After a pair of recent accidents involving pedestrians left two women injured, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller outlined ongoing efforts by the city to address traffic safety, she said in a statement.
“The Newton Police Department works with our transportation experts to analyze what the root causes of the [accidents] were and what steps we can take to address them,” Fuller said in the statement.
On Jan. 23, a Newton crossing guard was struck by a GMC Yukon at her post near the Memorial-Spaulding Elementary School at Brookline Street and Hartman Road, Fuller said.
Then on Jan. 27, a woman walking her dog while she was in a Lexington Street crosswalk near the Burr Elementary School was hit by a Chevrolet Colorado.
Both women will be okay, Fuller said in the statement, though the dog struck by the Chevrolet was killed.
Newton Police spokesman Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker said the driver of the Chevrolet was cited for failing to yield for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
The driver of the GMC was not cited in the Memorial-Spaulding incident, he said.
In the aftermath of the accidents, “we are constantly and continuously working to make Newton safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers,” she said.
Last year, there were 34 pedestrian-vehicle incidents in Newton, Fuller said. Previously, there were 33 crashes in 2018; 40 in 2017; 59 in 2016; and 39 in 2015, according to the statement.
Officials have been reviewing that data, and examining details at both scenes, including lighting and the layouts of the streets. They are also monitoring the speed of vehicles and traffic volume in multiple locations, Fuller said.
Fuller said she has heard from parents in the Memorial-Spaulding community concerned about safety issues due to the volume and speed of traffic on Brookline Street and Hartman Road.
“We are taking a very close look at what the current data shows in the neighborhood around the school and listening to the input from neighbors, parents, and educators,” Fuller said. “In the meantime, we installed temporary electronic flashing boards which flash drivers’ speed, the 20-mile-per-hour school zone speed limit, and reminders for drivers to go slowly while recording useful speed data.”
In 2016, the city added a new bus pullout in front of the school to make it safer for students to get on and off buses, she said.
The state’s new hands-free driving law, which bans any use of a hand-held device while driving, goes into effect Sunday, Feb. 23, Fuller said.
“As we lean in to make our roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes safer, we also all have to slow down and pay attention,” Fuller said.
John Hilliard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org