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Those darn narrow Boston sidewalks

Car on sidewalk in Uphams Corner

Will & Coli C-F reports from Dorchester's Uphams Corner around 1:40 p.m.:

Just a little excitement here on Hancock Street. Some car was flying along hit another car and then just went flying all the way up onto the sidewalk.

Both drivers fled on foot.

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Comments

More than ever around Boston, drivers have been extremely aggressive. Its the worst I have seen it in 40 years. They are going too fast, tailgating, swerving around other vehicles that are slowed or stopped for a reason, and being threatening toward other drivers that are obeying the law.
The other day, I stopped to let a man cross at a crosswalk, and another car went around me and missed hitting him by no more than 5 inches. Something needs to be done.

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Voting closed 42

I drop at school, almost get hit in the crosswalk with my kid, there's buses parked on the sidewalk, the street that is closed to general traffic is full of drivers dropping of their kids. There's is no enforcement of traffic rules at all. My own street is where folks that don't live here drive 35 mph without giving AF. My wife is passed so closely on a bike with a kid on it that we no longer bike to school. The disregard for cyclists, I know everyone hate cyclists, is so dumb. These folks want you to drive and make their lives worse with more traffic. Makes no damn sense. Let alone the fact that drivers block the SWC at every crossing and take rights on red without care. Like wth do they want. I guess more car traffic, I don't get it.

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Voting closed 29

... that they would devote virtually no resources to traffic law enforcement. We were shocked at how little there was when we first arrived 24 years ago -- and it has diminished below that (as drivers have grown more and more reckless).

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This gets discussed at our neighborhood meetings and they say they've taken the focus off of traffic enforcement because it disproportionately affects poor folks. I totally am on board with this, in terms of not running speed traps and not citing people for failure to signal a perfectly careful lane change or similar, but I do not understand why they've just decided not to enforce blatantly unsafe driving. That's a conscious choice.

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Voting closed 14

I totally am on board with this, in terms of not running speed traps and not citing people for failure to signal a perfectly careful lane change or similar, but I do not understand why they've just decided not to enforce blatantly unsafe driving. That's a conscious choice.

Because they're lazy. Speed traps, duck ponds, broken taillights, etc. are easy. Enforcing traffic regulations to curb blatantly unsafe driving is work.

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The fines are disproportionate. The well-off can easily pay a $100 ticket so they just keep speeding.

But the enforcement is not disproportionate. Traffic enforcement makes the sidewalks and streets safer for everyone.

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The fines disproportionately affect poor people, and poor people are disproportionately affected if they don't have reliable transportation due to unpaid tickets. (As a court investigator, I see a shitload of child welfare cases for parents not being able to rush over to pick up a sick or suspended child. You know they aren't doing this to rich white parents who can't rush over because they're a surgeon working an hour from home.)

That's why I say I'm opposed to speed traps and so forth; no one is a perfect driver, so this means everyone driving is going to get tickets when cops are sitting there running radar for people who keep going 45 when a divided highway drops to 30 without signage because the retirement home up on the hill makes it a dense residential area. (Yes, I'm talking about you, Route 9 in Brookline.) But it's a conscious choice to go flying through actual narrow residential streets where someone might step out at any moment, or to go flying past in the wrong lane because someone is taking too long to turn, or to treat red lights like stop signs (or green lights in some people's cases). People can choose not to drive horrendously unsafely, and people choosing this should be held responsible. In the meantime we should be revamping city streets to be city streets, so we don't have highway-type roads with homes and schools on them, but we need to enforce ridiculous driving. Oh, and there are of course the folks who are going to drive down narrow residential streets like they're playing GTA and who end up flipping cars and landing on sidewalks and shit. These things need to result in actual consequences.

FWIW, there has also been various research showing that traffic stops are disproportionately people of color, certain types of vehicles, etc. Enforcement is not completely evenly spread across the board.

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Voting closed 5

... doing manifestly dangerous things (blatant running of red lights, speeding on residential streets, almost nailing pedestrians legally using cross walks, parking in spots in a way that creates hazards, etc.) is just plain nuts. Maybe fines should be based on a sliding scale -- based on income?

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Voting closed 11

I can sit at Starbucks on tremont street (640) and see people in the crosswalk almost get hit on a regular basis. The city is more concerned with bike safety than they are with pedestrian safety

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Voting closed 15

They don't particularly care about the safety of either, but I don't routinely see cops ignore people driving on sidewalks or parking their mail trucks so an entire sidewalk can't be used. The police still view bike lanes as just fine for motor vehicles to use if they wish, as do motorists, because there's no enforcement. "Oh he's just making a delivery." So is that cool too to just pull up and drive on a downtown sidewalk if someone is making a delivery? Driving motor vehicles in bike lanes for any length of time needs to be viewed in the same "is this person fucking drunk?!" way as swerving onto a sidewalk is.

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Voting closed 5

I've lived on the corner of Rowell and Hancock for about 5 years now and have seen & heard plenty of accidents. As a matter of fact, I'm looking out my window at another smash that happened 2 minutes ago just a couple of blocks away from today's incident.
The city of Boston has been working on a "slow streets" program, that involves widening sidewalks and adding crosswalks. This is not going to work. They park a cop car out front at night with their lights on and expect that people will slow down, but I've seen it first hand - they don't. If they don't start to enforce the speed limit and basic traffic laws, it will never change. I'm sick of risking my life to cross the street to do laundry and being brushed off the road on my bike by impatient SUVs. Put in traffic lights, pull people over, write tickets, etc... and if people don't like it they can find another way to go. It's amazing that no one was run over on the sidewalk today.

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Voting closed 7

Something tells me there is more to this story than meets the eye.

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Voting closed 10

When I first saw the picture I was all "ahh! a reason a driver would drive on the sidewalk"!

A key evidence was the driver drove up onto and along a sidewalk. The jurors couldn't think of anything good reason a sober driver would do that. We found the defendant guilty.

So I thought this would be a reason to drive on the sidewalk.

Turns out, since the drivers ran, likely the same reason here too - DUI.

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Voting closed 9

Looks like the old "run from the car and call police later and say you just discovered your car was stolen" trick.

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If non enforcement of traffic laws leads to aggressive driving and rise in fatalities, where does non enforcement of quality of life laws lead?

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Voting closed 5

...on the South Shore, does it create a uhub post?

Tend to your knitting, child.

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Voting closed 6

Is it a question that upsets you, or the answer?

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Voting closed 4

Del Griffith

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Voting closed 7