May 14, 2005

Are Boston’s Pedestrian Signals Leaving Walker Safety To Chance?

Boston has a pedestrian-friendly reputation for good reason - for a major U.S. urban center, many areas of the city are well designed for walkers. But along with compact design and appealing streetscapes, it's also important to be able to cross streets safely. And the Boston Herald says the Hub is

failing to maintain crossing signals at major intersections across downtown, routinely forcing unsuspecting walkers to wade into fast-moving traffic, a Herald review found. At several locations this week, crossing signals were found to be damaged, poorly synchronized or absent altogether - a situation that at times left handicapped people and crowds of schoolchildren at the mercy of oncoming traffic. ...

Random visits to more than 60 downtown intersections found malfunctioning equipment at more than a dozen locations stretching from Chinatown to the Back Bay. Some of the worst problems were found just steps from City Hall.

Considering the, um, energetic enthusiasm with which many Boston drivers negotiate city traffic, it is indeed important to give pedestrians their own signal time to cross busy intersections. Let's hope this gets fixed soon now that the nice weather is (allegedly) here and more people will be out and about on foot.

No comments:

Post a Comment