By Seth Daniel
Boston Police are still investigating the death of a 69-year-old man hit and killed by a car on Albany Street last Thursday, July 7, near Thayer Street – but residents in the area say it’s a visible sign that enforcement and safety measures need to be stepped up immediately.
Around 6:05 p.m., police said the man was hit and transported to Boston Medical Center by Boston EMS. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
“The driver did stop and no charges are sought at this time, but the investigation is still ongoing,” said spokeswoman for the police.
The identity of the victim was not released.
The fatal accident did trigger some reaction from members of the Old Dover Neighborhood Association, which covers that area of the South End.
Old Dover has been very active in talking with the City about bicycle and pedestrian safety in its boundaries, particularly due to the large amount of construction going on in the area and further up in the Ink Block and Harrison Avenue sections.
“Every day I try to cross in crosswalks on Harrison, Washington and Tremont and 90 percent of the time the drivers refuse to stop for pedestrians,” said Ken Smith, president of Old Dover. “I have witnessed them not stop for mothers with baby carriages. Often times they are heading to a red light. This has become an egregious situation as it is a public safety issue and more people are at risk for accidents and deaths. The solution is more enforcement. Without enforcement and consequences, such as the $200 fine stated on the crosswalks, then drivers will never embrace adhering to this law and we pedestrians will not be safe.”
Members of the New York Streets Neighborhood Association had no specific comment, but said they have great concerns about pedestrian safety in their area, particularly on Harrison Avenue and on Traveler Street.
They said they might consider calling for a meeting with Boston Transportation Department (BTD) in the near future as there are so many accidents and near-misses now.
BTD said they are aware of the pedestrian issues all over the city, which is why they launched Vision Zero recently on Massachusetts Avenue. The hope it to take the program citywide and create safer streets for all users, including pedestrians.
“There is a comprehensive traffic management plan in effect for all construction projects in the area,” read the statement. “Protecting pedestrian and traffic safety on our local street system during construction is the key focus of these plans. In addition, the City of Boston’s Vision Zero Task Force works to ensure that Boston’s local streets are safe and functional for all users.”