Tag: 2020

2020 Statewide Fatal Crashes – Year in Review

2020 Statewide Fatal Crashes – Year in Review

Each month in 2021, we plan to post about the fatal crashes from the previous month, and share any trends that we see. For January, we wanted to look back at the previous year. The information in the chart below is taken from the MassDOT Crash Portal Dashboard “Fatal Information by Year.”

Motorcycle operator4751
Motorcycle passenger23
Total Fatal Crashes335335

There were 335 fatal crashes statewide in Massachusetts in 2020, the same number of people that died on Massachusetts roads as in 2019.

This dangerous trend was identified as early as May, and MassDOT urged people driving to slow down. At the time, MassDOT reported that the rate of fatalities on Massachusetts roadways doubled in April: with 50% less traffic recorded on major highways, 28 individuals died in crashes, compared with the month of April 2019 when there were 27 deaths on roadways in the state. Later in the year, we helped develop PSA graphics through the Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion program for use by community coordinators focused on drivers & the need to slow down for everyone’s safety.

There were significantly less fatal pedestrian crashes this year than last year – but almost every other mode of transportation saw higher fatal crashes.

Pedestrian Fatalities by Age in 2020? Disproportionately older adults. 

Adults 65+ accounted for 40% of the pedestrian fatalities in the last year. How does that compare to the population? According to the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative’s 2018 MA Healthy Aging Data Report, about 15% of people in Massachusetts are age 65+.

Chart from MassDOT crash portal – Pedestrian Fatalities by Age in 2020. Available at https://apps.impact.dot.state.ma.us/cdp/dashboard-view/39

The includes names of many of the 58 people walking who were hit/killed in 2020.

If you have an update about a community member who was killed in one of these crashes, please contact Brendan so we can update the list. WalkBoston has maintained a list each year since 2016, pulling the information from news reports, social media, and from people like you that share the information with us. Yearly trackers:  | | | | |

The MassDOT portal says 50 for 2020, but the WalkBoston list says 58. Why the discrepancy?

It is possible there were crashes that were not on roadways. We compile our pedestrian crash fatality list manually via news & social media alerts in order to give communities more information to help push for safer streets, and to make sure to remember there are people behind the statistics. The MassDOT list may categorize crashes differently, just as the city of Boston Vision Zero Map does not include fatal crashes that take place on state roads, private property, or crashes on commuter rail tracks. (For example: the WalkBoston list includes Bernardin Etienne, 62, who was struck & killed in the MBTA Bus Yard in Charlestown on September 21st; Bernardin isn’t included on either MassDOT or BTD’s list since it took place in a parking lot.) Additional disclaimer from MassDOT crash portal: The compilation of data is based on preliminary data we receive from a variety of local sources. Some of the data may differ slightly from information provided by NHTSA as this dashboard does not use imputation methods. Information is subject to change when/if updated information becomes available.

The rolling 5 year average for pedestrian fatalities in Massachusetts will drop from 77 for the 2015-2019 period to 70 for the 2016-2020 period, the lowest 5 year average since 2009-2013.

These Performance Measures Were Developed By The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). You can access any state’s data at this link.

AAA Foundation Virtual Town Hall: Monday, February 1st, 11am

On Monday, February 1st at 11am, Executive Director Stacey Beuttell will be a panelist for the AAA Northeast Virtual Town Hall which will feature their recent study “Tread Carefully: Examining the Rise in Pedestrian Deaths,” examining data from 2009-2018. You can sign up here & ask a question in advance.

January/February 2020 Newsletter

January/February 2020 Newsletter


Snow clearance: my view (and queries) from my wheelchair
By Amy Hunt/South End resident
Newton’s snow evolution
By Andreae Downs/Newton city councilor
Digging in on snow
By Wendy Landman/WalkBoston senior policy advisor

snow quotes

Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person.
—Sylvia Plath (born in Jamaica Plain)

Snowflakes are one of nature’smost fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.
—Vista M. Kelly

A lot of people like snow.
I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.
—Carl Reiner

When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.


Registration or info for other events and public meetings can be found at walkboston.org/events

February 12, 2020 1-5PM
WalkMassachusetts Network 2020
South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc., 7 Bishop St, Framingham, MA 01702, USA (within a short walk of Framingham/ Worcester line.)

Our second in-person gathering of the WalkMassachusetts Network, at South Middlesex Opportunity Council in Framingham, MA (we will meet in their Cafe). This event is open to any local organizations working on walking! Free with RSVP. Please register by Wednesday, February 5th so we can plan for food.

March 25, 2020, 5-8PM
WalkBoston’s 30th Annual Party & Golden Shoe Awards
Boston Society of Architects
Fort Point Room / Atlantic Wharf 290 Congress Street, Boston
5:00 Eat, drink, schmooze
6:00 Program and Golden Shoes
Keynote Speaker: Mark Fenton
Tickets: $30 includes beer, wine and food.

Download the January/February 2020 Newsletter PDF