's nice" and did absolutely nothing - they said they had more pressing concerns. If there were an Indiana Jones-type warehouse for traffic proposals, this one was buried in the deepest, most obscure box in a dust-covered crate in a dead-end corridor near the middle of the giant maze of the warehouse.

It was only after Marilyn Wentworth died and her survivors - and Matt O'Malley - found out about the proposal (who knows, maybe through this UHub article, based on a link I found on Google) and the Wentworths invited its author to a meeting/memorial a couple weeks later that BTD decided to dust the thing off and take a serious look at it.

That led to the infamous Holy Name meeting that nobody in West Roxbury knew about, aside from the several hundred people and Marty Keogh who showed up, the rise of the conspiracy theory about evil communist Big Bicycle, etc., etc.

So, yes, this all came about because of Marilyn Wentworth's death. It's really sad people have already forgotten what happened to her (and the man, interviewed in the 2017 report, who suffered a traumatic brain injury at the same intersection a few years earlier).

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and guess what? It's fine.

Welcome aboard the road diet train. We'll let past kerfuffles be and move forward together, towards a safer neighborhood where cars generally go 25 mph or less.

As for Washington heading down the hill towards Dedham, yeah, that should have bus lanes.

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Voting closed 11

Roads determine the speed. That is why traffic calming works. Interestingly, the time of arrival is determined by the bottlenecks at the intersections. Thus being able to drive 40-50 MPH on the straightaways and where the nightlines permit doesn't get you there any sooner, you just spend more time in line trying to get through the lights and intersections. The old, "hurry up to wait truism", or as the Pennsylvania Dutch say, "the faster I go....."

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Interesting article about Barcelona and what they are doing for a better quality of life and the reduction of cars.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/barcelona-ban-cars-traffic-pollution_n_5d...

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