Arlington Teen, Coalition Aim To Extend Crosswalk Times For Pedestrians

Photo: James Rojas / WBZ NewsRadio

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Every second counts when crossing an intersection in the Greater Boston Area, and one movement is looking to extend timers around the municipalities— one crosswalk at a time.

WBZ's James Rojas met up with Lena Webb, Co-founder of the Route 16 Traffic Calming Coalition at the busy crossroad of Alewife Brook Parkway and Broadway in Somerville.

"I've described it as 'harrowing' many, many times— it's a perfect word for it," Webb said. The Coalition was alerted to a time deficiency at the crosswalk by safety advocate 16-year-old Petru Sofio of Arlington, who says there simply was not enough seconds on the clock to make it across Alewife Brook and Broadway.

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Petru says that while the walk signal remains at seven seconds, the countdown following has been increased from eight seconds to thirteen (rounding up from 12.57), a whole five seconds more than the original setting.

"It would give a seven-second 'walk' sign, but Broadway is 44 feet wide, and the countdown should actually be thirteen seconds and that's what it was changed to last Tuesday," Sofio said.

"This intersection in particular has had at least 68 crashes. It's one of the top crash locations, especially because of left-turning cars that don't have a left turn lanes. We're working with our partners at the Department of Conservation & Recreation to try and improve the intersection for everybody," Sofio said.

Last month the Coalition held a "Route 16 Community Walk & Talk," where pedestrians gathered in support of improvements for crossings, widened lanes, and lower traffic speeds.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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