Pedestrian/Traffic Safety

How many pedestrians are in Boston?

Would you believe 2 million? The official census says that almost 600,000 people call Boston home. But when you add the many workers and visitors who come into Boston everyday, that number swells to 2 million pedestrians. With that many people walking in our city, pedestrian safety is an issue of critical importance.

How safe are Boston pedestrians?
Pedestrian Injuries in Boston

Injuries only tell part of the story. A Boston Public Health Commission study and discovered the following:

Only 12% of pedestrians waited for "Walk" signal before crossing the street.

1/3 of pedestrians jaywalked (crossed at least 5 feet from crosswalk).

While nearly 95% of drivers yield to pedestrians when pedestrians have the right of way, only 50% of drivers yielded to pedestrians who were crossing against the light. Even fewer slowed down for jaywalkers.

Results indicated that pedestrians frequently engaged in risky behavior possibly resulting in serious injury, particularly jaywalking and not crossing with the light.

Pedestrian Safety Guidelines
Pedestrian Safety Facts

Data provided by the Boston Public Health Commission

Bike Safety

Always wear a helmet.
Learn, use, and obey traffic signals. Remember bikers must obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicles.
If riding at night, use reflectors and lights.
Give pedestrians the right of way.
Ride defensively. Watch for cars and car doors opening.
Do not weave in and out of traffic.
Slow down at intersections. Look both ways before crossing.
Keep your bike well maintained. A regular tune up will ensure that your bike is in good riding shape.
When you are not riding your bike, always lock it.
When riding at night, make sure to wear reflective clothing and have reflectors on your bike. A light on your bike is also highly recomended.

A Guide to commuting on a bicycle (.pdf document)

MASSBIKE