Taking a walk in Waltham should not be like taking your life in your hands.
In my opinion, at least, it has become far too dangerous to take a walk through the city. I was nearly run over recently while crossing (in a crosswalk) Alder Street as I walked up Moody Street at around 9 p.m. When I was about halfway across the street, I noticed an oncoming sedan, with Virginia plates, stop only 25 feet in front me. Too close for comfort. I moved out of the way, but not out of the road. I was furious and turned toward the driver (a older man with a female passenger) and yelled at them for a minute. I can’t recall my exact words, but they were along the lines of, “watch out for the crosswalk.” Finished screaming, I continued up Moody Street.
Thankfully, I wasn’t struck or hurt, but others like Scott Coxall, (who was in a crosswalk) Vivian Lin and Alex Cabrera (both of whom were not in crosswalks) are examples of how dangerous being a Waltham pedestrian has become.
To their credit, the Waltham Police Department, noting the string of pedestrian incidents, has increased enforcement patrols of sidewalk regulations, but they can’t be everywhere all the time.
The answers to stopping such incidents are pretty simple – pedestrians should cross in crosswalks, and motorists should follow all of the traffic rules. No scientific study is needed here, just some common sense, caution and attentiveness. I don't want to report on you getting hit by a car.
For a little refresher on some of the laws about pedestrians, see below.
- Blocking a crosswalk is punishable by a $100 fine (State law)
- Drivers must yield to crosswalk when an intersection is not controlled by a signal (State law). Punishable by $200 fine.
- Drivers are prohibited from passing a vehicle that has stopped to allow pedestrians to cross. Punishable by $200 fine.