City councilors look to revamp roadway safety

Traffic delays will not be the only thing slowing down drivers if some city councilors have their way.

Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley wants to change the way people perceive Massachusetts drivers.

“We Bostonians often get a bad rap for being very aggressive … [I want to make] the term ‘Boston driver’ synonymous with safety and civility,” he said.

During a public hearing yesterday with residents, officials from the city’s transportation department, and emergency responders, O’Malley called for increased traffic calming measures like beefed up patrols and more radar speed-signs in Hub neighborhoods.

Councilors also discussed lowering speed limits on secondary streets to 20 mph, a move that would require legislative changes.

Councilor Charles Yancey backed O’Malley, citing Boston’s speedy drivers.

“This is an issue that has been important to every member of city council the past 28 years I’ve been here,” said Yancey.

Yancey said he could think of a dozen streets in his district off the top of his head where speeding is a constant complaint from constituents.

“We have a very bad traffic problem … and someone is going to get killed,” said Bob Flaherty, a Temple Street resident.

Flaherty said he sees cars fly through his neighborhood at 45 mph.

While he commended city officials for measures already in place, O’Malley said increased safety procedures would most likely pop up by springtime.

“We will look at this on a case-by-case basis and would like to see this piloted in the city in certain areas,” he said.

Improving the roads

City officials discussed the following ways to help make streets safer.
Increased traffic enforcement
Road mats — Removable rubber placings
Speed tables — A long speed hump
Temporary speed bumps
More radar speed signs


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