Zakim Seeks Changes on Beacon Street Following Weekend Drag Race Incident

By Dan Murphy

After a vehicle jumped the curb and struck a pedestrian on the sidewalk during a drag-racing incident on Saturday, City Councilor Josh Zakim is calling for short- and long-term traffic changes to end the persistent problem of speeding on Beacon Street.

“First off, we’ve got to have a high priority for enforcement there, “ Zakim said. “The short-term answer is to step up enforcement by the police department. In the long term, we need traffic studies and ideas from engineers on how to make it safer.”

Shortly before 6 p.m., a Bentley struck a fence, a tree and the 28-year-old pedestrian at the intersection of Exeter and Beacon streets. A witness observed the driver of the vehicle jump into the white BMW he had been racing, which then headed onto Exeter Street in the direction of Storrow Drive. Police are currently seeking at least two people involved in the incident.

In response, the city plans to install a digital speeding board and increase police presence in the area while its Department of Transportation is considering making additional changes to Beacon Street.

“We need to look at a combination of signage, road configurations and signal timing,” Zakim said. “Everything has to be on table, and I turn to the Transportation Department to find best way to resolve this problem.”    Zakim added, “The Mayor’s team and the Transportation Department have been very helpful, and the police have been very responsive about redeploying officers there to make sure traffic enforcement is a priority following an incident. Now, we just need to work together to find a way to solve it for good.

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