Councilors Wu and Edwards call for pedestrian safety improvements at dangerous East Boston intersection



Boston, MA— City Councilor Michelle Wu and Lydia Edwards today joined pedestrian safety advocates and residents to call attention to needed safety improvements and upgrades to alleviate traffic congestion at Eagle Square in East Boston and across the city. Eagle Square is one of the most dangerous intersections in the neighborhood, and residents have called for critical infrastructure upgrades to eliminate traffic-related injuries and deaths and improve walkability and traffic flow.

Pedestrian safety East Boston
Celeste Ribeiro Hewitt, Policy Subcommittee Lead, East Boston Transportation Justice Coalition.speaks at August 25, 2021 event at Eagle Square organized by Councilors Michelle Wu and Lydia Edwards

“Safe streets should be the baseline that all our residents deserve across every neighborhood. The design of Eagle Square makes it one of the most dangerous intersections in the city, threatening the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike. We need immediate action on urgent pedestrian safety improvements and changes that calm traffic flow in support of a broader vision for a safer, more connected Boston,” said Michelle Wu.

“Since being a district city councilor, I have repeatedly heard about traffic concerns from pedestrians. Michelle understands more than anyone that we need to build a people-centered city that is focused on pedestrian safety. We need sidewalks, crosswalks, and intersections that accommodate all of us, especially our family and friends with disabilities,” said Councilor Lydia Edwards.

“Pedestrian safety is an accessibility issue. It’s an equity issue and ultimately an issue of justice. As Bostonians we pride ourselves on being a multi modal city when it comes to transportation. Unfortunately, just because we do it all – it doesn’t mean we do it well. We need to turn our focus to address these concerns and ensure that we’re keeping pedestrians safe and ensuring that we’re keeping people moving as they live, work, recreate and conduct business in our communities,” said Celeste Ribeiro Hewitt, Policy Subcommittee Lead, East Boston Transportation Justice Coalition.

“In recent years, even as driving has become marginally safer, we have witnessed a growing epidemic in pedestrian injuries and deaths. Remarkably, 50% more people are killed walking than a decade ago. These victims are disproportionately young, old, poor, and people of color. Smart cities, taking the Vision Zero model seriously, have been making their streets safer through design. There is no reason why Boston can’t become a national leader in pedestrian and bike safety,” said Jeff Speck, city planner, author of Walkable City, and Michelle Wu supporter.

East Boston is full of long, straight sections of roadway with nearly no traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps, flashing pedestrian lights or crosswalks. Despite ongoing advocacy from residents, East Boston has not yet been selected for the Neighborhood Slow Streets Program, a City of Boston initiative to help reduce speeds and improve street safety, after multiple attempts to apply by community groups.

Source: Michelle Wu for Mayor campaign 8/25/21