The stretch of Deering Avenue from Pitt Street to Noyes Street has been the site of numerous traffic accidents; just this morning there were two collisions only two blocks apart.

As someone who has witnessed many of these accidents, I believe there are two main contributing factors: the speed with which people drive on Deering Avenue and the assumption of drivers on the cross streets that the traffic on Deering also stops. (These accidents are not a new occurrence and were a problem prior to the construction of the roundabout, as well.)

A traffic study conducted by the Department of Public Works essentially concluded that speeding and bodily injury to vehicle occupants do not occur with enough frequency for these accidents to be much cause for concern. But this conclusion overlooks the most important consideration: Deering Avenue is a major bus route during the school year, with stops – and large groups of children – at each of these intersections. Even outside the school year, this area is teeming with children crossing these intersections every day. One of the accidents this morning could have been catastrophic if it had occurred on a day when kids were waiting for the bus.

Let’s not wait to gather data on pedestrian injuries or fatalities before this problem is addressed.

Elizabeth Emery

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