Boston Launches ‘Safety Surge’ Traffic Calming Initiative

The new program targets neighborhood streets for safety improvements such as speed humps and intersection redesigns.

1 minute read

May 24, 2023, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced a plan to install hundreds of new speed humps and intersection safety improvements, reports Christian MilNeil in Streetsblog Mass, replacing the Neighborhood Slow Streets program created during the Walsh administration which, Milneil explains, “was extremely popular, but … was also resource-intensive, and its projects typically took multiple years to emerge from concept to construction.” 

The new approach, dubbed a ‘safety surge’ by the city, focuses on comprehensive and quick traffic calming improvements. “By redesigning intersections and roadways, and improving traffic signals, we will help people get around while making sure our community members are safe,” said Mayor Wu in a press release. “The city says it aims to install up to 500 new speed humps on an annual basis on smaller neighborhood side streets.”

According to MilNeil, “Another element of the ‘safety surge’ will aim to slow down motor vehicles at crash-prone intersections, with a particular focus on intersections near parks, schools, community centers, or housing for older adults.”

The initiative also updates the city’s traffic signal policy to consider pedestrian safety. “The new edition requires the city’s engineers to consider new performance measures for evaluating traffic signal operations, including pedestrian delay and ‘Lowest Pedestrian Speed Accommodated.’”

Monday, May 22, 2023 in Streetsblog Mass

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