‘Intensive’ enforcement begins on Mass. Ave.

This message, and a visible police presence, on Mass. Ave. this week.

This message accompanies a visible police presence on Mass. Ave. this week.

Arlington police are out in force on the street this week following the death of a local man struck by a car while in a Mass. Ave. crosswalk on March 22.

The sign also flashes "Yield to Pedestrians." Note the makred and unmakred police cars ar left.

The sign also flashes “Yield to Pedestrians.” Note police officer at left.

The effort, dubbed “Operation Safe Streets,” includes alerts posted on the Town’s digital message boards and a ramped-up police presence dedicated to traffic enforcement, according to the Police Department’s Facebook page.

The Department will also deploy plainclothes officers in crosswalks to flag inattentive drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians.

Police Chief Frederick Ryan says that the operation is “aimed at not just aggressively enforcing the traffic laws but also fostering a culture of safety on Arlington roadways.”

Police presence at Fairmont St. in East Arlington.

Police presence at Fairmont St. in East Arlington.

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4 comments so far

  1. David Markun on

    I know that “culture of safety” for pedestrians can work — I just returned from California where drivers six lanes away stop when a pedestrian approaches a crosswalk.

  2. dr2chase on

    A short-term run of enhanced enforcement is not going to be enough. If they want the street to be permanently safer, they’ll need to measure (bad) behavior with some instrument less crude than pedestrian deaths, and ramp enforcement whenever things start to slide.

  3. Adam Auster on

    @David and DR above: I think culture and enforcement both have roles to play; the third leg of the stool has got to be design and engineering so the road does not feel so horribly fast.

    Certainly enforcement, while terribly important, is also limited in what it can do. Changing the culture is extra hard when there are counter imperatives from the infrastructure; “Be safer” versus “Drive fast.”

  4. David Markun on

    Regarding infrastructure: I saw something cool in Sonoma CA. It was a pedestrian crossing button that activates not a stoplight (as we have here) but a set of flashing lights embedded in the road along the lines that delimit a pedestrian crosswalk. I saw this in daytime, but at night it would be especially useful. However, this would probably be expensive to build in a snowplow-proof configuration.


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