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Demolition derby continues at Allston intersection

Crash at Commonwealth Avenue and Allston Street in Allston

Roving UHub photographer Stephen Hartman happened upon the latest crash, around 6:30 p.m., at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Allston Street, where the traffic signals exert a strange pull on motor vehicles.

Earlier:
Another driver proves unable to handle awkward Allston intersection, 1/10/14.
Comm. Ave. speeder takes out traffic-control box, wakes up half the neighborhood, 8/13/13.
Another crash, 5/22/12.

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Comments

From Google streetview several problems are clear. First, most of the utility poles are painted a dark color with no reflective material on them. Some have aged reflective signs, but the curb edges are most unclear at night. Second, the utility poles are between open space of the roadway and the trolleyway. Its hard to distinguish the boundaries of the roadway on dark winter nights.

In West Acton Center near where, recently, a commuter train hit a car that was backed up at a stop light to the train crossing, they have installed Ninja curb extensions to cause yet more accidents. Its very dark there at night with little street lighting, and the center line of Rt. 111 was offset to further lure drivers like a Siren into the curb extensions. If not for the orange, reflective construction barrels placed on these curb extensions, there would be many crashes. Not sure how pedestrian and ADA friendly these barrels are, however. Not up to aesthetic standards, but a fix for bad design.

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I knew that was your post from the headline in the sidebar.
Hope everyone is OK and that the knucklehead driver learned a lesson.

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As you have no idea what that intersection looks like at night, I can assure you that it is a major intersection with lights and lighting that make all such poles and curbs quite visible. When people hit them it is typically because they are speeding or driving poorly.

This is also true for any curb extensions, which is not even relevant here but you brought them up again like Don Quixote. If you are driving where you are supposed to be, you will not hit curb extensions. If you hit curb extensions you would have hit parked cars anyhow. People who have problems with curb extensions or seeing things (day or night) from within their car have little business driving at all.

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You must drive a pedal car on a sidewalk.

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It is a fairly major intersection because Commonwealth Ave is a large and busy street and Allston is one of the busier secondary streets as it is a major Boston <-> Brookline connector and feeder to Commonwealth, Washington, and Brighton Ave. There is a high volume of traffic on both streets where they meet.

What criteria should one use otherwise?

Also to note there have been a number of individuals drag racing between Warren and Allston streets [and on down Commonwealth Ave inbound] the past couple of weeks. I have seen them go by several times a night for multiple nights.

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Not quite so organized, but rather impromptu racing of a pair of cars [maybe even the same ones each time?] between a set or sets of traffic lights.

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The ones dressed like Ninjas playing Frogger at night on roads. They need to wear conspicuous clothing more than the inanimate objects needing more visibility.

Pedestrians make the fatal mistake of assuming that because they can see a vehicle's headlights, a driver can see them even though they don't have headlights or reflectors or clothing visible at night. You have a similar failing in assuming everyone on the road can see as well as you, are not taking any medications, drugs, alcohol, or have medical issues, or simply tired, or distracted by: music, music selection, other passengers, a phone call, smoking, eating, personal grooming etc. I hope such bad assumptions like other drivers having/doing none of those don't kill you. They are public streets, and not all members of the public are as perfect as you. This is also why its much smarter to be protected inside a car than vulnerable on a bicycle.

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You have a similar failing in assuming everyone on the road can see as well as you, are not taking any medications, drugs, alcohol, or have medical issues, or simply tired, or distracted by: music, music selection, other passengers, a phone call, smoking, eating, personal grooming etc.

Those people shouldn't have licenses or be driving then instead of expecting the whole rest of the world to stay out of their way.

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And those damn people being shot... If they would just not be in the way of the bullets they would not get hurt.

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If they would just wear reflective clothing and bulletproof vests, they would be fine.

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Everyone but the individual is responsible for their well being.

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Everyone but people actually piloting lethal weapons in a reckless manner is responsible for what happens when people who should not be driving or should be paying more attention can't be bothered to control their vehicles.

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Poor lighting, combined with poorly-designed and poorly constructed intersections, along with irresponsible drivers (and there are many of both) contribute heavily to the problem.

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That intersection is smack dab at the bottom of the hill, comes up on you pretty quick if you're going too fast. Not sure if anyone was hurt (main impact was on the passenger side), but the damage up close was pretty rough

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Speed humps help a lot. There are some smaller intersections in Somerville that have them at the bottom of hills for this very reason.

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If they put speed humps on Allston or Comm Ave, I'm asking them to find you and grind you up to use as part of the fill.

People fly down Allston St towards Allston because it's steep and they don't want to wait for the light. Meanwhile, people get stuck in the intersection attempting to make lefts onto Comm Ave...this leads to issues.

People fly down Comm Ave because it's steep into Warren and the Warren light is obnoxiously long for inbound traffic due to the extended cycle that lets the Green Line transit across the outbound lanes without anything else moving, add a ninety degree curve and some people turning left onto Allston St...this leads to issues.

Finally, people going into Brighton from Allston on Allston St are given poor curb cuts and signage to determine which right turn to make to get onto the travel lanes for Comm Ave and they frequently take the turn too wide or too shallow and have to catch themselves before ending up on the inbound T platform or the island on Comm Ave...this leads to issues.

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Can also be caused by pedestrian advocates and local residents who assert that pedestrians should be able to cross the four roadways, four sidewalks and medians, and two train tracks on a single green. They are in too much of a hurry to wait for two shorter cycles.

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I ask as somebody who used to live three blocks up Allston Street from that intersection.

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I drive through this intersection all the time. Haven't managed to kill a bicyclist or pedestrian or hit a light pole yet. According to the other posts, this was caused by lighting, pedestrians, and people on bikes (abetted by the MBTA) but weirdly not drivers....

The place is well lit (provided the light poles remain vertical), the lights take as long as they need to accommodate all types of travel there (bike, car, foot, MBTA), provided you don't hit the damn pole speeding. There's a T stop there, 4 major lanes of Comm Ave with 2 travel lanes, Allston St traffic (high traffic road), heavily used sidewalks. The takeaway is DON'T SPEED! Pay attention to where you are and what is going on around you or stay away.

I drove through this area shortly after the accident - the lights were out, blinking reds and yellows (so safe) and I had to turn right on Comm Ave with through traffic not allowed past the island next to the travel lane. So this person was speeding down the travel lane, not Comm Ave. They're so lucky they didn't kill someone - at first, I thought there was a body on the ground. The only fault here is the driver.

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If you read my comment, you may notice that it is directed at the previous comment about obnoxiously long traffic lights and speculation over the reason for it. I gave an alternate possibility of why traffic lights last too long. I counted roads by including the service roads adjacent to Comm ave. through much of that stretch. Yes, I have driven there numerous times, but it was hardly memorable.

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Yeah, there's one of those at Avery and Tremont - it causes people to jaywalk or dash across in bad weather rather than wait five minutes for the light to change.

In a car? You are warm, you are dry, you are seated, and you have your tunes going ... YOU CAN WAIT.

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Are you actually implying that Mark might not know what he's talking about. Give me a minute to wrap my head around that one.

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I know right? The area needs a road diet so pedestrians don't have to cross so much dangerous pavement. Thanks for suggesting it!

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People hit by them have been dying. So, start the diet with the Green Line tracks?

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People hit by them have been dying. So, start the diet with the asphalt?

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Very few of you are correct here. One big issue that contributes to accidents here is, yes, cars speeding down Comm Ave from Washington Street. The major issue is the signals on Comm; if you want to make a left turn onto Allston, you have to wait for the green arrow. Otherwise you're likely running a red light and driving into oncoming traffic that still has a green light. Many cars try to run the red and make a left-hand turn or go straight, not realizing traffic from the other direction still has a green. I've lived at this intersection for 4 years now and seen full-on or near accidents, conservatively, every month due to this. (More realistically, these accidents are at least every 3 weeks.) I've been nearly hit by cars that swerve at the last second and actually hit by those trying to run the red who then slam into reverse through the crosswalk.

Google maps rarely tells the whole story, friends.

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