There Can Be No Let Up In The Efforts To Make Our Streets Safer

If you read City Councilor Ed Flynn’s post on the South Boston Today social media sites, you know that a Pedestrian Safety Meeting was scheduled for Thursday, June 24th, at 6:30pm at the corner of N Street and E. Broadway near Medal of Honor Park. Its fitting that this type of meeting is to be held at that location, not only because of the recent tragic accident that took place this week, but also because of the many other accidents and close calls that have taken place there over the years.

But as virtually every South Bostonian is well aware, its not just at N & Broadway that accidents and near misses take place, it can happen just about anywhere in the community and unfortunately, it too often does.

Granted, because of the way the original designers of Boston’s streets laid out the plans in the early days of the city’s growth, there are what’s referred to as ‘blind spots’ at certain corners and intersections. So many years ago, it was probably impossible for the designers to envision how many motor vehicles would be cramming neighborhood streets causing so many accidents as the horses were much better at avoiding collisions than most drivers. But its not just blind spots that are to blame for accidents; where more and more, pedestrians have to at times, run for their lives to avoid becoming a statistic.

If this problem is to be solved, the addition of more signage, traffic lights and yes, even more speed bumps couldn’t hurt.  In fact, in the locations where speed bumps have been added, there is a noticeable drop in the number of speeding cars.  But in addition to the mentioned suggested remedies, the driving habits of motor vehicle operators must get more scrutiny.  If drivers know that if they speed up and down our residential streets, the fines will be much larger than they are now and that if fines don’t put a stop to their speeding, mandatory loss of driving privileges will be imposed, they just might get the message that its time to grow up and slow down. These are city streets, not deserted country roads and Southie is not a NASCAR track. With everyone making an effort to do better and our elected officials asking for and acting on input from individual residents as well as neighborhood groups, things can surely get better.

The help from residents is very important.  Because as hard as they try, and they are out there doing their best 24/7, our police can’t be everywhere, it’s physically impossible. They are short of staff and this is a fact. But it’s budget time and if the City Council would advocate for a big increase in the Police Department’s funding, they could not only purchase more of the equipment and resources needed, they could also hire and train more officers which would do so much to bring the situation under control. Lives Depend on it.  Together we can do this.