According to Chris Cassani, director of constituent services for the mayor’s office, city officials are working on a committee to improve the Sea Street corridor, which has had problems with pedestrian safety.
Although still in the beginning stages, committee members have four main areas of concern.
The city plans to reconfigure the lane at Quincy Shore Drive and Sea Street to ease rush hour congestion, and change the connection of Curlew Road and Sea Street to enhance visibility.
Additionally, on Narragansett Road and Samoset Avenue, officials plan to install or synchronize traffic signals to make it safer for pedestrians to cross and easier for cars to make a left turn out of the hockey rink parking lot.
Where Palmer and Sea streets intersect, officials are considering installing a pedestrian button that is synchronized with the stoplights to force drivers to come to a full stop.
Problems in that area have been known for some time, Cassani said, but a recent accident near Braintree Avenue cast new light on the issue.
“It’s a problem that we know exists, especially this year with some of the accidents that have occurred. The problem got amplified and are sad reminders that these problems have existed for a long time,” Cassani said. “Having one pedestrian struck is too many, so let’s see what we can do to have this’’ fixed.
And while accidents may not be reduced entirely, officials are hopeful.
“I think the goal is to reduce [pedestrian accidents] to the extent that is humanly possible,” Walker said. “This is a city, there are a lot of people and cars, and sometimes those things don’t mix, but the city does do everything in its power to make sure we have the safest possible pedestrian environment.”
As much as the city plans to do, the mind-set of pedestrians is also a major part of the equation, said police Sergeant Richard Tapper, an accident reconstructionist for the city.
“These pedestrians don’t use crosswalks or a mechanical light. For them to think a 2,000-pound-plus object is going to stop on a dime, they are mistaken,” Tapper said.
“That’s what we see. People have a misconception that they have the right of way, but they don’t. When you’re in a crosswalk with a pedestrian light, yes, but if you’re stepping into the street, you have to make sure it’s clear of motor vehicle traffic.”
Jessica Bartlett can be reached at email@example.com.