The Boston City Council wants Boston to be a safer city for pedestrians.
The council held a hearing this week about pedestrian crossing signals, traffic calming, and vision zero.
City Councilor Ed Flynn said his number one priority as a councilor is pedestrian safety. He would like to see raised crosswalks and more speed bumps in communities. Residents have complained to him that the signal to cross the street occurs at the same time as drivers have a green light, which could cause accidents.
“We need to do everything we can to prioritize pedestrian safety,” he said.
City Councilor Matt O’Malley agreed. “There are things we can be doing to make our street safer,” he said.
According to Chief of Streets Chris Osgood, the city restriped 2,600 crosswalks last year and have done 1,000 so far. He also said they doubled their investment in street markings.
The city is also working on longer term projects on redesigning certain areas by extending sidewalks or adding raised crosswalks. One of those areas is Tremont Street, particularly in the South End.
“We want to make it easier to walk,” he said.
The Boston Police Department is hiring a traffic analysist according to Deputy Superintendent Michael Cox. “This will give us a way to more precisely target our enforcement activity,” he said.
Cox said design and education is important in terms of pedestrian safety, but so is enforcement.
“There will always be people who are distracted or intentionally don’t obey the laws,” he said.
Resident Brandan Carney wants the city to improve signal time for crosswalks, saying many of them don’t allow pedestrians enough time to cross the street, especially senior citizens. He believes this is why many accidents happen.
“The good thing is we can prevent this,” he said. “We can do it through design and signal time.”