About Tuesday’s Pedestrian Death on Washington Street at Blue Ledge Drive

Silvia Acosta

Family photograph of Silvia Acosta (with Mayor Marty Walsh)

Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Silvia Acosta, a 78 year-old resident of our neighborhood who was tragically struck and killed by a motor vehicle on Washington Street on Tuesday afternoon. Universal Hub has the most complete coverage so far of the crash, which occurred in the section of Washington Street between Walworth and the West Roxbury Parkway. The Herald also has a report.

What’s being reported so far is that the crash happened in the late afternoon (shortly after dark) and that Ms. Acosta was in a crosswalk when she was struck. It is noteworthy that the Suffolk DA’s office is charging the driver, who reportedly left the scene even though she later admitted she knew she had struck someone, with vehicular homicide by reckless operation as well. While it is important that individual drivers be held accountable for their actions, it is usually the case that larger design, infrastructure, and policy decisions play a significant role in these sorts of tragedies, demonstrating (unfortunately) how badly needed a vigorous VisionZero policy and set of actions in our city really are. We’ll follow this story as it unfolds further to see what exactly happened, what lessons can be learned, and what steps can and should be taken going forward to prevent pedestrian deaths around the location of the crash and throughout our neighborhood. And then we’ll do what we can to make sure those steps are taken. Stay tuned.

Washington Street and Blue Ledge Drive, Approximate Location of Impact

Washington Street and Blue Ledge Drive, Approximate Location of Impact

5 thoughts on “About Tuesday’s Pedestrian Death on Washington Street at Blue Ledge Drive

  1. I used to live right by the Pleasant Cafe and can attest that the stretch of Washington between Beech St and West Rox Parkway are definitely harrowing for any pedestrian. This section of road often backs up with cars between the lights. The backup causes what appears to be an impatient frenzy with buses stopping to pick up/drop off riders and cars zooming around them, to people turning left in either direction and cars also wanting to pass them quickly, I fear this may be a growing problem.

    Most of the Washington bus stops when heading inbound toward Forest Hills in this stretch being discussed are at the same place as the crosswalks. Which makes sense, because when riders get off the bus it is safer for them to have a cross walk immediately in the location. However, with cars constantly changing lanes to get around other temporarily stopped cars, the danger is much higher.

    Makes me wonder if requiring cars to stop for city busses when picking up/dropping off passengers the way we are required to stop for school busses, might be a worthwhile option to look at. No doubt the change to driver behavior would be difficult and take awhile, however it could help with people attempting to use crosswalks who are obscured by the buses when it comes to crossing.

    I am not saying buses were the reason for Tuesday’s tragic incident, I just noted after living in that area for many years that it seemed to be a problem that could lead to this sort of occurrence being less rare. Ultimately it likely boils down to drivers traveling too fast on Washington St and not having enough caution to check for pedestrians. Add to that solar glare at dusk and dawn and the problem exacerbates. Makes me wish the City of Boston had access to those light up crosswalks that we see in other towns across the country.

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