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Safety Surge

Everyone should feel safe and comfortable on their neighborhood streets.

We’re moving faster than ever before to make our City streets safer by using speed humps, signal changes, street design tools and other interventions needed to curb speeding, reduce crashes, and make neighborhoods more comfortable for walking, biking, and rolling.

Speed Humps

A simple street tool like a speed hump can reduce car speeds and create a more comfortable environment for those who walk or bike in our neighborhoods. We are working to build them in more neighborhoods, more quickly.

We went through every street in Boston to find those where speed humps could be appropriate. We mapped out small, connected networks of these streets. We then evaluated each area based on demographic information and crash history. Our map shows when each street in the City will receive these safety interventions on a year-by-year basis.

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Safer Intersections

Intersections help connect people from one route to another, but they are also where most crashes occur. We are working to reduce conflicts between people driving, walking and bicycling at intersections throughout Boston.

With our intersections program, we will design 25-30 intersections each year using street safety tools that will allow for better sightlines for all users, slower speeds, clear crossings and defined spaces for all. 

These intersections will be prioritized based on safety history, demographics (higher numbers of children, older adults, and people with a disability), if there are parks, schools, community centers nearby, plans for repaving and ramp construction, and needs otherwise identified by the residents of the neighborhood. 

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Safer Signals

By making changes at our signalized intersections, we can increase safety for people walking, biking, and driving.

Tools like a leading pedestrian interval can give walkers a head start by providing them with a walk sign a few seconds before a driver gets a green light. This creates more visibility for pedestrians and reduces conflicts between people walking and turning drivers. 

"No Turn on Red" signage is another important safety tool to reduce conflicts and increase safety at intersections. Drivers may be so intent to turn at a signal that they only look left and neglect to check for pedestrians who may be crossing. By removing the option to take a right at a red light, we can reduce the number of potential conflicts. The presence of pedestrians, especially near schools, parks, and other community facilities, sight lines, or a history of crashes are reasons that a "No Turn on Red" sign may be installed. 

We have also revised our guidelines for intersection timing and phasing to make sure that safety is always a top priority. Traffic signals are very complex, but by prioritizing pedestrian safety we can have signalized intersections that keep traffic flowing while keeping everyone safe.

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