Tag: Belmont

Statewide Fatal Crashes in MA, January 2021

Statewide Fatal Crashes in MA, January 2021

Each month in 2021, we plan to post about the fatal crashes in Massachusetts from the previous month, and share any trends that we see. Last month, we took a look at the year 2020 in review. In this post, we’ll look at crashes in MA in January 2021. The information in the chart below is compiled from news reports, and was checked against the MassDOT Crash Portal Dashboard “Fatal Information by Year.” The Google Street View images included below use the address listed in the crash portal.

  • Of the 20 fatal crashes in Massachusetts in January in the MassDOT Crash portal, 5 were people walking.
  • 3 of those 5 crashes were hit & runs.
  • The crash portal does not include names. The names of 2 of the people walking who died have not been made public yet.
  • The name of the person driving was only identified in 1 of the 5 crashes in news articles.

Date1/2/2021, 11:00 PM
Location200 Locust St.

An unidentified man was killed in a hit and run crash on Locust Street in Springfield. There have been no follow up articles that we’ve seen identifying the person who died, or anything about the person that fled the scene. WesternMassNews says the Police Department has located the car and vehicle owner, and expects more from the District Attorney’s office.

Date1/5/2021, 11:30 AM
LocationChelsea St. + 13th St.

Francis McGrath, a 92 year old man, was killed in a hit and run crash on Chelsea Street in Charlestown. The driver dragged him for nearly a mile. The crash location is listed as Chelsea St & 13th (entrance to the Charlestown Navy Yard), while StreetsblogMass reports the Boston Police said it happened even further back at Chelsea St & Terminal St. While there had been speculation that the driver of a large truck was involved, there have been no follow up articles that we’ve seen about the person that left the scene. We spoke to the Boston Herald about the safety issues large vehicles present for people walking/biking, and the increase of drivers speeding during the coronavirus pandemic.

Date1/13/2021, 7:19 PM
Location235 Main St.

Wendy Hibbard was crossing Main Street in Oxford when a driver hit and killed her. Based on Google Maps Street View, a crosswalk across Main Street was made ADA-compliant sometime between October 2018 and October 2019. The street is one lane in each direction with a sidewalk on each side, but it looks to be approximately 50 feet from curb to curb using the measuring tool on Google Maps. According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Main Street/Rt12 is under MassDOT jurisdiction.

Date1/19/2021, 9:30 PM
Location38 Upland Rd.

District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office shared on January 25th that Dean Kapsalis, 54 of Hudson, will face additional charges of murder and leaving the scene causing death in connection with striking and killing Henry Tapia on Upland Road in Belmont. Kapsalis was previously arraigned on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a civil rights violation causing injury and leaving the scene causing injury. The Boston Globe reported that “since getting a driver’s license around 1987, Kapsalis has been cited for speeding at least 17 times, was involved in at least 7 surcharge crashes, and had his right to drive suspended at least 6 times, usually for a cluster of traffic violations in a short period of time, according to RMV records.”

Date1/23/2021, 8:42 PM
Location687 Ocean St.

An unidentified 56 year old Marshfield man was hit and killed on Ocean Street in Marshfield. An article from 95.9 WATD quotes a police lieutenant that the “early investigation shows the victim was walking in the roadway along a dark stretch.” The street is one lane in each direction, but there is only a sidewalk on one side of the street.


If you have an update about a community member who was killed in one of these crashes, please contact Brendan so we can update our . 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:  |||||

Reminder about the data from the MassDOT portal

DISCLAIMER:  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. Data updated daily as reported by police departments.

Belmont: Peer Review of Complete Streets Prioritization Plan Project List

Belmont: Peer Review of Complete Streets Prioritization Plan Project List

In August 2019, WalkBoston conducted a peer review of the Town of Belmont’s Complete Streets Prioritization Plan (CSPP) Project List at the request of the Town Administrator’s Office. We reviewed the proposed recommendations, observed pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns, and noted any possible additional fixes that could be made to further improve the walking environment. The memorandum linked below summarizes our understanding of the goals of the project list, describes our project review methodology, and summarizes our findings and recommendations from our site walks. It also includes a map showing the routes we walked to reach each proposed project location. Finally, the table below includes detailed comments about each proposed project location.

Wicked Local Belmont – Keep our students safe

Wicked Local Belmont – Keep our students safe

Wicked Local Belmont: “Keep our students safe

We are writing to express our concern about student safety in the proposed design for the new Belmont High School. Over the past several months, the School Building Committee has sought input from Belmont residents on the inside design of the building as well as the exterior traffic and parking plans. The Building Committee met with community members, the Traffic Advisory Committee, and the Planning Board as well as Safe Routes to Schools and Walk Boston — organizations that advise communities on how best to design access.

Posted June 7, 2018

Wicked Local Belmont – A Growth Mindset for the New High School

Wicked Local Belmont – A Growth Mindset for the New High School

Wicked Local Belmont: “A Growth Mindset for the New High School
By Kate Bowen

Transit: Did you know we charge for school buses, while we provide school parking for free? Did you know that Belmont once plowed sidewalk routes to schools? Facing practices that are at odds with our goals of reducing vehicular traffic, we are responding. We are conducting a town-wide traffic study, applying to the Complete Streets program, learning from experts including WalkBoston and Nelson/Nygaard, and re-examining our policies for buses, parking, and commuter programs. We are learning from peers like Melrose, which plows walking routes to schools:
and safely utilizes on-street drop-off areas. We are learning that, despite our small geography, we need to actively support walking, biking, and public transit to achieve our goals.

Posted May 22, 2018

Letter to Town of Belmont Re: Belmont High School Building Project

Letter to Town of Belmont Re: Belmont High School Building Project

WalkBoston met with the Belmont High School Building Committee, Belmont Superintendent of Schools, Assistant Town Manager and representatives from the Design Team after writing this letter. We discussed site design changes that promote walkability, and policies and programs that could increase the number of students walking and biking to school. Based on our meeting and the recent HS Building Committee meeting presentation (5-16-18) we feel that the Town and Design Team are now looking at the campus through the lens of people walking and biking to school. The proposed site plan now reflects pedestrian and bicycle desire lines, and the Design Team has committed to refining these paths as the design process continues. The Town is also studying reducing student parking and locating a drop-off zone on Concord Avenue.

WalkBoston will continue to monitor this project moving forward. We have also offered to be a resource for the Town as they evaluate parking policies and incentives to increase the number of students walking and biking to school. Thanks goes out to the residents of Belmont for speaking up for walkers!

Mr. Jeffrey Wheeler, Senior Planner
Town of Belmont
Community Development – Planning Division
Homer Municipal Building
19 Moore Street, 2nd Floor
Belmont, MA 02478

May 2, 2018

Dear Mr. Wheeler:

We are writing to express concern regarding the proposed site plan for the new Belmont Middle/High School building, specifically around the safety of students walking and biking to the school. We feel that the needs of those driving to school and the larger town-wide traffic issues have been placed above the desire to create a walkable and bikeable campus for the students and staff.

The site plan details the vehicular circulation patterns on the site including two drop-off loops, over 350 parking spaces, and a long access road that runs the length of the northern edge of the site along the railroad tracks. Other than simple pedestrian and bicycle circulation diagrams which show lines along vehicular travel ways, there is little evidence that the needs of students walking and biking to school have been considered. We understand that the site plan is only in the schematic phase, however we can tell exactly where to park and drop off students arriving by car, yet we can’t tell a student how to walk to school or where to park a bike.

It is clear that the proposed vehicular circulation pattern has been designed to absorb more traffic on site in hopes of relieving traffic queues that now occur around the high school campus. The “Implementation Measures for All Options” slide in the Perkins + Will presentation on January 16, 2018, lists improving queuing issues in 5 of the 9 measures. The access diagram suggests that walking, biking and transit access will also be improved, but the dashed lines along travelways do little to instill confidence that the needs of these vulnerable users are being taken seriously.

It only takes one dangerous intersection for parents to decide that walking or biking to school isn’t safe for their children. Designing the Belmont Middle/High School campus to accommodate more cars without safe, convenient ways to bike and walk will only promote more parents and students to drive to school rather than walk or bike.

We ask that the Town elevate the safety of and improve access for students walking and biking to school. Walkable and bikeable campus design is a proven way to reduce vehicular traffic, to improve the well being of students choosing a healthier way to get to school, and to foster greater independence and responsibility among middle and high school students.

We would welcome an opportunity to come and speak with the Building Committee or the Planning Board about the benefits of walkable campus design and to share more detailed comments on the proposed site plan. Our email addresses are listed below our signatures.

Thank you.

Stacey Beuttell, Deputy Executive Director

Laura O’Rourke, Development Director, Belmont Resident