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Traffic signals taken out again in another crash at awful Allston intersection
By adamg on Sat, 05/02/2015 - 12:33pm
Boom! Pandi reports another driver plowed into another traffic signal at Comm. Ave. and Allston Street around noon, knocking the lights to the ground and probably not doing much good for the car and the driver. A tree also did not fare well.
Demolition derby continues at Allston intersection
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Where does Allston become Brighton?
What is the generally understood as to where Allston becomes Brighton or where Brighton becomes Allston?...
Where it stops smelling like
Where it stops smelling like pee.
Type the zip code 02134 into Google maps. It will display the Allston borders. Ditto 02135 for Brighton. The border at Comm Ave falls between Allston & Warren streets.
Zip codes don't matter. Those
Zip codes don't matter. Those just indicate which post office delivers to those addresses. They're not meant to indicate neighborhood or town lines, and dont in practice. (For example, parts of Brookline have Boston zip codes; sometimes zips even cross state lines)
I'd agree with others that the line mainly runs down Gordon, with the Warren Street T stop being the westernmost Allston stop. Or to put it another way, Allston is overwhelmingly flat, but Brighton has both flat and hilly portions.
Of course, I used to live on Comm Av, immediately SW of that intersection (Allston St was my T stop) and considered myself to be in Allston, but for most official purposes I was treated as being in Brighton.
Zip codes do matter
And not just for mail delivery.
AB is basically the old Town of Brighton. The only lines of demarcation between the two parts are the lines that were set up when the citizens of Allston (I assume) petitioned for their own post office.
Same thing with the old Town of West Roxbury (Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, and of course West Roxbury.) Same thing with Mattapan (part of the Town of Dorchester.) Same thing with Readville. I mean, no one talks about living in Corriganville or Sunnyside, but don't tell someone from Readville they live in Hyde Park.
Allston got a post office in
Allston got a post office in 1868. It was only then that the name Allston was given to the eastern part of Brighton.
I don't think it's clear that the people living there petitioned for a post office, so much as when the Boston & Albany Railroad decided to put in a depot at the intersection of the tracks and Cambridge Street (which had been known as Cambridge Crossing, and apparently had nothing around other than a cobbler's shop), the Postal Department decided to create a post office there.
Given how sparsely populated the area was at the time, delivery may not have been available in Allston at the time, and no one would've been on the borderline, so there was probably little need for a strict line separating the two areas. Hence the confusion ever since.
Perhaps the BAHS can look to see if there is evidence of a petition, and if so, by whom, living where.
is the line. Essentially where the zip codes change from 02134 to 02135
The Allston line
Is mostly down Gordon Street. From Commonwealth Ave to Ringer Playground on the odd-numbered side is Brighton; the rest of Gordon Street is in Allston. Then south of Comm Ave, the line's somewhere around Kelton, and north of Cambridge Street, it's somewhere around Stop and Shop.
I lived at one of the few Brighton-addressed buildings along Gordon Street for years. Places like Verizon would argue with me that I lived in Allston, and all of my USPS packages would get returned to the far-off Brighton Center post office instead of the Allston one. (Which, when I finally moved to Allston proper, I discovered was a blessing in disguise, given how awful the Allston VIllage post office is.)
Actually the block of Comm
Actually the block of Comm Ave between Gordon and Allston streets is also Brighton - 02135. So really the line runs down Allston Street, at least in part.
State of mind.
When you slip into your late 20's, become unhip, or get married you move to Brighton even if you stay at the same address.
I moved to Brighton (Sutherland Road T stop) when I was 22, and then when I was 26 or so and moved in with my fiance, I moved to Allston, a block down from Joshua Tree.
I was psyched about lame things like "Walking to CVS" and "knocking 7 minutes off my commute."
How is it awful?
Green = go
Red = stop
The sign with the circle and the red slash over the left arrow = no left turn
Somebody going straight through a green light = right of way over any turn
This is first grade education. You have a learning disability if you (expletive) this up.
And yet ...
People keep plowing into traffic lights there. That's kind of awful, no? It's not necessarily the intersection's fault, I mean, it's probably a fine, upstanding intersection that just wants to enjoy life and cuddle with the other intersections and all, so I'm not Judgey McJudgerson when it comes to its geometry (even though, as somebody who used to live up the Allston Street hill, yeah, it's not a basic two-roads-meet-at-90-degrees intersection), but something about it attracts the awful.
The result of the accident = awful
The intersection itself = not awful
It's not so much the intersection
As it's that stretch of road headed inbound. Cars come screaming down the hill, then over correct on the turn right after Warren/Kelton, and wind up on the median, taking down anything in their path. We lived on Kelton when I was a kid, and Dad still tells the story of the late night crash that took out three street lights.
Screech THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!
Too Fast, Too Furious
That's the real issue, speed. People drive too fast on every portion of Comm Ave. If the part between Packard's Corner and the BU Bridge was not so straight it would likely have the most accidents since that is where the worst driving occurs. Maybe they should rebuild the two intersections at Warren and Allston with raised cross walks to curb some of the racing about that occurs.
Don't forget this additional equation
Pole with traffic lights on it = Don't drive into it.
That intersection's issue
The problem with that intersection has nothing to do with the lights or geometry. It's a rules or lane count problem.
It stems from the fact that people heading inbound can make a left onto Allston St. There's no room after the blind curve to adjust if you are in the left lane and people have piled up in the few hundred feet because someone stopped the entire lane to make a left turn there. There's no separate left turn lane. So, people end up stopped behind the left turning vehicle (who is waiting for outbound traffic AND the T to clear out). They don't want to wait, so they jump in the right lane. This causes someone to slam on their brakes, thus making a NEW backup in BOTH lanes right after the blind curve. Now, if you're coming around the curve you have NOWHERE to go, so you jump the curb and slam into signposts and light posts (and hopefully no pedestrians).
Add in a few super cautious right-turning vehicles that try to examine the carriage road BEFORE getting out of the right lane completely, someone who wants to make the left going outbound but missed the protected turn signal and can't see past the person turning left on the inbound side, maybe someone really really late on the red crossing on Allston St, and a few people going above the speed limit after screaming down the hill from Summit...and mix.
If you want to solve the problem, install a left turn lane for both directions, remove left turns there in one direction or the other or both, or make a significantly longer red light for everyone (don't allow both directions of Comm Ave to get a green at the same time) with a few signs ahead of the blind curve that say "Red Signal Ahead" so people know they're not going anywhere on the other side of the curve.
Let's see what shows up in
Let's see what shows up in the plans for Comm Ave Phase 3/4.
You're thinking critically
You're thinking critically about the big safety problems with Boston roads, and their solutions.
Clearly you're not cut out to work for the BTD.
Axiom #1 of Boston roads: the BTD is brain-dead.
The people are the problem not the intersection
The intersection at Allston Street is candy compared to the one further outbound at Warren. Yet it does have more accidents.
BTD did set up a offset green light schedule for cars going inbound versus outbound on Comm Ave. That helps with the turning. And the curve is long and gentle and hardly a blind curve where they can not see the light in time to stop or avoid cars paused for turning.Ultimately the problem is people drive on Comm Ave too fast to control their car, even in ideal driving conditions. And that may require a Pavlovian solution, something that will make it even more dangerous and deadly for people speeding. Like a radar and steel i-beam impalement system.
If an intersection has an
If an intersection has an average number of car crashes, it's fair to blame the drivers.
When an intersection has an unusually high number of crashes, then the blame starts to shift to the traffic engineers, because it means they didn't do their job of accounting for everyday human behavior.
I recognize both of these as normal English words, but having been born and raised in eastern Mass., I can't make any sense of the expression that is formed by combining them in this manner. It's like "pastry driver" or "walrus operator".
If you've never taken a brand new jelly danish out for a spin around the block, then I really don't know what to say about your life choices, friend.
And those walruses ain't going to operate themselves either.
I post the same thing every time...
Copy/paste is easier than re-typing.
No way man.
It's because people are stupid. Will said so.
In other words, it's a Yellow
In other words, it's a Yellow Trap? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_trap
If so, the quick fix is an "Oncoming Traffic Has Extended Green" sign. The correct fix is reprogramming the lights.
by Andy Woodruff. Crowdsourced neighborhood boundaries, Part One
by Andy Woodruff
Crowdsourced neighborhood boundaries, Part One: Consensus