Tag: Fitchburg

Statewide Fatal Crashes In MA, May 2023

Statewide Fatal Crashes In MA, May 2023

Each month, we post about the fatal crashes in Massachusetts from the previous month, and share any trends that we see. For the full list of monthly posts, head here.

Last month, we took a look at crashes listed in the MassDOT Crash Portal in April; five were identified as people walking. In this post, we’ll look at crashes in MA in May 2023. The information in the chart below is compiled from news reports, and was checked against the MassDOT Crash Portal Dashboard “Fatal Crash Information.” Any Google Street View images included below use the address listed in the crash portal.

  • Of the 33 fatal crashes in Massachusetts in May in the MassDOT Crash portal, 6 were identified as people walking.
  • The average age of pedestrians hit & killed in May was 44.6.
  • At least one person was on a sidewalk and two others were in crosswalks when drivers hit & killed them.

Date5/7/2023, 1:37 PM
LocationMassachusetts Ave. + Cobblestone Cir.
TownNorth Andover

47-year old Angela Desmond was walking on the sidewalk in North Andover when the driver of a Honda Civic struck and killed her. Boston 25 News spoke to a neighbor:

Bill Dolan also lives nearby — and frequently walks his dog along Mass. Ave. Dolan said he’s actually seen vehicles veer up onto the sidewalk, in an attempt to get around drivers making a turn.

According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Massachusetts Avenue is under local jurisdiction. It is a two-way street, with 1 travel lane in each direction. There is a sidewalk on both sides (note: road inventory says 1 side). The speed limit is 35mph.

Date5/9/2023, 5:30 PM
Location2 Elm St. South + Main St.

5-year old Sidney Mae Olson was struck and killed by the driver of a large truck in a crosswalk in Andover. From WCVB:

The Olson family statement said the girl and another family member were in the crosswalk on Elm Street, and “the walk sign showed it was still safe to cross.”

“As long-time residents of the neighborhood, we’ve followed that route hundreds of times before. The rest was a blur, and Sidney was struck by a truck and killed, leaving an impossible void in our lives,” the family said.

The Eagle Tribute reports that MassDOT was leading a road safety audit in response to the crash:

Technically, MassDOT will be conducting what is known as a Road Safety Audit, which are reviews of existing, or planned roads and intersections, according to the state’s website.

In order to complete the audit, MassDOT is going to begin compiling crash data and other pertinent information as “soon as possible,” according to the MassDOT email to Finegold’s office.

“In an effort to assist the community, MassDOT will be organizing a Road Safety Audit for the location that can be used to determine potential safety countermeasures that could be implemented in the immediate, short and long term scenarios,” the email said.

MassDOT added that state, and local officials and departments will be involved in the audit.

News of the audit comes following a May 11 letter sent by local legislators to MassDOT asking that the state “focus resources on improving pedestrian safety at the intersection.”

According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, each road at this intersection is under local jurisdiction. Elm Street is a two-way street, with three travel lanes in one direction (a channelized right turn lane, one travel lane, and left turn as it approaches the intersection) and one travel lane away from the intersection. There is a sidewalk on both sides. The speed limit is 30mph.

Date5/14/2023, 7:20 PM
LocationE. Grove St. + Merchants Way

15-year old Dylan Levesque was struck and killed by the driver of a car while crossing the street at the corner of Route 28 and the shopping entrance to the Hannaford Supermarket plaza in Taunton on Mother’s Day.

From the Taunton Daily Gazette:

Officials said there have been longstanding concerns over the lack of a traffic signal or crosswalk light at the intersection of Merchants Way and Route 28/East Grove Street where Dylan was hit.

Within the vicinity of the shopping plaza, also known as Middleboro Crossing, where Dylan was coming from, are two elementary schools, Middleboro High School and the YMCA.

“There are always kids, walking, riding bikes, families walking to and from the grocery store/shopping center. We need something so these people that aren’t in cars can be safe from cars flying by,” said Erika Rusconi, who started a Change.org petition to get a crosswalk light installed at that intersection.

According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, E. Grove Street is under MassDOT jurisdiction. It is a two-way street, with 1 travel lane in each direction. There is a sidewalk on one side of the street and a shoulder on both sides. The speed limit is 40mph. A “Do Not Pass” sign is visible on Google Street View.

Date5/19/2023, 8:42 PM
LocationWater St. + Nichols St.

The Telegram & Gazette reports 76-year old Mario Bratkon was struck and killed by the driver of a vehicle while crossing the street in a crosswalk in Fitchburg near the Fitchburg/Leominster line.

According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Water Street is under local jurisdiction. It is a two-way street, with 2 travel lanes in each direction. There is a sidewalk on both sides of the street. The speed limit is 35mph.

This intersection is at the Leominster / Fitchburg line; on the other side of Nichols Street, Fitchburg’s Water Street becomes Leominster’s North Main Street.

Date5/20/2023, 2:02 PM
Location243 Haverhill St.

NBC Boston reports a 79-year old woman was struck and seriously injured by the 19-year old driver of a Nissan Rogue. The woman was taken by ambulance to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington. This crash was categorized as a fatal crash in the MassDOT portal when checked on June 30th.

According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Haverhill Street is under local jurisdiction. It is a two-way street, with 1 travel lanes in each direction. There is a sidewalk on one of the street. The speed limit is 35mph.

Date5/28/2023, 3:11 AM
Location54 Woodlawn St.

A 46-year old woman was struck and killed by the driver of a vehicle.The call log of Everett, MA police for May 28th lists “911-FEMALE POSSIBLY STRUCK BY MV.” We could not find any additional news coverage of this incident.

According to the MassDOT Road Inventory, Woodlawn Street is under local jurisdiction. It is a two-way street, with 1 travel lanes in each direction. There is a sidewalk and street parking on both sides of the street. The speed limit is unclear, as it is listed as 99 and not viewable nearby on street view. The default speed limit in Everett is 30mph.


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 2023 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:  |  ||||| 2022 | 2023

Report: Fatal Pedestrian Crashes in MA (2021)
Report: Fatal Pedestrian Crashes in MA (2022)

Reminder about the data from the MassDOT portal

MassDOT makes no representation as to the accuracy, adequacy, reliability, availability or completeness of the crash records or the data collected from them and is not responsible for any errors or omissions in such records or data. Under no circumstance will MassDOT have any liability for any loss or damage incurred by any party as a result of the use of the crash records or the data collected from them. Furthermore, the data contained in the web-based crash report tool are not an official record of what transpired in a particular crash or for a particular crash type. If a user is interested in an official copy of a crash report, contact the Registry (http://www.mass.gov/rmv/). The City of Boston Police Department may be contacted directly for official copies of crash reports and for crash data pertaining to the City of Boston. In addition, any crash records or data provided for the years after 2018 are subject to change at any time and are not to be considered up-to-date or complete. As such, open years’ of crash data are for informational purposes only and should not be used for analysis. The data posted on this website, including crash records and other reports, are collected for the purpose of identifying, evaluating or planning the safety enhancement of potential crash sites, hazardous roadway conditions or railway-highway crossings. Under federal law, this information is not subject to discovery and cannot be admitted into evidence in any federal or state court proceeding or considered for other purposes in any action for damages that involves the sites mentioned in these records (see 23 USC, Section 409).

Strengthening Connections to Community and Transit in Gateway Cities

Strengthening Connections to Community and Transit in Gateway Cities

Since September 2020, WalkBoston has conducted a series of walk audits in Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth as part of our “Gateway Cities: Social Infrastructure and Walkability” project in partnership with MassINC and with support from the Solomon Foundation. We’re hosting walk audits in five Gateway Cities, in the area around each city’s downtown commuter rail station, in order to advance better connections to transit-oriented development (TOD) zones and public amenities in these communities.

WalkBoston and MassINC created interactive maps for participants in each community, noting the walking route, and highlighting the sites of pedestrian-involved crashes, social/gathering spaces, and the vast amount of the study area occupied by parking infrastructure. Click here to go to the interactive Google map.

This project not only assesses the neighborhoods’ walking conditions but also looks at the availability of spaces that foster gathering and social connection, such as parks, plazas, community centers, and cafes. Through virtual discussions, as well as sharing written and visual observations, we’re working with residents, municipal staff, and other community members to identify assets and opportunities, and develop program, infrastructure, and policy recommendations based on participants’ visions for the area. In addition to effecting change at the local level, WalkBoston and MassINC will produce policy papers based on the findings from these walk audits to inform state policy and budgetary investment in Gateway Cities.

So far, we’ve completed virtual walk audits in three cities as part of this project: SpringfieldFitchburg, and Brockton. Over the past year, the desire to live in a community with comfortable walking paths, open space, and street activity has dramatically increased as people spent more time at home and in their neighborhoods. The walk audits we’ve already completed have demonstrated that there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm to create more walkable, vibrant public spaces in our partner communities. In Fitchburg, participants are forming a bike/ped committee to advance the walk audit’s findings. In Brockton, residents looking for ways to get more involved in decision-making in their community used the walk audit to connect with municipal staff and each other and learn about joining committees, boards, and task forces.

Next, we’re kicking off our Haverhill walk audit tonight, Thursday, May 27th. This will be the first walk audit in the Gateway Cities series to include an in-person group walk option – we’re excited to get back to walking together again!

New Virtual Walk Audits: Worcester and Framingham

New Virtual Walk Audits: Worcester and Framingham


Walk audits—one of WalkBoston’s most effective tools to change the built environment and build a constituency of walking advocates—face an obvious hurdle during the pandemic: we can’t meet in person. With more people walking than ever before, we could not hit pause and wait until it is safe to gather again. We adapted our walk audit process to be virtual to continue improving walking conditions. We have conducted four virtual walk audits since the pandemic began: in Salem, Springfield, Fitchburg, and Worcester—we wrapped up the latter two in January and discuss them below.

Fitchburg’s Intermodal Center Virtual Walk Audit is the second walk audit in a statewide project examining the connections between social infrastructure and walkability within transportation-oriented development (TOD) areas. Neighborhood data and resident perspectives will be captured in virtual conversations and self-led walk audits in five Gateway Cities in Massachusetts. This project is co-hosted by WalkBoston and MassINC, with support from the Solomon Foundation.

The Worcester Virtual Walk Audit was conducted by WalkBoston, WalkBike Worcester, and the Worcester Department of Public Health Mass in Motion Program. Residents requested the virtual audit, which is serving as a pilot program for Worcester’s upcoming Complete Streets Prioritization process.

How We Made Our Walk Audits Virtual

  • Session 1: Participants convene on Zoom for a Ped101 workshop to share their walking concerns, learn about walkability basics, and review the self-led walk audit process.
  • Self-led walk audit: Participants have two weeks to walk the specified route, and document photos and written observations about the walking environment.
  • Session 2: Post-walk, participants reconvene on Zoom to discuss and set plans for next steps.

We use Google Sites to share recordings of our Zoom meetings so those unable to attend the first session can watch and provide feedback on their neighborhood’s walkability. The recommendations made during the second session are summarized into a PowerPoint report and memo for participants to use and turn into actions.

Virtual walk audits have served as a valuable tool for conducting our community-partnered work in a socially- distanced world. While we look forward to resuming our in-person walk audits, we plan to leverage these digital engagement strategies in the future to hear from those unable to attend in-person. If you’re having success with virtual community engagement, we’d love to trade notes —get in touch!

This article was featured in WalkBoston’s January/February 2021 newsletter.
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Fitchburg Intermodal Center Virtual Walk Audit

Fitchburg Intermodal Center Virtual Walk Audit

On November 30 and December 14, 2020, WalkBoston and MassINC conducted a virtual walk assessment with Fitchburg community members in the Fitchburg Intermodal Center area as part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion grant program, with support from the Solomon Foundation. The two main goals of the Gateway Cities walk audit project are to effect change at the local level to work towards safer, more enjoyable streets and to inform state policy and legislation to prioritize budgetary investment in Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth.

Read the full report here.

Comment Letter for Regional Transit Authorities in the FY2020 Budget – Amendment 1136

Comment Letter for Regional Transit Authorities in the FY2020 Budget – Amendment 1136

Massachusetts State Senate
The State House
Boston, MA 02133

May 16, 2019

Regional Transit Authorities in the FY2020 Budget – Amendment 1136

Honorable Members of the Senate:

We, a group of elected, nonprofit, community, and business leaders who support RTAs and their riders, support amendment 1136, which would provide $90.5 million in base funding for the regional transit authority (RTA) line item (1595-6370) in the FY2020 budget, and identifies separate, additional funding for performance targets and innovations, subject to Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between RTAs and MassDOT. Stable base funding is essential to protect riders from service cuts, and for RTAs to provide predictable service as they continue to improve performance and accountability. We are very pleased that the Senate Ways and Means budget includes language that ties state assistance to RTAs to inflation.

To count any MOU-based funding towards the base, as the Senate Ways and Means budget does, amounts to a cut in service which penalizes riders who are transit-dependent. Here is why: MOUs and the underlying performance targets take months to develop, and the transit service that results is not assured to continue. As an example, the $4 million in MOU-based funding that the legislature voted as part of the FY 2019 budget has still not been released, 10 1⁄2 months into the fiscal year, and several service cuts have not been restored as a result.

Senators may recall that the FY 2019 budget also established the Task Force on RTA Performance and Funding. Constituted in October 2018, the Task Force completed its work and delivered a report to the legislature on April 5, 2019, titled A Vision for the Future of Massachusetts’ Regional Transit Authorities.

This Task Force report included several recommendations to improve service. These included $90.5 million in base funding from the state budget; indexing of future state appropriations to CPI; establishment of MOUs with MassDOT to ensure future performance goals; and other recommendations to promote accountable, statewide public transit.

In conclusion, we cite the first recommendation from Choices for Stewardship, the December 2018 report of the Baker Administration’s Commission on the Future of Transportation:

  1. Prioritize investment in public transit as the foundation for a robust, reliable, clean, and efficient transportation system.

In this spirit, we thank the Senate for making investment in public transit a priority for FY 2020.

Respectfully submitted,

Mayor Jon Mitchell, City of New Bedford

Mayor Daniel Rivera, City of Lawrence

Mayor Alex Morse, City of Holyoke

Mayor Paul Heroux, City of Attleboro

Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale, City of Fitchburg

William F. Martin, Mayor, City of Greenfield

Linda Dunlavy, Executive Director, Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Tim Brennan, Executive Director, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

Frederick Kidder, President/CEO, SouthCoast Chamber

Maddie Ribble, Director of Public Policy and Campaign Strategy, Massachusetts Public Health Association

Andre Leroux, Executive Director, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance

Chris Dempsey, Director, Transportation for Massachusetts

Nancy Goodman, Vice President for Policy, Environmental League of Massachusetts

Stacy Thompson, Executive Director, LivableStreets Alliance

Heather McMann, Executive Director, Groundwork Lawrence

Mayor Donna Holaday, City of Newburyport

Mayor David Narkewicz, City of Northampton

Mayor Thomas W. Bernard, City of North Adams

Cathy Ann Viveiros, City Administrator, City of Fall River

Thomas Matuszko, Executive Director, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Marc Draisen, Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Jack Lank, President/CEO, The United Regional Chamber of Commerce

Marie Oliva, President & CEO, Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber

Wendy Garf-Lipp, Executive Director, United Neighbors of Fall River

Janet Domenitz, Executive Director, MASSPIRG

Joseph Kriesberg, President, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations

Deb Pasternak, Chapter Director, Sierra Club, Massachusetts Chapter

John MacDougall, Sylvia Parsons and Jack Spence, Co-Chairs, 350Mass Transportation Working Group

Elena Letona, Executive Director, Neighbor to Neighbor

Wendy Landman, Executive Director, WalkBoston

Scott Zadakis, Director, CrossTown Connect TMA

Judith L. Kirk, Director of Community Impact, YouthConnect Worcester

Kevin McCaffrey, Director of Government and Community Relations and Special Projects, Office of Advancement, Mount Holyoke College

Jim Kolesar, Vice President, Berkshire Interfaith Organizing

Elizabeth Isherwood, Communications Director, Rail to Boston Coalition

Jennifer Lee, Systems Advocate, Stavros

Corinn Williams, Executive Director, Community Economic Development Center

Janie Katz-Christy, Director, Green Streets Initiative

Jessica Collins, Executive Director, Public Health Institute of Western MA

Victoria Waterman, Chief Executive Officer, Girls, Inc. of Worcester

Staci Rubin, Senior Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation

Carolyn Villers, Executive Director, Massachusetts Senior Action Council

Kerry Conaghan, VP Community Impact, United Way of Central Massachusetts

Patty Flanagan, Director of Wellness and Health Equity, YWCA Central Massachusetts

Samuel Masinter, Associate Vice President for College Relations, Smith College

Margaret Coffin, CEO, Center for Living & Working, Inc.

David Connell, Vice President/Chief Human Resource Officer, YMCA of Central Massachusetts

Gordon Hargrove, Executive Director, Friendly House, Inc.

Alan Dallmann, Coordinator The Coalition to End Hunger

Justin Lawson, Fund Mass RTAs

Samuel Martin, Executive Director, Worcester Youth Center

Susan Moriarty, MASS Central Regional Coordinator, Mass Advocates Standing Strong

K. Lev Ben-Ezra, Executive Director, Amherst Survival Center

Deb Fastino, Executive Director, Coalition for Social Justice

Christopher M. O’Keeffe, Vice President for Programs, Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Drew Grande, Clean Energy Program Director, Massachusetts Climate Action Network

Joyce Mandell, Founder and Director, Jane Jacobs in the Woo

Lew Finfer, Co-Director, Massachusetts Communities Action Network

Adam Thielker, Transportation Advocacy Coalition

Liz Hamilton, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Worcester

Joe Bellil, VP of Public Affairs & Youth Services, Easter Seals of Massachusetts

Mary Haroyan, Bay State Council of the Blind

Ali, Amrana and Shabaz Soofi, Worker-Owners, WooRides

Scott Avedisian, CEO, Rhode Island Public Transit Authority