BU grad’s death highlights need for Vision Zero campaign – Metro US

BU grad’s death highlights need for Vision Zero campaign

BU grad’s death highlights need for Vision Zero campaign

Flowers mark the spot on Sunset Street in Boston where a young woman’s life was taken this weekend.

Jessica Cosman, 22,of North Grafton, a recent Boston University graduate, was taking a walk during the Saturday snowstorm with her boyfriendwhen a car skidded out of control and hit her.

RELATED: 22-year-old woman hit, killed by car in Boston during snowstorm

Now residents of the notoriously steep Mission Hill neighborhood are asking for answers.

“It’s not surprising that a car lost control coming down the street,” resident Lindsay Jacobsen told WBZ.

Cosman isn’t the first to die in the area. In 2009, a Boston firefighter died when he lost his truck breaks on Parker Hill Avenue and slid into a building.

The 20-year-old driver whose car struck Cosman was not charged.

“It’s just really sad. Someone died just standing on the sidewalk. That should never happen,” Jacobsen said to WBZ.

In 2016, at least 17 people died in traffic-related fatalities — 12 of them were walking city streets when they were hit.

A new citywide initiative is looking to change that.With a program called Vision Zero, the city has made a promise to eliminate— or at least dramatically reduce— the number of traffic fatalities on city streets by 2030.

RELATED:Boston has ‘vision’ for zero fatal traffic crashes

Since Mayor Marty Walsh adopted the plan in December 2015, the city has worked to connect with the community by establishing a task force, conducted rapid response visits to crash sites where serious injury or fatality happened, it has created the Boston’s Safest Driver app to publicize best practices and Vision Zero.

In terms of prevention, the city worked with the state legislature to reduce speed limits.

On Monday the speed limit on city streets dropped to 25 mph in an effort to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

RELATED: Boston speed limit drops to 25 mph Monday

Studies show the likelihood that a pedestrian will die after being struck by a car decreases from 20 percent when the vehicle is traveling at 30 mph to 12 percent when the vehicle is traveling at 25 mph.

However, a recent progress report published by the Vision Zero Coalition said the city still needs to invest more resources to cut down traffic-related deaths and prevent some of the more than 1,300 crashes annually on Boston streets.

“The coalition recommends that the mayor and city council provide greater staff resources and capital funding to departments tasked with implementing Vision Zero in order to rapidly enact this initiative in the coming years. Lives hang in the balance,” the report says.