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SUV driver blames new road configuration, not impatience, for slamming into pedestrian in a crosswalk on Centre Street in West Roxbury

The driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee told police that when the Ford F-150 in front of him on Centre Street in West Roxbury wasn't moving, he figured he'd just swing around into the left lane and be on his way, according to a copy of a Boston Police report on a crash at the crosswalk at Centre and Maple streets around 3:40 p.m. on Thursday.

Only problems: The road had just been reconfigured to have just one travel lane and there was a man walking in the intersection's crosswalk, whom the driver then hit, sending him to the pavement and ultimately to the hospital with possible head and rib injuries.

According to the police report:

Mr. [redacted] state that he was traveling on Centre St. outbound when he went around the left side of a gray Ford F150 pickup which was stopped in traffic. Mr. [redacted] stated that he had not driven on Centre St. since a new traffic pattern was put in place and stated he drove into what he believed was a lane of travel. Mr. [redacted] state that he heard a thud and realized that he had struck a pedestrian.

In fact, what he thought was a travel lane was now part of the other side of the road.

The report says the driver of the F150 was stopped "just outside" the crosswalk, which may indicate this was not one of the "double threat" crashes that the new configuration is supposed to end, where a driver in one lane stops for a pedestrian, who then gets hit by a motorist in the other lane.

Road crews were on Centre Street this week putting down new striping to indicate the new configuration: One vehicle travel lane in each direction, a center turning/emergency lane, a bike lane along the curb and a parking lane between the bike lane and the travel lane. The goal is to try to get drivers to stop speeding and reduce the odds of pedestrians and bicyclists getting hit by cars.

The BPD officer who first responded, and who wrote the report, noted both the new lanes and "solar glare in the outbound direction of travel due to the sun setting."

When the officer arrived on scene, he found the victim sitting on the bench between the Brigham and Women's clinic and the post office, with "a large laceration on the head" as Boston firefighters helped him before an ambulance arrived.

Mr. [redacted] complained of a head injury and being faint stating "I feel like I'm going to pass out."

Police said yesterday the crash remains under investigation.

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Comments

I use that crosswalk several times a week. The visibility issue has been resolved so motorists no longer have that as an excuse. The continuing problems are when they aren't watching the road or just remain unwilling to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

Impatient motorists are going to continue to use the center, left-turn lane for passing people who do stop for crosswalks. They certainly don't have to worry about traffic enforcement in this neighborhood.

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If the vehicle in front of you is not moving NEVER EVER assume that it isn't for a good reason.

Peds get hit like this all the time because some impatient poorly skilled self-absorbed asshole can't be bothered to think for a milisecond beyond their entitlement.

In a just world this idiot would lose his license and have to earn it back.

And "new traffic pattern" seems to be the local excuse for "my colon isn't see-thru". I get so sick of this. EVERY TIME YOU DRIVE SOMEWHERE NEW you have to pay attention and follow the rules of the road. It isn't any different because there is a "new" stop sign, or lane setup.

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Spend a week, eight hours a day, crossing back and forth across Centre Street. Continuously.

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Double purpose of traffic calling too.

Make him wear a tee shirt saying he’s in a crosswalk marathon for reasons he’d prefer not to say.

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what does that have to do with it? how do you even know the man’s race? stick your race card up your ass.

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The Jeep was white.

It's in the police report. "White Jeep Cherokee."

Are you doing a bit here, or did your knee just jerk so hard it gave you an EOC?

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i was wrong.

i see a lot of anti west roxbury comments and i jumped the gun. my bad.

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Driver’s black. Check the police report.

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Guess Boston will have to be totally rebuilt to accomodate Tanks. I think that is an accurate description for a lot of the vehicles we see on the road, many of which are driven as if they were passenger cars. Many of which are driven as if they are Tanks.

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If it had been a lane of travel, what would that have changed - wouldn't this driver still have plowed into someone in a crosswalk?

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His excuse implies he was trying to pass a car stopped at a crosswalk, which was just as illegal and dangerous as what he actually did.

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Big agree.

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"Actually, though, officer, let me tell you about the laws I broke!"

I wish the police would throw a reckless endangerment at him, but they won't. The solar glare does not matter: if you can't see well enough, slow down. At least the person who was hit will have no issue going after his insurance when he's admitting to being at fault.

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"I don't take responsibility at all" I think was the quote the driver of the dang truck was trying to invoke.

The constant, constant, CONSTANT impatience of our fellow citizens and self-centered actions of the self-important will continue to yield these tragic results.

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Driver admits to breaking the law, resulting in personal injury. Even if it had been a second driving line, passing a car stopped at a crosswalk is against the law, but as it was he was driving on the wrong side of the street. Solar glare is a reason to slow down, not a reason to drive carelessly.

At least it wasn't a hit and run and police took info. Maybe Officers Michaud, Smyth, and Parenteau can work up enough gumption to file charges on another day.

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My son got plowed into by some git who was hunting for her cel phone and crossed the double yellow.

She was cited, in part, to ease his insurance issues.

We need to retrain cops to consider that physical damage to a physical body merits appropriate action, not excuse making about "solar glare" and also making shit up when people are murdered by out of state truckers operating illegal loads.

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It sounds like this collision happened beyond the crosswalk. If the driver knew the old layout then he'd also know that jaywalking has always been very common between TD Bank and Bank of America as people go back and forth from their street parking to the Post office, restaurants and Santander.

What's going through his head before he makes this move? "Oh, look at all these cars lined up single file all the way to Corey Street for no reason! Idiots! I'm going to go around them all!"

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All they do is reduce liability and save the insurance company's money. These laws must be repealed. Most crosswalks are poorly designed and poorly maintained. If these laws are removed then the auto industry will lobby for safe design instead of fighting it.

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This driver’s attitude and violation of the rules of the road and basic logic are good reasons for needing these changes to Centre St.

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Last night, while waiting for a bus, there were cars on Huntington. Traffic was not moving fast enough for the many drivers who decided that the bus-bike lane should be their temporary property and so used the lane. Patience was not the virtue here.

I can understand the mentality of these drivers: There is a lane with no constant activity. The bikes, motorized scooters and buses are not moving along frequently enough to make the lane another backed up lane of constipated traffic. So screw laws, just move over and be on their way.

Which then defeats the purpose of improving efficiency of public transportation (via buses) and via that efficiency reducing the need for traffic.

What is interesting is that some drivers choose to ignore laws while others are willing to obey traffic laws despite the minor inconvenience.

Perhaps it is time to increase the cost of traffic violations 10 fold. As Americans our most important God is the one that backs up our credit cards and checking accounts (including holier than thou Evangelicals). God fearers will grow up (or get violent - another issue) act when the Godly dollars are pulled out of the God-Dollar fearers checking accounts.

If somebody wants to violate traffic laws and causes an accident make the penalty a 10% tithe based on the previous year's income.

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the cost of violations is currently zero if nobody gets tickets in the first place. For all we know the current fines would be adequate if they were ever issued. I wonder if the person here will have their license suspended for driving into on coming traffic lane to pass stopped traffic (and hitting a pedestrian while doing so). Seems to me like this should be a pretty serious moving violation

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Better traffic flow would result in less accidents. Bikes and Buses can share the roads the way they did up until 2013, when they started closing roads to make more traffic.

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This false. Crashes went up in covid because roads were emptier and people drove faster. Congestion actually reduces crashes, and their severity when they happen.

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We tried it "your way" and now the data say it didn't work like that.

Please show your work that "better traffic flow" results from more lanes to sit in waiting at intersections and crosswalks made more dangerous by complications of too many lanes.

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Although it may trigger the Orwellian fanatics ( who are still concerned about protecting their privacy while using goggle and social media when the train left the station years ago ), traffic cameras are very effective in other states like Rhode Island. You run a red or travel above posted speeds, you get a photograph of your act and a citation for 50 bucks. It does not affect your insurance at least in R.I.
Since the BPD is undermanned, this seems to be a cheap and effective solution so why are we not doing this to protect responsible drivers and pedestrians ?
It makes absolutely no sense.

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His insurance company is not pleased with his admission of wrongdoing. The pedestrian’s insurance company is thrilled.

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The pedestrian's insurance company?

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I imagine that the pedestrian's health insurance company will claw money out of the driver's auto insurance company.

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