December 2, 2004

Pedestrian Killed On Old Connecticut Path

A woman was killed yesterday while trying to cross Old Connecticut Path near Hamilton Street during afternoon rush hour, the MetroWest Daily News reports.

Miriam Meyers, 88, was struck by a car at around 5:30 p.m.

I walked in that area for years during lunchtime when I worked on Old Connecticut Path, and still often do, and I can say that traffic is much heavier than it used to be, and it's a lot more difficult to cross the street even at lunchtime, let alone peak commuting hours.

With plans for the Cochituate Rail Trail to cross Old Connecticut Path, there's a clear need for a traffic signal and not simply marked crosswalks (that drivers can't see in the dark).


  1. Close to home, this is one tragic demonstration that there is a need for safer streets. However, expensive and obstructive traffic lights everywhere, which cause unnecessary stops and starts, air pollution, and ultimately increased cancer, aren't the only tool for that job.

    There is a wide spectrum of traffic calming tools, mostly ignored in our communities. And, although it may not fit here, there are alternatives to on-grade crossings. Let's look beyond the first solution, and then choose wisely.

    Your site is growing a wonderful set of links and comments for that purpose.

  2. Traffic lights don't necesarily make things better. Especially at the rate they are often completely ignored here in Massachusetts. My knee jerk reaction would also be to install a traffic light. that is, until I read this article in Wired: "Roads Gone Wild ". The jist of the article as told by its byline, 'No street signs. No crosswalks. No accidents. Surprise: Making driving seem more dangerous could make it safer.' It was an eye opening read. Whether those methods and techniques can work in our culture here in the US is something that should be explored. The url for this article is:

    Marty M.

  3. You're right about traffic signals not necessarily always being the answer. But as someone who walks along Old Connecticut Path several times per week, often trying to cross in traffic, certainly some design modification is required besides leaving pedestrians to dash across the roadway as best they can. And the odds of the roadway being redesigned (narrowed or otherwise) to naturally slow down traffic is pretty slim. My husband says that the raised crosswalks in East Cambridge are doing a good job of slowing traffic down when pedestrians are trying to cross, I may try to take a look at those this week or next.